The city is growing up but development means some of the traditions of rural, small-town life are going by the wayside, Layton city council members decided last week when they discussed an ordinance banning hunting within the city limits.
Police Chief Doyle Talbot, who grew up in Layton, made his recommendation reluctantly but said hunters, mostly pheasant and dove shooters, have created too many problems in the city.Most hunting in the last few years has been on the city's semirural west side, still dotted with fields and pasture land.
The city's development in that area has been a pattern of strips of annexation along roads and streets, with scattered residential and subdivision areas and islands of unincorporated county land.
Talbot told the council he tried to work out a way in which hunting in the west end could be preserved, but enforcement would be a major problem in determining exactly where the city's boundaries lie.
And, the chief said, the remaining open areas are adjacent to or surrounded by development. With state regulations banning shooting with 600 feet of a dwelling or other building, it's almost impossible to legally hunt those areas, he said.
In their discussion of the proposed ordinance, most of the council members said they, too, had hunted Layton's fields, and they appeared disheartened that the city must outlaw the sport.
If the state approves it, the ordinance will be returned to the city for further discussion before approval.