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Fight for group-home site isn’t over, company vows

SHARE Fight for group-home site isn’t over, company vows

A company proposing a group home in Spanish Fork Canyon for at-risk children says it will go to court to overturn a decision barring construction.

The Utah County Board of Adjustment voted 3-1 Tuesday night to deny an appeal by Ascent Inc. to build the home near the junction of U.S. 6 and the Sheep Creek Road. Board members cited concerns over water quality and distance from police and fire services.Scott Peterson, president of Ascent, said his company will file an action in 4th District Court.

The Ascent case was one of two petitions for group homes in the Spanish Fork Canyon area that the board denied Tuesday night.

The board also rejected a special exception sought by Heritage Youth Services to convert a house into a youth group home for 12 children. A group of residents from the Birdseye area opposed the plan.

The board said there was no evidence the building could meet the fire code, would not decrease property values or be compatible with the neighborhood. The board also said the site was too isolated to be protected by police and fire services.

Peterson told the board that Ascent's proposed 24-hour supervised correctional school would be built on 95 acres adjacent to a restaurant, service station and recreational vehicle park.

Sherrie Christensen, county planner, said the board denied the appeal because of environmental concerns, increased traffic in the canyon and safety issues. She also questioned building such a facility next to a service station, restaurant and trailer court.

A report prepared for the board by the county also questioned the size of septic facilities needed for a school of its size, the availability of water for culinary and landscape purposes and the distance from police and fire protection. Christensen said the response time from Spanish Fork would be 30 minutes if there were no traffic.

Peterson said the Utah City/County Health Department had assured him that percolation tests in the area indicated it would support a septic system of the size needed. He said he also had met with Utah County Sheriff David Bateman to resolve concerns Bateman had about increased traffic and distance from service.