GRANITE ROCKS!

 Granite Rocks–Newsletter of the Granite Community Council

Winter 2013-2014

Message from Mayor Ben McAdams

During last year’s county mayoral campaign, I heard from all sides of the debate and from all areas of the unincorporated county about incorporation and annexation fights.

Months of time and thousands of dollars have been expended during the past 30 years over this issue. The latest major battle occurred in 2012, over whether or not to incorporate Millcreek Township. That ballot initiative was defeated—58% against versus 42% in favor.

So far this year, petitions are circulating for another incorporation effort in Millcreek and a move by 1,200 Millcreek homeowners to annex into the city of Holladay.  Both are in various stages of a lengthy process, with unpredictable outcomes.

All sides raise valid concerns that should be addressed. The options available under current state law force a choice between imperfect options. I believe there’s a better way.

I’ve drafted a proposal that I’ve been outlining during meetings with individuals and small groups over the past three months. My motivation is this:  resolving decades of border uncertainty within Salt Lake County would allow us to come together on expanding economic development, increasing jobs and bringing sustainable economic vitality to the Greater Salt Lake area.

I believe my draft proposal would provide the following:

  • Predictability and community stability. Borders would be stabilized and certainty would prevail over fears of “land grabs” by neighboring cities and worries about fluctuating revenues and service costs to taxpayers.
  • Direct representation for residents of unincorporated county regarding how their local tax dollars are spent.
  • A broad tax base that supports needs throughout the unincorporated county.
  • A robust economic development organization to compete for businesses and jobs on behalf of unincorporated communities.

The “Better Government and Community Preservation Project” offers existing townships the opportunity to become municipal entities within the Greater Salt Lake area and elect representatives to a Municipal Council. This Council would have direct authority over municipal budget, taxing, planning and zoning matters for their area. These powers would shift away from the present Salt Lake County Council and would reside with the elected Municipal Council. The Salt Lake County Council retains its district- and county-wide representation and continues to oversee regional matters. The Salt Lake County Mayor remains the elected CEO for the county and the new entities. [Note: areas that are not existing townships, like Granite, would have the opportunity to vote on whether they became part of this new entity. That would not make Granite a township.]

The proposal also creates a Foothill Mountain Canyon Planning District. Members of this district are from the entire Salt Lake Valley region, not just unincorporated county. Their recommendations would be presented to the Salt Lake County Council for final action. Revenue derived from the FMC District remains with that district to fund needed services.

During the past 11 months, I’ve implemented decisions—such as creation of the office of Township Executive and hiring of an economic development director for unincorporated county—to be responsive to the municipal services needs of the approximately 160,000 residents there.

Those are good first steps. But as the steward of precious taxpayer dollars, I want to know that when I invest those dollars in infrastructure and improvements, it’s the residents who paid those taxes—not the city next door—who reap the rewards.

I want to hear from you. Please email me your thoughts about the Community Preservation Project at mayor@slco.org.

Upcoming Granite Community Meeting

Some of the members of the community council have been talking to some of you residents about a need to conduct a public meeting about such subjects as the Community Preservation Project (above), annexation pros & cons (p. 5), and what residents want to see in Granite’s future (e.g., housing density, commercial properties, bike lanes, and trailhead parking?). It will be at Granite Elementary School and people from Sandy City and the County will be asked to attend to answer questions. We don’t have a date yet for the meeting, but we’ll put up signs and do our best to announce it to residents.

Canyon Passes from Unified Police  Each year, Sgt. Travis Skinner visits the Granite Community Council in early winter, to talk about ways that the Unified Police Department (UPD) can improve the traffic flow and access to residents, when avalanches result in canyon closures. Closures cause major backups of employee and skier vehicles, which can block access to residents trying to get in or out of their neighborhoods. Residents in District 5 (the triangle at the mouth of the canyon) and District 6 (Wasatch Resort, in the canyon) are most affected by the closures. UPD officers are assigned to help the traffic flow and canyon passes are provided to residents so that officers can help them through the snarled traffic.

UPD is issuing new color coded access passes to residents at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. Shelly Reich, UPD, will be delivering two vehicle passes to residents in the triangle and Granite Community Council member Susie Albertson will deliver passes to residents in Wasatch Resort.

If residents are home at the time of delivery they may request additional passes. If they’re not home when passes are delivered, and they need additional passes, they can email canyonpasses@updsl.org. If anyone has questions about this program, call Sgt. Skinner directly on his cell (only during daytime hours).

Information was provided by: Sergeant Skinner, Unified Police Department/Canyon Patrol & Rescue, Cell: (801) 386-3945, email: tskinner@updsl.org.

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For information about the Granite Community Council, such as agendas, meeting minutes, etc., see our website (www.granitecommunitycouncil.net).

From the Granite Community Council Chair:

I took a 3-day Crime Prevention class from the National Council on Crime Prevention, to help residents learn what they can do to prevent crimes. The following is the first article I’ve completed; this and others (scams & frauds, crimes against seniors, forming/maintaining a Neighborhood Watch) will be posted on the Council’s website. Please note that there’s been a rash of thefts from cars, mailboxes, and some burglaries in our Granite/Sandy area.

Mary Young

Crime Prevention: Protecting against Home Burglaries:

Burglaries usually happen during the day when you’re at work. It’s easier for a burglar to fit in by arriving in a truck and looking like a contractor. The most common way to enter a home is through an open door or window (called unforced entry). More than 40% of break-ins happen without the use of force which means many of us are leaving houses without locking doors and windows. Open garage door theft is a big problem. In 20 seconds someone can steal a bike, car, or other gear from a garage—or worse yet—you may find him in your bedroom! The most commonly stolen items are valuables that can be carried out and sold easily or melted. But if thieves can take a truck into your garage, they can clean out your house. When you leave your home, lock the door leading from the garage to inside. Not only do we need to keep the garage doors closed, we also need to avoid leaving our car keys in the car! Leaving the garage door ajar is risky; if it has windows, someone can break in within 6 seconds.

Don’t store a ladder on the side or back of your house, allowing easy access into the bedrooms, where most of your valuables are stored. Tool sheds should also be locked. Suspects when running will often hide in a shed. Lock your side & back gates, especially when you go on vacation.

It’s commonly believed that if a determined burglar wants to get inside your house, he or she eventually will. But you can make it an uncomfortable and dangerous experience. Try thinking like a criminal: walk around your house, inside and out, and “case the joint.” Look for signs of weakness, where a burglar could easily gain entry. Entry doors leading to the outside should be solid core. Solid core doors are made of solid or laminated wood, particle board, steel, fiberglass or a combination of these. They are made for exterior use and are much harder to kick open. Hollow core doors are intended for interior use only; they are easy to force or kick open. Older houses often have them as exterior doors.

Keyed entry requires a key to lock or unlock from the exterior. A single cylinder dead bolt requires a key to be used from the outside and a thumb turn to be used from the inside to operate the bolt. If your window is close to the entry door, you may want to install a double cylinder dead bolt. Otherwise, a burglar can easily break the glass if it’s within 40 inches of the door knob and reach in to unlock the dead bolt if it has a turn knob rather than a keyhole. A double cylinder dead bolt requires a key from either the inside or outside to operate the bolt. With the double cylinder lock it’s important to remember safety before security. An idea is to keep the key somewhere close but not close enough to be reached if the window is broken. Another option is a ‘capture key’ which allows you to remove the thumb turn when you leave home. In some areas double cylinder dead bolts are a violation of the fire code, since they can trap a person inside his or her burning home. If double cylinders are unlawful in your town, consider replacing your glass-paned door with a solid one. Also, if your kids tend to lose house keys, consider getting a number code door lock.

Sliding glass doors are like a giant window. They usually have a latch and not a lock, and often are able to be lifted from the track and removed. A dowel or stick can be put in the track, but the door can still be lifted off the track. You can install screws in the track above the door to keep it from being lifted, or drill a hole through the door into the frame to install a pin.

Security window film can be applied to windows to prevent entry–even from a crowbar! This can also shield the sun. Applied to the inside of the window, a burglar can’t enter, but someone inside can get out in case of a fire. The cost runs about $10-12/sq ft. They have different thicknesses and ratings, depending on what your intended use is (e.g., living next to a fireworks factory).

Your landscaping can help or hinder a burglar: Landscaping sends a strong signal to criminals and visibility is the key. Trim trees and bushes so your house is clearly visible from neighbors and the street. Consider planting thorny plants (hostile vegetation) under windows and around fences, such as cactus, roses, bougainvillea, and pyracantha.

Security lighting: Pick exterior light fixtures that light up your walk, front door, etc. Porch and carport lights left on all day signal you are away. Use photo cells or dusk-to-dawn sensors. Motion-sensor lights are effective and should illuminate dark areas of your yard. New technology is getting more cost-effective. Interior lighting should make your house look like someone is home. Use timers or photo sensors. Use window covers so burglars don’t have an open view into your home.

House numbers need to be lit and highly visible, in a contrasting color, at least 4 inches tall, and in a location that’s easily seen.

Fuse boxes should be locked since alarms can be defeated by turning off power when you’re on vacation. If your security company doesn’t know when your power has been turned off, consider changing security companies.

You can mentally fake burglars out by putting a home security system sign in your yard. This won’t guarantee they won’t test out if it’s valid, but it could deter them. According to the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (see at http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/) , most residential thieves stay away from houses with such signs

Dogs as deterrents: Although dogs may not be as eager to protect our homes when we’re not in it as they will protect us, a dog is better than no dog!  Most criminals don’t want to deal with a dog at all, even a small one. Amy Bryant, Sandy City Police Department, advises that a dog is a deterrent because the bigger they are, the scarier they are, and the smaller they are, the more noise they tend to make. Any dog adds another layer of protection. Just as having an alarm system sign can help deter burglars, she advises people to have a Beware of Dog sign. Even if your dog is small or you don’t have one, the sign alone will still be a deterrent.

Operation identification is a burglary/theft prevention program that involves marking and/or engraving property with traceable ownership identification. See http://www.wvc-ut.gov/index.aspx?NID=1159. It has multiple purposes: numbering serves as a deterrent to thieves and the property can be identified and recovered. If you do nothing else, inventory your property. Take videos/photos of your valuables, write down serial numbers, and do an annual update. Use a safety deposit box for the video of your valuables. You can also put an Operation Identification sign on your front window. Burglars will tend to avoid stealing items they can’t fence.

If you don’t have a safe in your home, be creative about where you put valuables and spread the valuables throughout your home. Put things in a coffee can above your refrigerator. Document where you put things (or you may never find them again!). The freezer is a good place for things and burglars don’t usually check out your children’s bedrooms.

Some police departments also offer residents a Home Security Survey, in which they work with the residents to analyze the security problems in their homes. You can do it yourself, using the survey adapted from Manchester CT’s Police Department, available at www.granitecommunitycouncil.net, on our Crime Prevention & Safety page.

9-1-1 Problem

On November 1, 2013, Sandy City officially changed over to the SLC 9-1-1 Dispatch service. At the time, they expected that a computer-aided dispatch (CAD)-to-CAD interface would be operational, so that calls coming in from areas on the fringe of Sandy, including from Granite residents on cell phones, wouldn’t require potentially lengthy delays in getting emergencies responded to (even a few minutes can make a major difference with a heart attack or house on fire!). Unfortunately, that interface is still not operational, so residents are advised that if you have a situation that requires a quick response, and you have a choice between using a cell phone or a land line (regular home phone), use the land line. Salt Lake County is coordinating with the various cities in the valley who all use its current Valley Emergency Communications Center (VECC) 9-1-1 Dispatch service to change us all over to the same system. That process will take a while to complete and we hope that the promised CAD-to-CAD interface will be in place long before then. Watch the Council website for further updates on this.

Granite Bicycle Working Group

The Granite Community Council has recently established a bicycle working group, consisting of several of its members and residents of both Granite and Sandy City. Our goal is to improve bicycle safety in our community, through working with Salt Lake County, UDOT, and Sandy City, to improve and establish bike lanes and teach bicycle safety. If you are interested in participating on the group, please contact Terry Wood or Mary Young.

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The Granite Community Council, in response to some of our residents expressing interest in annexing into an adjacent city (Sandy City or Cottonwood Heights), formed an Annexation Information Committee this year, whose goal was to get information from Sandy, Salt Lake County, and Cottonwood Heights about both the economic differences of living in each area and other differences.  A tax calculator has been completed, which each government entity has reviewed and approved, which is available for residents to use to calculate the economic differences.  We now have consolidated information from Sandy and the County, and we will be putting this information on a new Annexation Information page of our website soon. If you are considering making this change, don’t do so without seeing this info. Contact Mary Young, 801-942-2491, or tmayoung@xmission.com, to get a copy of the calculator and to get other info

More from the Chair…

Sometimes I hear of residents who say that they don’t know or care that they live in Granite, they don’t read our newsletters or visit our website, and they don’t attend a Council meeting…until an issue comes up that will affect them. The Community Council’s job is to hear you—the residents—and, whenever possible, to take your concerns to those people and offices in Salt Lake County who can do something about them.

We recently had a crowd of about 40 residents from the Dimple Dell area attend our December Council meeting to see a proposal to change the zoning on a large property there, which would result in 19 new homes being constructed on ¼ acre lots. We all got to hear the applicant and the developer present their plans, we all got to ask questions of them, and the residents had the opportunity to state their concerns about the plan. Some members of the County Planning staff and the County Planning Commission got to hear residents’ concerns about impacts on property values, their current lifestyle, noise,  traffic density, safety, and just changing the rural, horsey character of the community.

Neither the Granite Master Plan nor the members of the Council who attended the meeting favored any such change in housing density, and our letter to the Planning staff and Planning Commission clearly stated these many concerns.

The way such changes are proposed and made is that, in the unincorporated County, the proposals come before community councils, which listen to residents, and then make a recommendation to the County Planning Commission. The Commission again listens to residents who attend their meeting and make recommendation to the County Council, which makes the final decision (also at a meeting at which residents are invited to attend and speak or send emails/letters). Such a decision has not been made yet regarding the Dimple Dell property rezone.

The main purpose of the community councils is for residents to have a voice in proposed changes such as this. Most of us on the council feel that supporting our residents is one of the most important roles that we have.

Under Mayor McAdams’ Community Preservation Proposal, we would have even more control over planning and zoning changes, as well as where our budget goes to fixing problems in our community.

We invite residents to contact the Mayor, attend Council meetings to discuss this proposal and what it would mean to Granite residents, and to contact Council members to discuss this and other concerns.  Please consider attending the upcoming Granite community meeting (p. 2).

In the process of discussing the pros and cons of annexation into adjacent cities with officials of those cities and the county, as well as with Council members, it seems that we are fortunate to have the most input with the County. With the Mayor’s new proposal, that input would be even greater.

Please talk to us about what YOU would like to see in Granite’s future.

                                                Mary Young

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 Granite Needs an EVC!!

The Granite Community has not had an Emergency Volunteer Coordinator in place for a couple of years and we desperately need to find someone willing to volunteer for this important position. The EVC works with both Sandy City and Salt Lake County to get information about emergency training and activities, and shares that with the community, including the LDS members who have emergency preparedness as a calling and our non-LDS community members. If you or someone you know might be interested, please contact Mary Young at the email address above or call 801-942-2491.

How to communicate with Council members

You can look at the Granite Community Council website to find out which district you’re in (click on map under Granite Map to enlarge it), then see the council members’ names and contact info for each district. If you know your district, see the list below:

Districts 1 & 2 (South): Terry Wood, Terrywood7@aol.com, William Witte, dc.billw@gmail.com

District 3 (Central/West): J. Michael Hansen, jmichaelhansen@gmail.com, Mary Young, tmayoung@xmission.com, Alt.: Ray Anderson, Alpenander@gmail.com

District 4 (North): Drew Weaver, drewweaver@aol.com, Bryce John, brycejohn@gmail.com, Alt.: Katie Clayton, kathrynclayton@q.com

District 5 (East): Josh Kanter,josh@chicagoadvisory.com, David H. Hart, dhh@mocasystems.com, Alt.: Catherine Kanter, CKanterGCC@gmail.com

District Six (Wasatch Resort & Canyon): Susie Albertson, sejouer@yahoo.com, Bill Clayton, nwclayton@hughes.net

Contact your council representatives with questions or complaints you may have about Granite or Salt Lake County, or bring any issues to a council meeting.

This is YOUR newsletterlet us hear from you. If you have suggestions or questions, please send them to: Granite Rocks Newsletter, Mary Young, 3260 E. Wasatch Pines Lane, Granite, UT 84092, or email: tmayoung@xmission.com

Newsletter of the Granite Community Council

 No. 1                                                                                                     Summer 2012                 

What is the Granite Community Council?

What do we do and how can you get on the Council?

 We are a group of Granite residents who have been elected to serve as representatives of our districts. Council members are elected during the November elections, with separate ballots and ballot boxes for the council election. Regular members (2 for each district) serve a term of 4 years, while alternates (1 each) serve a 2-year term. The Council meets on the 1st Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m., at the Metropolitan Water District offices on Danish Rd. Meetings usually run for 1-2 hours and guests are very welcome.

At each meeting, representatives from the Salt Lake County (SLCo) Mayor’s Office and the SLCo Council attend to brief on what’s going on, and take back questions or complaints for others to answer. We also have a rep from the Unified Police Department (UPD) who attends to brief us on monthly crimes in Granite, answer questions, and help with any police problems. Det. Brooks Green also helps us with Neighborhood Watch. Other government officials brief on issues that come up, such as smelter soil remediation, road issues, canyon closure procedures in winter, and on proposed county legislation, which we’re asked to review and comment on. Planning & zoning issues also come before the Council.

The Council provides funding to support such events as Granite’s 4th of July celebration and our Hot Granite Nights event (see p. 2). Another event we may hold is Movie Nights at the Park, like Millcreek Township does every Friday night during the summer. These are free, family-friendly movies that are shown outdoors at different parks in Millcreek. You might try out a movie at Millcreek, and let us know if you’d like to see them here at the Granite Park. See their schedule of movies & venues at www.millcreektownship.org, and click on Events, then Movie Schedule. Let a council member know if you’d like to see them here.

We’re also asked by the County to provide our ‘municipal priorities’ to them, namely a list of improvements the community needs (such as bike/walking lanes, road widening, traffic calming, intersection improvements, etc.).

You might like to come to a council meeting first to see if you like what we do.

For more information, such as agendas, meeting minutes, & announcements, see our website (www.granitecommunitycouncil.net) or our new Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Granite-Community-Council/316088708474340.


4th of July!

Please join us for the Granite 4th of July celebration, with breakfast at the Granite Building pavilion (9575 S. 3100 E.) from 7 to 10 a.m., parade down 3100 E. (bring your kids, dogs, fun vehicles, etc.—this is really a great, old-fashioned parade!) starting at 10, and activities outside the Stake Center (9880 S. 3100 E.) after the parade.  This is a lot of fun, a great and old Granite tradition, and all community members, family and friends are welcome!

Hot Granite Nights

Mark your calendar for the first Saturday in August at Granite Park. This was a fun family event when we did it in 2010.  Plan to bring your families, come early and stay late and visit with all your neighbors and friends. Plan to bring a blanket, and/or chairs and your picnic dinner.  It’s great fun!

 How to communicate with your

Council District member…

You can look at the Granite Community Council website to find out which district you’re in (click on map under Granite Map to enlarge it), then see the council members’ names and contact info for each district.  Contact your council representatives with questions, problems, or complaints that you may have about Sandy, Granite or Salt Lake County, or bring any issues to a council meeting.

 Granite Master Plan

The Granite Community Council is currently working on updating our Granite Master Plan (GMP), a document that sets out what we want to be as a community and what goals we have for the future. The GMP was last updated in 1993, and many of the projects and goals written then have already been achieved (intersection improvements, etc.). If you’d like to see the current plan, see:

http://www.pwpds.slco.org/zoning/pdf/GraniteGeneralPlan/GRANITE_Community_Ma.pdf

Some of the issues that our GMP committee has discussed involve whether we still have some of the values and goals that we had a few decades ago, and we’d like to have community input into those issues. The current issues/questions are:

  • Do we need more neighborhood parks in any areas of Granite? If yes, where?
  • Do we want to see Highland Dr./2000 East extended across Dimple Dell Park (w/bridge)?
  • Do we want to retain current housing density, i.e., low to medium?
  • Do we need any additional road construction or improvements, intersection improvements, traffic calming measures, etc.? If so, where?
  • Do we want to retain our ‘rural charm,’ e.g., by minimizing new sidewalk construction?
  • Do we want to allow any new commercial properties or expansion of existing, e.g., at La Caille?
  • Do we want a paved bicycle/pedestrian/ADA path across Dimple Dell Park?
  • Do we want a fenced, off-leash dog park in our community? If so, where?
  • Would we like to see the Poulsen Historic Farm House on Mt. Jordan Rd. converted to a community center/garden?
  • Where do we need bicycle/pedestrian paths?

If you’d like to provide input on these questions or if you’d like to be more involved in the updating of the master plan, please contact Mary Young, Chair of Granite Community Council and Granite Master Plan Committee, at tmayoung@xmission.com.

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Salt Lake County Reports…

At each meeting of the Granite Community Council we are privileged to have Rita Lund, SLCo Council representative, and Joel Freston, SLCo Mayor’s Office representative, attend and provide updates on what’s happening that affects us. Some of their recent reports were:

  • Data is being gathered from all cities to show what municipal services are provided by cities and the county and their costs, in an effort to realize better economies of scale in providing municipal services.
  • County sales taxes are definitely improving.

Other Info and Advice to Residents…

UPD Det. Brooks Green reports that house and car burglaries increase in the summer and he reminded residents (again) to lock your cars and homes. Most burglars do not use forced entry, because they don’t need to—they just come in our front or back doors!

Sandy City Fire Dept and Unified Fire Authority personnel attended a recent council meeting and had the following advice for residents to help ensure that emergency responders reach your homes in time to prevent a disaster:

  • Ensure your home has visible house numbers/mailbox–reflective if possible, not just on the curb because of snow, garbage cans, parked vehicles, other obstructions.
  • Turn on porch light at night; give any info to dispatch to help find you (gate codes, dead end lanes, living in basement/apartment out back.
  • Meet them on the curb if safe to do so and weather permits.
  • Lock up your pets.
  • If you live in a wildland interface area, clear the trees and brush from around your house to give firefighters a defensible space in which to try to stop the fire (30′ is a good start).
  • Always have working smoke and CO detectors.
  • Always call 911 in an emergency (not what you think is the closest station). Dispatch knows when their units are out on calls and will ensure they get the closest available unit to help you (whether UFA or Sandy).
  • If you live in a gated community, call UPD to give them your gate code (Dispatch will document this with your address); give them any special access problems or directions (this is something to do NOW, not during an emergency when it’s hard to think straight.)

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  • If any residents have problems with their 911 calls being bounced back and forth to different jurisdictions and therefore have delays in getting emergency personnel out, please call UPD Dispatch Manager Chris Dunn at 801-743-5982 or email her at cdunn@updsl.org.

We in Granite and across the valley are experiencing serious problems with pine beetle infestation (see brown, dead and dying trees throughout Granite). Utah State University Extension Service suggests that residents who have pine trees on their property should have their trees inspected and treated to prevent further spread,  particularly trees that are mature, weak, and stressed. Those that are kept healthy

are less at risk. If you see needle die off and bark sloughing, you may have a problem. Utah State University extension services can give more information. Get lists of certified arborists who can help at www.utahurbanforest.org

Residents who bike or walk on gravel-strewn roads: If you want the road to be swept and it’s a County road, call 385-468-6101. If it’s a State road (e.g., marked as U-210 on a map), call 801-975-4986.   OR — get out there with a broom!

 Fireworks!

 Wildfire danger is high in summer, so don’t forget that fireworks are legal only 3 days before and after July 4th and July 24th. Many areas of Sandy, Cottonwood Heights & Salt Lake County, as well as all U.S. National Forest lands are off limits to all fireworks.  See more on Unified Fire Authority’s (UFA) www.unifiedfire.org, and click on Fireworks Law. Please be careful!