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Planning, zoning board considers Scofield subdivision proposal

Staff reporter

Carbon's planning and zoning board met on Tuesday afternoon and considered a number of important county issues.

The issues discussed by the members included the development of a concept plan for alleviating some long running property line problems at some cabin sights on the shores of Scofield Reservoir.

The problems in question have surfaced during the years due to inaccurate and improper property descriptions.

The situation has caused negative feelings between land owners, developers and even county officials involved in the disputes.

The "concept" is to create a subdivision - the Bolotas subdivision phase one.

The proposed subdivision project includes 10 lots, possible leeway areas and strips of land owned by a partnership between a couple of developers who purchased the properties.

"What we are trying to do is to get an agreement between land owners as to where their property lines are," explained Nick Houser, assistant county surveyor.

"We're hoping to solve most of this between neighbors and save people a lot of money in court costs," added the assistant surveyor.

Approving a subdivision in the county takes three phases.

The first phase of the process is developing the concept plan.

The second phase is to resolve any boundary disputes and then present a preliminary proposal on the subdivision to the planning commission.

After the concept is approved by the zoning panel, the county commission must conduct a public hearing on the plan and accept input from citizens.

After a subdivision receives the county commission's approval, the county recorder will record the plat once it has been signed by all of the impacted land owners.

However, even completing the first step can be a problem, particularly when the subdivision is to fix boundaries and leeways that have been off for years and the development is not new with no buildings or structures on it.

A number of people named on the properties in the plat attended the meeting as well as some who hold property nearby away from the shoreline.

"We have had a dock on the lake for 35 years," pointed out one of the property owners.

"Now that this is all being changed and Ron Spears has bought up the land that has no descriptions, we are concerned we will not be able to get down to that dock, because we are losing our access to the reservoir," continued the property owner.

Gayla Williams, the county's deputy zoning administrator, told the group that she had spoken with Spears that morning and he said he was willing to do what it would take to make the subdivision plan work.

Some of the assembled citizens weren't sure about the matter and questions began to be raised not only about leeways, but also property lines as the matter relates to the reservoir's shoreline.

Suggestions were made by a couple of people as to what could be done for access, including having boundaries changed so that everyone along the shore gave up a small amount of property to make a right of way to the lake.

"The problem is that people have built homes on right of ways and property lines and that is what this plan has been designed to resolve," said Williams.

The commission decided to table the matter until some more research can be done on right of ways and the dock issues along the lake.

Another action, a request from Scott and Linda Woodfield that Beaver Creek Road be declared a restricted access road was also tabled after a short discussion.

The issue of restricting the road largely concerns vandalism that has been taking place over the past few years to property in the area.

"We purchased our property a few years ago," pointed out Woodfield, a Utah County resident. "The gate that is across the road is on private land and we would like to lock it so we can stop some of the problems."

"It's not that I want to restrict people from coming through," indicated Woodfield. "In fact, I would like to see it so that people can come down here to the county offices, sign out a key and then be able to pass through it."

Richard Tatton, the county's planning and zoning commission chair, explained that part of the problem is that the road lies between two counties, Utah and Carbon and that some of the problem of controlling the road lies because of this fact.

Tatton also pointed out that, as discussions on the issue have been ongoing, lawyers involved in the matter felt that limited access would be the best way to resolve the problem.

"I talked with Mike Zamantakis about emergency access," said Williams as the question of emergency services arose. "He said they have key boxes in all their emergency vehicles to keep keys for this kind of thing."

As the discussion progressed, it was brought out that some United States Bureau of Land Management property existed behind the private parcels. And at present, the requested restricted road is the only way for people to access the public land in question.

"There apparently was another road to the BLM sites. But for some reason, a bridge on that road was destroyed and not replaced," explained Woodfield. "There is actually still access, but it would be on foot on a steep incline."

Planning board member Lynna Topolovec informed the group she would not be inclined to vote for a similar restriction in the event that road was the only way to gain access into public property.

The planning and zoning commission decided to do some further investigation into the situation, including checking on the BLM land in question and to find out why the bridge on the other road may have been removed or not replaced when it was destroyed.

Addressing unrelated matters at the meeting, the planning and zoning board members:

•Reviewed several options for improving the intersection where the fairgrounds parking empties out onto Fairgrounds Road.

Kay Burton of the Utah State Trust Lands had four options developed because his agency is developing an industrial park near the model airplane airport and the traffic that development will generate will probably give a steady traffic flow in the area.

Most of the members serving on the planning and zoning commission seemed to prefer the fourth option presented.

Dale Stapley of the Utah Department of Transportation was in attendance at the meeting in connection with a different matter and Tatton asked the UDOT respresentative for an opinion on the intersection.

"Why don't you think about putting in a roundabout instead," suggested Stapley. "They handle a lot more traffic. The ones in Utah County have solved some real problems. We are even using them to come off busy freeway intersections, such as one that was just completed in St. George."

Burton, however, wondered whether Carbon County residents and vistors would feel comfortable with that type of intersection.

"Most people are uncomfortable with them until they use them a little and then they find out how much better they work in areas with offset intersections," pointed out the UDOT representative.

"Round-abouts are popping up all over the state and this could be a good place to introduce Carbon residents to that type of interchange."

The panelvoted to table the issue until additional study could be completed on the type of intersection that would work best at the location at the fairgrounds.

•The board approved the plans for the construction of a pavilion on the Woodfield property on Beaver Creek Road.

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