Editor: In last week’s Wave, Mayor Potter wrote about how the economic concepts of supply and demand weigh on housing prices. It was an excellent description of those forces consistent with what is taught everywhere. She went on to say that “as a city, we have very little control over demand”. To get underneath this you must recognize that as prices rise, supply begins to increase but demand falls until an equilibrium price is reached. This might not occur every minute such as it might on the trading floor of s tock exchange but all of us should recognize how prices affect our willingness to buy. Mayor Potter goes on to say that “as a city we have very little control over demand”. I don’t completely agree with this.
Now to the demand for housing. Start with supply. Let’s assume you have a tract of land zoned for 1 house per 20 acres. Along comes a developer who buys 5 of these parcels and the county council agrees to a rezoning request for a nice gated community of house per acre. This changes the supply of housing from 5 to 100. This change in supply is the result of action by government.
Some years ago, I sat through a proposal with nice charts to build a community in an area bounded by Mill Road to the East, between 1200S and 2400S. It was to be an upscale development with some open space and be about 1 house per acre. That area has since been annexed into the City with the approval of the City Council and while I’ve not heard the exact density, I am hearing that it’s going to be higher than any development in the county, perhaps as many as 30 units per acre. These new, and smaller units will cost far less than the upscale development I envisioned a while back. The result will be a staggering increase in demand. That is going to be great for the liquor store, for the fast food industry, for car repair businesses, for lawyers who will now have more clients etc. It will also lead to continually rising taxes, especially for schools.
I was part of two signature gathering efforts to challenge increased density. The first one was successful and the public voted down the increase in density 3 to 1. It was harder recently and while we came close, we did not get quite enough signatures. In both efforts, I heard identical comments from those who chose to sign. They are disgusted with the growth and feel that our elected officials are not providing the leadership to protect the valley from becoming like Orem.
Now is the time for all of our elected officials to put on the breaks to runaway development. Wasatch County is not required to provide affordable housing for the Wasatch Front. Heber City is under no obligation to agree to annexation which result in higher density. We have an election coming up and all of us who are concerned about growth need to be willing to press the candidates on this.
RE: New Heber Valley Airport Logo
Editor: So Heber Valley Airport now touts its new logo! It is no longer called Heber City airport (which may have huge future tax implications for all Heber Valley Residents). The old Heber Airport sported a glider plane as a logo. And the glider plane also graced the official colored letterhead of the municipality for many, many years. Why? Heber City lured many of us to this valley for many many years with the promise of rural residential quietude and clean mountain air--and the city’s display of a soaring glider on the official letterhead must have seemed like the best way to convey that invitation to move here. Gliders have no engines, and therefore emit no measurable pollution while aloft. They do not contribute to what Keith Baker (Wave 4/4) calls Deadly Global Warming. ---but time and time again local residents have expressed publicly that the modern biz-jet which takes off and lands here with vastly increased frequency… does.
So, it surprised most of us in the late nineties when we discovered that the city had been planning (some say scheming) for years to allow the Park City Elite to pawn off the very negative environmental impact of a jetport onto Heber Valley residents. We must have been the embodiment of the term “deplorables” since we did not deserve to be free from this very negative impact, in a very small bowl-like valley which tends to retain its pollutants--but the Elite believed they did deserve to be free from it.
At least the new logo depicts an image of a P-51 Mustang which reminds us of our valiant World War II heroes, including Russ McDonald. But why were the hundreds of Heber Valley residents attending five public hearings from 1998-2005 ignored when they drew the line at staying put with a small municipal airport? Those of us who videoed these hearings despite the threat of expulsion from the hearings still wince when we review the footage and see the huge attendance and how the very vocal citizenry was ignored when it pled and even begged for stopping the city-led transformation to a regional jetport.
Now, twenty years later, of all the negative environmental effects (noise, smoke, odor, dust) we experience on a regular basis, the screaming roar of a jet engine flying just a hundred feet above our roof is still the most distracting and disturbing one we continue to experience while living in Heber Valley.
To the new mayor and her city council, I plead---don’t let further jetport expansion kill the reason why people came here in the first place.
Kelly B Jarvis Sr.
Editor: Coach Roger Pyper was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame on Monday, April 9. As two of his former players, we would like to congratulate him on this outstanding and well-deserved honor.
Coach Pyper coached, mentored, and taught in the Wasatch County School District for over 40 years. Over his illustrious career, he led the Lady Wasp basketball team to 4 State Championships. He led with Sue, his wife, by his side. They worked hard and built a stellar basketball program that didn’t just start at the high school level. Roger and Sue donated countless hours of time and energy stressing basketball fundamentals and allowing opportunities to play at the junior level as well. Together they built a program and a legacy that will never be forgotten.
We wanted to share some thoughts about Coach Pyper and some of the values he instilled in us that we still use in our lives today.
His famous saying, “When I yell at you, I am yelling at you as a basketball player, not you as a person,” helped us know he had our best interest at heart and helped show us that he loved us. He motivated, inspired, and helped us achieve our full potential as a player.
The confidence he instilled in us was second to none. This confidence helped us on the basketball court and has carried over to many other aspects of our lives as well. This quiet confidence comes from preparation, hard work, and attention to detail.
His dedication was truly remarkable. He taught by example that to be sincerely dedicated is to put your whole heart and soul into whatever task you want to accomplish. True achievement in life requires sincere dedication.
Saying our team cheer at the end of practice every day helped cement the values he was striving to develop within us. “Every day in every way we do a little better.” “All is one.” “Believe in arête (striving for excellence).” He embodied “arête” and “all is one” showing us, as players, the perfect example of true teamwork and unconditional support of each other. Those values have indeed carried much further than the basketball court. We are so thankful to have been coached and mentored by such a wonderful man and give him our sincere thanks and congratulations!
Tara Gehring Wright
Kristy Wright Bond