APPLE VALLEY, Washington County — A vote in a couple of weeks could mean the end of this small southern Utah town that was incorporated less than eight years ago.
Apple Valley became a town in 2004. But now, some residents are pushing to disincorporate and slow the changes they say they want no part of.
"There's a lot of us who came for this, for what this is, not for what it's going to become," Tammy Warner said, of the town that's just a 12-mile drive east of Hurricane along state Route 59, in view of Zion National Park.
Warner, 52, is one of several people in this town of about 750 who will vote June 19 to continue the town and its associated costs, or return to unincorporated status as a part of Washington County.
"Everything in the agenda seems to be driven by what's good for the developers, not necessarily with anything to do with the well-being of the town people," Apple Valley resident Harlan Ashby said.
Jake Dumpling is one of the residents who questions some of the town officials' decisions and wants the town to be disincorporated. He questions the need for a special service district. He questions the effectiveness of the town's fire department, which is made up of volunteers, wishing instead for county fire coverage.
Others look at rising water rates and new zoning laws attracting development they say threaten the status quo.
But others point to the work already accomplished to attract new residents to the town and the identity forged when it incorporated in 2004. Disincorporate, and the plans for services and growth is derailed.
"There is a small core of people who are unhappy for reasons that are not logical," Apple Valley resident Judith Davis said.
She said she goes to town council meetings to find out what's really going on, instead of listening to the gossip that can race through a small town.
Currently, there are approximately 300 homes in Apple Valley, with 10 new homes being added to the town each year.
"I'm disappointed people don't take the initiative to find out the problem before they speak up," said resident Neil Duncan.
Apple Valley Mayor Rick Moser said the issues are all part of the town's growing pains.
"It's not that we're not trying," Moser said. "It's just, we're small. We're in the beginning stages, and you have to take things one step at a time."
That pertains to zoning to attract homes and jobs that come from the district or growth.
A town hall meeting to discuss the upcoming June 19 elections and the disincorporation of the town is scheduled for June 12.
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc