Citizens petition for new town
February 5, 2008
Hoytsville is on the verge of incorporating in eastern Summit County thanks to a bill state Rep. Mel Brown, R-Coalville, sponsored last year.
Several meetings have drawn large crowds in North Summit interested in gaining control of their government. Restrictive zoning codes in eastern Summit County irk some landowners who say the rules won’t even allow them to give their children a building lot.
"By more than a three-to-one margin, citizens expressed their desire to incorporate Hoytsville," a recommendation from a committee formed to discuss the proposal states.
Creating the town would allow citizens to elect five councilpersons and a mayor, and form their own planning department.
But because Summit County currently provides these services, property taxes for Hoytsville residents could increase.
"Many landowners in Hoytsville have become increasingly frustrated with provisions in the Eastern Summit County Development Code, in particular those dealing with deed restrictions as part of a cluster bonus program and other elements of the code deemed to de overly restrictive to ownership rights," the recommendation states.
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Landowners in Hoytsville voted 43-10 to move ahead with a petition to incorporate at a meeting Jan. 3. The petition’s sponsors include North Summit residents Sue Follett, Frank Judd, Michael Crittenden, Bill Wilde and Doug Geary.
The role of the sponsors is to collect signatures from landowners who represent a majority of the total amount of private land in Hoytsville. Then the petition gets submitted to Summit County Clerk Kent Jones.
"When somebody petitions to incorporate, they take care of all the proceedings and do the mapping," Jones said. "Basically, all I do is notify the planning department and the County Commission and the county attorney."
Towns in Utah usually have more than 100 and fewer than 1,000 people.
There are three main reasons to incorporate: to provide services, local control and to create and preserve a sense of the community, according to David Church, an attorney for the Utah League of Cities and Towns.
The zoning code on the East Side makes it difficult for landowners to give a building lot to their children without placing deed restrictions on the rest of their property that allow only agriculture on the land, supporters of incorporating Hoytsville say.
"Additional benefits of incorporation have come to light during the process, however, the genesis of the effort can be traced to land use issues," the recommendation to incorporate states.
The incorporation of Hoytsville would not likely make property taxes increase, supporters of the controversial proposal say.
The town could begin receiving municipal taxes paid to the county for planning and other services. Hoytsville could also be eligible for local option sales taxes, utility tax and a portion of taxes collected by state officials on the sale of gasoline.
Hoytsville’s first mayor and councilpersons would likely be appointed by the Summit County Commission.
For more information, call Jones. From the West Side his number is 615-3203. From North Summit, the number is 336-3203. People in South Summit can call 783-4451, extension 3203.