Saturday, September 30, 2006

$60 Million & 308,000 Sq. Ft.

Is this reasonable for Wasatch High School?

Total Sq.Ft. - - - 308,000
# Students - - - 1,500 capacity
Cost - - - - - - - -$59,500,000

$/Sq.Ft. - - - - - - $193.18
$/Student -- - - - $39,667 at capacity, $59,500 at start up
Sq.Ft./Student - - 205.3 at capacity, 308.0 at start up

The 2006 School Construction Report (page 6) reports the following National Medians for High Schools:
Total Sq.Ft.- - - 120,000
# Students - - - -1,200
Cost - - - - - - - - $30,000,000
$/Sq.Ft. - - - - -- - $150.00
$/Student - - - - - $25,333
Sq.Ft./Student - - - 162.5

The proposed Wasatch High is above the Medians by:
Total Sq.Ft.- - - 156%
# Students - - - -25%
Cost - - - - - - - - 98%
$/Sq.Ft. - - - - -- - 31%
$/Student - - - - - 56% at capacity, 135% at start up
Sq.Ft./Student - - - 26% at capacity, 90% at start up

How does the proposal compare to other Utah High Schools?
The Utah State Office of Education reports on school construction. Since 1999 they report the building of 15 High Schools, in Utah, as follows:

Logan-------9,700----$900,000--mar 99------? - - - - -$92.78-------?----------?
Parowan---17,964----$1,500,000--jun 99----366-------$83.50-----$4,098-----49
Cedar City-233,199--$20,000,000-Aug 00---896------$85.76-----$22,321---260
Tooele-----239,470--$16,736,000--aug 02---1824------$69.89-----$9,175---131
StGeorge---27,382----$2,300,000-jun 00------?--------$84.00-------?----------?
Murray----255,000--$24,000,000-jun 03 --1527------$94.12-----$15,717------167
Granite -----58,000---$6,000,000-sep 02----?--------$103.45--------?---------?
Duchesne----51,666---$4,300,000-sep 03----299------$83.23-----$14,381-----173
Kaysville----321,344--$32,000,000-dec 04--2230-----$99.58----$14,350-----144
Kearns------119,456----Donated---spring 03---?----------$0.00---------?----------?
SLC----------71,273----$7,000,000-dec 03-----?--------$98.21--------?----------?
StG----------61,000---$5,800,000-aug 06-----?--------$95.08--------?----------?
Springville---30,805----$2,900,000-dec 04---1411------$94.14-----$2,055-----22
Syracuse ----383,000--$38,000,000-apr 07----?--------$99.22--------?----------?

School Bond Survey

With a reasonable number of responses to the poll on Wasatch County growth, including many excellent comments; a poll was created concerning the proposed School Bond hoping to gain some more comments (pro and con) on the issue.

The growth issue poll was, from its inception, overwhelmingly of the opinion that Wasatch has too much growth and is not doing well at managing it. The School bond received mixed responses of about 55% opposed to 35% favoring. At least until September 25 through 27, when 17 responses arrived. Remarkably, 11 were "Strongly in favor" of the Bond and most made a comment about the current school being outdated or old. On further analysis of the results, it was found that five of these responses came from the same IP address and four came from another.

Lo and behold, the first IP ( was traced back to the "Utah Educational Network" The second (192.107.181.) is assigned to Utah Valley State College Org.

On Wednesday, 9/27, two officials from the Wasatch County School District were interviewed on KTMP about education and school bond issues. After the online interview, this curious coincidence was mentioned to these individuals - with virtually no response.

The next day (9/28), between 8:15 AM and 10:55PM, the poll received an astounding 87 responses to the survey - even more astounding, 80 were STRONGLY IN FAVOR, 4 were somewhat in favor and 2 were opposed, but only a few were sent from the above mentioned IP addresses.

Are we now witnessing a spontaneous uprising of the masses in favor of better education of "the children" through bricks?

Friday, the deluge continued with 49 "responses" with a mere three opposed. The capping finality occurred late in the evening. The last 13 of the evening were posted from 10:08:07 PM to 10:22:38 from the same IP (Comcast) (or computer?) 13 responses in 14 minutes shows a great deal of thought and consideration, doesn't it.

Most of the comments indicated the belief that their taxes would GO DOWN! One respondent (who actually twice at 2006-09-29 22:11:30 AND at 2006-09-29 22:10:55) said "I have a house on an acre valued at $750,000, my taxes are only going up $16." Can anyone seriously believe a $60 million bond will NOT raise taxes?

His (or their) other comments: "The cost per 100,000 is $3 less than the Heber Valley bond that was passed approximately 6 years ago, and we are getting $50 million more worth of building. The Heber Valley bond will be paid off 4 years earlier, and has gone from $81 per $100,000 property valuation to $18 per $100,000 property valuation. Please do your homework prior to using an internet survey macro. Give me a break. Math and statistics lab, so people like you who made a weak attempt at designing a survey, might be better educated through their children attending a state-of-the-art facility.

This is a stupid survey. You don't ask any demographic questions, like whether I am on a fixed income or whether I am worth $2 million dollars. Don't you think this would have an impact on my answers. This is an example of the uneducated population in this valley, and just another reason to have a new high school so our future generations can appropriately design and execute a survey that evaluates objectively the local opinion."

Shall we post the name of this poll taker???

While all poll responses are appreciated, a little originality, logic and respect in the comments is strongly encouraged.

The proponents of the School Bond now have a web site - Vote Yes for a New Wasatch High School. We would encourage everone to carefully weigh the issues and vote based on that careful analysis and not succumb to emotion. Here's an opportunity to offer an educational lesson for the children, by example, of the need to differentiate between NEEDS and WANTS.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What to do about growth

1 Educate Yourself

To find the rules of growth, planning and zoning, see County Title 16, the County General Plan for Wasatch County. For Heber City, see the Heber City Code (particularly Titles 17 & 18).

To read the City survey, click here - Big Box for the presentation and results

Other contacts, Wasatch County Heber City and we mustn't forget Midway

2 Inform your Neighbors

In Wasatch County, Empty land has Property Rights, People in HOMES do not! The avowed purpose of "Zoning" is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. That must include the current residents who have repeatedly expressed their collective desire to maintain a rural, small town environment.

They have built and purchased homes at least partly predicated on promised zoning. Regulations are being continually modified toward higher and higher densities and more and more growth in defiance of the expressed desires of the residents.

3 Express your Opinions

To contact your elected officials, see County Council and Heber City Council and/or the Mayor or City Manager

Mike Davis Wasatch County Manager, 654-3211 fax 657-5116

Mark Anderson Heber City Manager, 654-0757
Alan Fawcett Planning Director, 654-4830

4 We need to understand, we ALL live in Wasatch County!

(The recent growth survey was posted at Preliminary results were posted below in this blog.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Recordings of Public Meetings

Effective 1 May 2006 all public meetings must be recorded and made accessible to anyone. "(3) (a) The minutes and recordings of an open meeting are public records and shall be available within a reasonable time after the meeting."

A request was made for the recording of the joint County - City meeting and a fee of $12 was required for the CD. Subsequent to that request the County Council decided that the county should recover the cost of the equipment required to record the meetings and the fee was raised to $20.

A logical question to be asked - who paid for the recording equipment? Obviously the taxpayers. With the idea toward transparency in government and providing information on all government activity, shouldn't the county residents have the information available at no or minimal cost? Or better yet why not post the recordings on the web as the Utah legislature does? People have the right to know!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Joint Wasatch County Heber City Meeting

On August 14, the county and the city held a joint meeting to discuss issues of growth, annexation and working together. The primary focus for the first half of the meeting was working together to facilitate the Red Ledges development as a joint project.
Below is a 'paraphrase' "transcript" extracts of the meeting - an interesting discussion. The numbers indicate the times from the beginning of the meeting on the recording. (No minutes of this meeting are found on the County website.) Phillips or DP = Dave Phillips, Heber City Mayor; Anderson or MA = Mark Anderson; Heber City Manager; Lange = Terry Lange, City Council; Price or JP = Jay Price County Council Chair; Davis = Mike Davis, County Manager and other members.

9:40 Philips; This is unique (working together) If Red Ledges makes sense and feels right - It’ll be a landmark . It'll benefit the county for a long time. If you are willing to consider we can take it to the next step.

11:30 Phillips: $1.2 million in property taxes to city on the whole project Red Ledges
Price: Cost to city?
Anderson; I can’t say that (have) figured it
??? Red Ledges says 40% second homes - I don’t trust those developers

12:30 MA: was 1800 ERU's down to 1400 their marketing says the number may go done more.
Davis: Could be different because it’s in the valley, most of secondary homes are out of valley
Phillips: They (RL and developers) say more secondary because not much service to secondary homes. (Italicized comments added)

Lange: some history

15:00 Phillips: We’ve shared our vision
Price; Questions from council ??
Farrell; With a joint planning impasse who has final say?
Phillips: We need a fall back plan - this is what we are going to do. We have differences on safety issues

17:20 DP; divide fees based on ERU’s Committee to work on it In the end we're living here, this is for the folks down the road. We’re not getting anything out of it.
JP; what are your fees?
(Most of the discussion seems to center on how much can be collected in fees - NOT how it affects the future)

18:20 City fees way low - Anderson: escrow actual costs.
Price: 5% for engineering 3% for water we get em for 8% Barely covering costs with that.

19:50 Anderson; we see our boundaries as being restricted this provides us with growth areas to west.
PC Zone City; 40% open space 5500 sqft lots 2 units per acre. (New) McCluskey (60 acres/120 units) nw of mcNaughtan (between McN and city)

Davis; Annex to collect city taxes? YES
Davis; You will annex Wasatch View acres. Illegal without that. Will you Annex Gary Conrad above greener Hills.

22:40 Anderson; Annexation plan dynamic. People might want to annex from twin creeks SSD
Davis; Draw a lIne ?
DP; what are you trying to say Mike - just say it.
Davis; we aren't trying to annex Twin Creek into Heber; we have a line at the city.

23:24 Phillips; Response to Jul 6 Co letter County wants TROZ (16.18) hard to do if you can't set city boundary
Phillips; what do want us to say? To annex Burns without view acrew would be a peninsula. (Illegal)
Davis; we need to know where the city will stop.
Phillips; Maybe I’m reading something into this - I apologize you are asking where do we stop.

25:45 Davis; will the city consider the next to the east
Price; Scott just bot that property and will want the same consideration

26: 15 Davis: TROZ offers higher density adjacent to city. M (meant P160) zone is 160 per home when adjacent to city becomes potentially M zone "with the density we are going to see in the Burns development" (RL & mountain Zone not in TROZ)
If it stays P160, $12 million is very expensive for 40 homes, (Actually $300K/ lot is not too exorbitant these days in the valley) If he is adjacent to city there’s a potential for m zone
Shari Lazenby; How big is the TROZ Davis; TROZ = 2 things Heber annexation and adjacent to that area (NO- not clear, seems to want to include RL as adjacent see 16.08.01)

28:49 Kohler; county trying to give comparative density next to city - you allow 4 per acre 1 acre looks good compare to what you’ve got. If the city was not annexing we would not give as much density than is being considering now. How do we get around that?
Lange; We stayed of ? annexation makes your property more profitable. (Why do we continue to worry about the profitability of empty land and not about the taxes caused on the current property owners) Why do we have to fill in Wasatch view acres they don't want in Behind there they may want to - Cove

31:52 Kohler; If the city keeps annexing up the hill how do we get open space anywhere? If we don't do something you will keep annexing.
Lange; Get a petition (for annexation) and let’s talk about it.
Kohler; The assumption is if we don’t do something, you will so we have to do something.
Farrell??; if we have successful joint planning on RL, I don’t know why you abandon it.
DP;. With PPD we can create open space, our PPD give open space - bring your 160 acres and will talk about it.

33:34 Kohler; The leverage is always there (annexation) they can always come to the city and get more. If the city continues to annex to increase revenue. We have two different ideas. (Open space vs. revenue??)
DP; I like the plan for McN because it has open space, not a grid square subdivision. The rest of the Burns property should be more open than that.
Kohler; He didn’t spend $12mill without expecting something We have to break that expectations that higher densities are available.

36:30 Anderson; philosophical differences. SLC, Summit and Wasatch are pro development. It would be nice to have areas to grow into. Avoid the competition, (between city and county) sit down and plan something for this valley rather than add a lot of density
DP; It terrible that you have to make the decision based on us. If all of the growth had gone from the city outward we wouldn’t be having this problem. 50 years from now we have x people maybe we'll say we should have done better. Maybe tonight is the beginning of the game. This may good for Burns but what problem will it create. Next people come along and change everything
Price; That’s a mistaken attitude. County hasn't gone out promoted development. People have come in and promoted development.
??? ; We haven't either.

39:45 Price; Apparently you aren't feeling the pressure that we are getting to slow development. What are Heber citizens saying?
Lange; Developers always want more development.
KC; people say shut it off
DP;: 95% say I’ve got my place - stop. they don't want more subdivision. They want their open space at someone else’s expense.

Price; Mark, you’re saying leave the open space in the county so we can expand into it. We're saying develop in the county at less density.
DP; Take that to RL and work together. They already given up some density since they started. (Actually they started out high). Then we go to the next guy west and say do you want to build something.
I‘d like to see that guy 6th south collaborate with neighbor. for open space. Maybe one acre is the best we can get.

44:00 DP; we need to work this out
Price; OK, How do we deal with the transition to county
DP; county is more open than city. Where does leave us in the city with the property owners that want to develop. If we say let’s develop everything in the county form this day forward where does that leave the city?
Davis; Is it the government responsibility to maximize the profit to someone that owns property or let them develop under guidelines that are socially compatible with the people that live here?

DP; By limiting them to one house per one or five acres we are taking away their property rights. If I’m saying something wrong, let me know.
Davis: City protested Jordanelle. If the guy wants to build on 40 and River Rd. why not let him, why not let him (under your philosophy?

DP; Because I’d like him to build a it out on 12th South.
Lange; back in the pre Davis days, Mathis came to city and asked for support for stopping commercial north of town. We agreed. I voted no on Southfield Rd annexation turned down. We turned it down many times and have been harassed.

49:15 My wife’s nephew wants to develop condos flowing north into north fields on 105 acres. I told him to stop talking. I ask Val and you what’s the density there, I’m still skeptical with the Bypass road thru that property. Because I thought you guys would protest.

50:54 DP; it's property owners right to annex, city makes decision whether to accept. (City has the right and responsibility to set the annexation zone and protect the welfare of the community)

52:26 Davis; we have no say in annexation.