City Council members can't agree what rural means.

Should all new fences in Mapleton be chain link or board and rail? Should all new outbuildings look like barns or garages?"Right now the city doesn't know," said city planner Karen McCandless. "Each council member has a different idea."

The city's new general plan has been put on hold until the council can come to a consensus.

"I believe a lot of words that define rural are in the Vision Statement," said Councilwoman Charlee Hanna. The Vision Statement was formulated from a questionnaire that circulated to every home in Mapleton. It is also a major focal point on the entire revision of the city's general plan.

In addition to fences and outbuildings, the council is trying to determine what the city's future rural roads should look like. Should they all have curb and gutter and how wide should they be?

How much property should be set aside for agricultural use and how many animals can be on a given lot are other elements the council is considering. Open space, water and trees will also play a role in what the city planners want the community to look like.

"We have people on the council who are very competent to cover the small things," Hanna said.

While the council works on its definitions, the Planning Commission continues working on the provisions for open space and on clustering developments. When the commission sent its first open space proposal to the council, the council again had varying ideas on what "open space" means.

Some are saying the clustering allows for parks and a good view in each new development, but others say open space would be better served by requiring homes to be built on a minimum of 21/2 acres.

The one thing all the council members agree on is that they must follow the city's Vision Statement when designing their general plan, and then hold tight to that plan.

"The growth is going to happen," McCandless said. "I'm sensing this general plan, when done, will be a mandated general plan."

Currently Mapleton's general plan, like most Utah cities, is advisory; there is flexibility for changes. With a mandated general plan, there is little, if any flexibility.

"Land use has such a wide impact. The important thing is what's going to make Mapleton a desirable place to live," said McCandless.