Castle Valley Comments
December 14, 2017
by Ron Drake
Dec 14, 2017 | 807 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission (PLUC) held a public hearing during its regular monthly meeting last week to gather input and comments on changes being proposed to ordinance 85-3. Another separate public hearing was also held that evening to receive input on ordinance 2006-3, outlining the role of the PLUC and the process for property owners to request a variance on the town’s land use ordinance. Commission Chairman Bill Rau said that the work of the PLUC is to offer the clearest and most appropriate language for those amendments.

“The PLUC does the groundwork and research on amendments (and) it can then recommend to the town council its approval of the amendments,” Rau said after the meeting.

Ordinance 85-3 provides definitions, land use and appeal authority, general operating requirements for home and premises occupations, premises occupation operating requirements, updating language throughout the ordinance to use the term “land use regulation,” as per legislative updates, non-routine applications, variance and appeals, and enforcement, fees, penalties and fines.

There were no comments from the sparse group in attendance on either ordinance so the commission began the arduous and lengthy task of tightening the language to reflect the changes that stemmed from the recent legislation session on the land use ordinance.

“The town council will take up the amendments at its next meeting and probably make decisions about adopting (or not) the amendments to both ordinances,” Rau said.

Castle Valley Town Council originally approved ordinance 85-3 on Aug. 12, 1985, just after the incorporation of the town in July of that year. At the time the council said that it was a “bare bones” ordinance but it was a “starting point.” Over the years it has been tweaked to accommodate the changes in the scope of the ordinance. The last update to the 44-page document was last June.

The Castle Valley Fire District commissioners will hold a public hearing Thursday, Dec. 14 beginning at 7 p.m. at Fire Station 1 on the Castleton Road. The hearing is set for discussion on the proposed 2018 annual budget for the department and like the PLUC public hearing, it is not expected to draw much of a crowd. The fire department, like other public entities, is required to post its proposed budget in November and hold a public hearing in December to receive input from the citizens before the commissioners adopt it. Like most years, there will be no tax change. The last tax hike that was requested by the fire department was in 2005 when the department received a Community Impact Fund Board (CIB) grant for a new fire truck. The only stipulation to the grant was that the fire department set up a capital outlay fund and make annual payments to buy their own engine next time. The department needed extra funds to fulfill that provision so they requested a tax increase.

The first grant that was received by the Castle Valley Fire Department from the CIB was to build Fire Station 2 on a section of the town lot before there were any other improvements there. About this time 15 years ago, the contractor poured the concrete slab and work began on the steel structure shortly afterward. By May of the following year, the building was completed and an open house invited citizens of the fire district to browse through the building and enjoy refreshments that were provided. That building and the engines that are parked inside have provided the valley with much quicker response time because of the closer proximity to the majority of the homes in the valley.

The original Fire Station 1, which was built from funds that were earned by department members from barbeques, basketball games and other fund-raising activities, still serves a valuable role in the department. It houses two pumper engines, the department’s business office, its training facilities and provides quick response to other portions of the fire district. Just last week, for instance, the first arriving engine to a structure fire in Willow Basin came from Fire Station 1. The Castle Valley Fire Department was paged at 3:23 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 and it took that engine about 20 minutes to get to the maze of roads in Willow Basin and the large home where flames were burning a section of the roof and wall around the fireplace. That engine had the fire under control when an engine from Fire Station 2 arrived to aid in the suppression of the fire. Two engines from Moab arrived and helped smother the fire that was hidden in the wall. The owner of the house said the quick response from the fire department saved the home from total destruction.

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