Proposition 18 Could Create New City In Weber County

Oct 28, 2020, 6:48 PM | Updated: Oct 29, 2020, 12:28 am

WEBER COUNTY, Utah – A measure on Weber County ballots could create a new city by consolidating the unincorporated areas of Taylor, Warren, West Warren and Reese, if voters approve it.

The idea behind Proposition 18 focuses on giving people a better chance to guide future growth in the area, but some worry it could bring new problems and taxes.

There are growing pains all over the Wasatch Front, and there’s a reason why many people are drawn to the area in northern Utah.

“We love it out here. We love that we have some space between our homes and that we don’t have to put up a fence and still be able to communicate with our neighbors, right?” said Greg Bell.

He is one of the sponsors who pushed to get Proposition 18 on the ballot — an idea that came together, in part, after the county raised taxes for services in the area.

“If the county has to tax us like a municipality, why not just become a municipality and manage our own destiny?” Bell said.

Greg Bell supports Proposition 18. (Mike Anderson, KSL-TV) Farmer Tom Favero (left) worries Proposition 18 will change a way of life. Western Weber County Planning Commissioner Wayne Andreotti said the proposition has protections for farmers. (Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

He believes a recent feasibility study showed that it can be done without raising taxes any further.

Others, like farmer Tom Favero, weren’t so sure.

“If they push for a city, you’ve got to remember you’re going to act like a city once you become a city,” he said.

Favero is among those who believe the added layer of a local administration will bring more costs and more reason to increase the tax base.

“I think if we’d stay unincorporated in the county, we’d have a longer future of being more sheltered and not as much development,” he said.

Longtime farmers, like Favero, were concerned a new city could add more hoops to jump through once families, like his, decide to get out of the business and sell.

“We’ve tried to do the best we can to help the farmers, but the only person that’s going to save agriculture in Weber County is the farmers themselves and unfortunately, the farmers are getting old,” said Western Weber County Planning Commissioner Wayne Andreotti. “It really is in the hands of the people.”

Some of the big landowners don’t live in the area and don’t get a vote. Some of the area could — and would likely — be annexed into nearby Plain City. Some residents said they hope that will be an option if this vote doesn’t go their way.

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Proposition 18 Could Create New City In Weber County