HOOPER — New leadership will be coming to Hooper, and, for now, voters have three hopefuls to choose from — Dale Fowers, Lori Brinkerhoff and Tyce Jensen.
Growth, more specifically, how to manage it, is a big issue for all three.
Korry Green, the incumbent mayor, isn’t running for the post, setting the stage for a new city leader. The primary is set for Aug. 13, though mail-in balloting is already occurring, and the top two vote-getters move on to the Nov. 5 general election.
Here’s a look at the three primary hopefuls, pulling from bios they submitted to the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office and their own campaign materials. Their submissions to a Standard-Examiner questionnaire sent to candidates across Weber County are to be published separately.
“Hooper will continue to grow but should grow thoughtfully with careful consideration of the current and future residents. Part of putting Hooper first is putting the residents of Hooper first,” Fowers said.
He suggests review of the city’s general plan, which guides development in Hooper, allowing the public to sound off on possible changes. “The city staff can then update zoning and building ordinances to follow the general plan and developers and builders will be required to comply to the zoning and building ordinances,” he said.
Differences brought on by development, he said, citing the example of new growth abutting farmland, can typically be resolved “by following good building and zoning ordinances.” Likewise, zoning and building ordinances can be crafted to allow scattering of affordable housing all around Hooper, addressing state guidelines mandating such housing.
He thinks Hooper and its neighboring cities should join forces in creating recreation programs for kids.
Brinkerhoff, a member of the Hooper City Council from 2014 to 2017, touts “guided growth,” striking a balance between new development and maintaining open spaces.
Guided growth, she said in a Facebook post, “means not allowing developers to be aggressive and request high-density housing.” As expansion occurs, she would favor keeping lot sizes no smaller than a half an acre, rebuffing pressure to put homes on lots as small as a quarter acre.
Likewise, she would strive to maintain open space, parks and trails, perhaps, as new growth comes in. “It is making sure houses are not built on every square foot,” she said on Facebook.
To comply with state guidelines on affordable housing, she suggested pushing for development of more mother-in-law apartments, apartments carved out of existing single-family homes. She’s not opposed to duplexes or four-plexes, she added, “in the correct balance! We need vibrant young families here in Hooper!”
Brinkerhoff also touted her prior experience as a city council member. “We need strong, focused leadership to design what type of growth we would like in Hooper and where that is to be located. My service and assignments as a Hooper City Council member has afforded me the knowledge and experience needed to coordinate and execute such an impactful project effectively,” she said.
Jensen, a realtor, says property owners have rights and the city can’t put a halt to building. However, officials can manage it.
“I would like to see developers build open space with parks, walking, riding paths, wetlands, fishing ponds and riding arenas,” he said.
Similarly, he believes in allowing a mix of lot sizes for new housing development, though he doesn’t want development to be too dense.
“I want to see a mix of properties, 1-acre, 1/2, 1/4-acre lots mixed in with multi-acre and farmland,” he said. “I do not want to see condos and apartments, we need to plan as a city for the affordable living space, so it is not chosen for us by the government.”
Assuring public safety, too, is a priority, and he suggested the Weber County Sheriff’s Office‘s Volunteers in Police Service program could be an avenue to increase patrolling in the city. He’d also like to see formation of a recreation department in the city.
Philosophically, Jensen indicated unease with letting government get too unwieldy.
“I am a committed man, who cherishes Hooper and I, too, want a lot of what you want. I want to be left alone, to tinker on my cars, and NOT taxed or permitted to death by the city or the county,” he said.
Primary voters in Hooper will also be weighing in on the race for two at-large posts on the Hooper City Council. The hopefuls are Ryan Hill, an incumbent, Cindy Cox, Travis Argyle, Chris Morris and Matthew Deyo. The top four vote-getters move on to the Nov. 5 general election.