OGDEN — With the proposal to incorporate a large expanse of western Weber County teetering on defeat, county commissioners should now take a look at updating the planning document for the area, says a foe of the measure.
Residents of a 57-square-mile expanse west of Plain City, Marriott-Slaterville and West Haven weighed in on Proposition 18, the measure calling for incorporation of the area and its conversion into Weber County’s 16th locale. According to new vote totals released Friday, though, opponents of Proposition 18 still have the upper hand, with 1,522 votes against the measure, 56% of the total, and 1,196, 44%, supporting it. The 12 percentage point split is narrower than when initial results came out on Tuesday, but it’s still a sizable spread, with only a limited number of ballots left to be counted.
And presuming the measure is ultimately voted down, Tom Favero, a farmer in the area who opposed the measure, says county commissioners should commence with updating the general plan. Growth in western Weber County was one of the central issues that led to Proposition 18 and the general plan is the document that guides development in the county’s unincorporated corners.
“It’s time that they worked on it,” said Favero. Reworking the outdated document had been on county officials’ plate, but the debate over Proposition 18 and prospects of its passage put the efforts on hold.
Supporters of Proposition 18, meantime, aren’t saying much, at least for now. The new locale had a working name of West Weber Community.
“We are hopeful for a great outcome once all the votes have been entered. Whatever the outcome, we will still be neighbors and want the best for our towns,” said Valerie Hansen, who promoted passage of Proposition 18.
Proposition 18 turned into a red-hot topic in western Weber County, characterized by farmland and, increasingly, small residential subdivisions. Proponents touted incorporation as a way for locals to better control the pace of future development in the area, overseen, as is, by county commissioners. The new city, if formed, would have been led by its own city council and slate of leaders. Foes, though, expressed concern that incorporation would result in new taxes. Some were also uncomfortable with the notion of starting a city from scratch.
The prospects of incorporation prompted some foes in the impacted area to seek annexation into Plain City instead. That process continues to move forward. It’s unfortunate the property owners felt pressured into seeking annexation, Favero said, “when they were just fine in Weber County as long as they weren’t going to get gobbled up by a new city.”
Favero, who owns farmland in the West Weber Community area, favors keeping the area unincorporated.