Construction Western Weber 07

Land available in western Weber County on Thursday, March 14, 2019. Residents in the area are petitioning for a study to incorporate the rural area into what would be the county's 16th city.

A Weber County contingent pushing the proposal of turning the unincorporated western swath of the county into a city will have to do a little bit more work first.

A group of residents from the zone submitted a petition to the state, asking for a study into the possibility of incorporating the area west of Plain City, Marriott-Slaterville and West Haven. For such a proposal to move to the next step, the landholdings of those signing petitions must represent 10 percent of the landmass of the proposed city and seven percent of the private valuation of all real property, per state law.

Western Weber County incorporate

A new city? Residents of western Weber County submitted a petition with state officials in February 2019 asking that they study the possibility of incorporating the area, turning it into a new city, which would be the county's 16th. The proposed city would cover the area in white, north of Hooper and west of West Haven, Marriott-Slaterville, Plain City and Farr West. The map shows western Weber County and a portion of the Upper Ogden Valley area, east of the county's population cluster around Ogden.

The petitioners met the threshold related to property valuation, said Duncan Murray, a lawyer who’s aiding the effort. But they didn’t get enough signatures to comply with the landmass requirement, he said, and will continue to gather signatures.

“We should be able to get it,” Murray said. He and the others involved hope to get the signatures they need within a month, though they don’t face an imminent deadline.

Those involved in the campaign initially submitted their petition last month with the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s Office and received word last week that they need more signatures to meet the landmass threshold.

More and more subdivisions are popping up in western Weber County, otherwise characterized by wide open spaces and farmland, and it’s prompted concern among some who worry the area will lose its rural charm. Those involved in the petition drive have said incorporating — making the area the county’s 16th city, complete with a mayor and city council — would give them control over zoning rules and future development.

But it’s a long process.

Presuming they get enough signatures, the state would carry out a study to determine if the zone could financially sustain itself as a city. If it proceeds far enough, residents would eventually weigh in at the ballot box in a future election on the question of becoming a city.

Murray said residents have expressed curiosity about the process, interested in what their options are. As is, Weber County government land policy governs the unincorporated areas of the county.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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