Moroni Council considers new ordinances, and how to better enforce of current ones

Moroni Council considers new ordinances, and how to better enforce of current ones

By John Hales

Staff writer

Sept. 21, 2017


MORONI—The consideration of two proposed ordinances developed into discussion of how to enforce certain existing ones at a meeting of the Moroni City Council on Sept. 7.

Mayor Luke Freeman suggested the council consider ordinances that would govern beekeeping and the living in travel trailers.

The council seemed agreeable to both. But wording them so they could be enforced was another matter, Councilman Orson Cook said.

The wording on some city ordinances was so unspecific, Cook said, “that you can get away with just about anything. There’s loopholes in all this stuff, so it’s hard to enforce.”

The discussion started with a look at a potential ordinance regarding beekeeping.

As a starting point, Mayor Freeman suggested an ordinance that would allow up to five beehives to be kept on a property in the city’s residential zone. Any more than that would require a conditional-use permit.

Cook asked how far away from property lines hives would have to be to prevent bee stings or the temptation for children to throw rocks at, or otherwise disturb, hives.

“I’ll do some more research and see what other cities are doing,” Mayor Freeman said.

The council considered another possible ordinance, this one involving travel trailers.

The consensus of council members was that there should not be an outright ban on living in travel trailers but they couldn’t go unregulated either.

“The concern on this is that it’s happening,” Freeman said. “We need to have a definition one way or the other. If it’s going to be allowed, there should be some type of guidance to it.”

Topics a travel-trailer ordinance might address include what areas might be designated for living in the trailers, time limits on using travel trailers as residences (for example, six months) and how to register with the city for such use.

That was when Cook wanted to make sure that any ordinance included enforcement language. “We don’t’ have it (enforcement) real defined,” he said. “That’s just something to think about.”

Examples of non-enforcement followed, though in the cases mentioned, unclear wording didn’t appear to be the issue.

Councilman Jed DeMill brought up the case of two properties in town that had horses on them even though, under city land-use policies, the lots weren’t big enough for horses.

Atkinson mentioned a city resident who built a fence, but didn’t keep the fence to standards set by the city’s building code. “He had no idea he couldn’t do” what he did, Atkinson said.

Atkinson said the city should take a proactive approach to informing people about land-use and building ordinances. “Somehow, they need to get that information when they move in,” he said.

In other business, Councilman Cook requested a closer look at a school-crossing area near North Sanpete Middle School.

“We’ve got school crossing signs there by the Conoco,” Cook said, but “There’s no lights. … I think there’s going to be a problem there.”

The areas he was discussing were just as Main Street extends eastward as Highway 116 toward Mt. Pleasant, and near the junction of 116 and U.S. 89.

Cook asked for thought to be given to additional traffic-control measures, whether they be a staffed crosswalk, lights, more signage and/or pedestrian lane markings.

Moroni Police Chief Justin Atkinson agreed to patrol the area more frequently during school-crossing times.