Residents supporting a "vision statement" for the city got a revelation at Tuesday's City Council meeting - what the majority wants, the majority doesn't always get.
The vision statement sprang from a grass-roots effort to define what residents wanted for their community. It began with more than 70 percent of the community responding to an open-ended survey.From those responses, a committee of 56 volunteers gleaned information and condensed the respondents' wishes into the formal vision statement.
The initial intent was to adopt the vision statement as part of the city's general plan. But with more then 60 in attendance and after nearly 21/2 hours of heated debate, the council voted to accept the statement by resolution to be just a common philosophy. They said it should be used by all elected officials and city departments and be publicly and prominently displayed in all city buildings.
Council member Marilyn Petersen, who spearheaded the project, said, "This is a shared sense of direction and is compatible with the general plan. It contributes to the orderly development of the city. It's a reflection of the common values of the city."
Opponents of the statement were concerned about its legality and possible interpretations.
"You're setting in motion a chain of events you won't be able to control," said Greg Simonson, a local attorney. "It may come back against the community. The majority can't vote away the rights of those who are personal-property owners."
He also asked who would define "family values."
"What does it mean? For some that means more child-care facilities."
Mark Staples, who manages land at the base of Maple Mountain owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said, "We support the concept of having a good plan. But be fair and equitable; use caution, use balance, be fair and don't overreact. Make sure property owners and developers are treated fairly."
In a letter to the council, Dave Hanna, a supporter of the statement, reminded members that "this is the mind and the will of the people of Mapleton."
Sharon Gomez told the council, "You have a guideline that helps you serve. The people have spoken." She added, "The integrity of the council should abide by the wishes of the community."
But City Council members had concerns adopting the statement into the general plan. Some expressed concern that a provision supporting open spaces would be interpreted as calling for 21/2-acre lots in residential zones.
The city has already passed a zoning law requiring 21/2-acre lots in many areas, mostly in the south end of the city.
"Economically we can't support a city on the taxes of 21/2-acre lots," council member Wynn Everett said. "Some feel discriminated against in the south end of town because of the 21/2-acre zone."
Council member Walter Walser said he had reservations on where the vision statement should be put and council member Wave Miguel said, "the vision statement is similar to the general plan. Maybe we're just not enforcing it (the general plan)."
In a passionate plea to the council, resident Ken Snyder said, "This is another chance for citizens to vote for what they want. The citizens will remember how the council votes on this. The citizens have spoken. They (the council) say they want to listen, but they vote the way they want."
The vision statement
We in Mapleton:
1. Are a unique community retaining a peaceful, country atmosphere through rural master planning.
2. Are citizens who participate in deciding matters that affect us; help our neighbors; and, when necessary, subordinate self-interests for the good of all. 3. Preserve the beauty of our community and surroundings.
4. Promote family values and community effort in order to maintain safe and friendly neighborhoods.
5. Have well-planned, accessible open areas.
6. Encourage economic development as it harmonizes with our community lifestyle.
7. Because we hold true to these principles, our community offers a quality lifestyle for a family environment. In summary, we have controlled growth with community input.
a. Family-oriented activities and facilities.
b. Clean air and water.
c. Preserving and planting trees.
d. Gross density planning.
e. Preserving animal rights.
f. Polling and sharing resources, facilities and ideas with other communities. g. Maintaining our own police, fire and emergency services.
h. Aesthetic building and style codes for industrial and commercial areas.
i. A general vote on issues with citywide impact (i.e., sewer, significant changes to the general plan, etc.)
k. Preserving the beauty of Maple Mountain.
l. Agriculture, parks, green spaces, trails and paths to accommodate walking, horseback riding and bicycling.
a. Growth at the cost of open space, neighborhood privacy, health and safety and ability to provide services.
b. Dense road grids.
c. High-density housing
d. Development on the mountainsides.