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Today's word on journalism

Monday, September 3, 2007

"I've always been all over the lot in my writing. Except for poetry -- even though they say all the old-time sportswriters use plenty of it. Maybe it's just part of what we do."

--Frank DeFord, 2006

Nibley's explosive growth an opportunity for some, an uneasy feeling for others

By Alison Baugh

April 30, 3007 | NIBLEY -- In the last seven years the population of Nibley has doubled. When compared with the 20 previous years it took to do this, the obvious growth and change are issues for the people of Nibley.

These numbers, with the 2006 population of 4,000, were in a report issued to the City Council by City Manager Larry Anhder. He said he believes the main reason for Nibley seeing so much growth is that it is the next city south of Logan. While Logan has been expanding, it is reaching its limits and as such this growth is overflowing to nearby communities.

Anyone driving around the city of Nibley will see this growth in the number of subdivisions and houses that are being built or were recently built as evidenced by the lack of landscape or newer style of home.

Four to five subdivisions enter Nibley each year, said Anhder. This equals about 400 lots being in some stage of the development process at any given time. While lots in Nibley are required to be one-half an acre, many of the subdivisions have lots of one-third acre or smaller. City Planner Conley Thompson said that this is one change that was met with some resistance when it first happened. The Planning and Zoning Commission has worked with these developers and allows them to have lots at one-third an acre or smaller on the condition that there are no more lots to the subdivision than there would be if all were at least one-third an acre. This is accomplished by having a common park or something similar for the subdivision said Thompson.

While there may have been concerns from longtime residents about this growth increase in the past, both Thompson and Anhder said they can't remember the last time a native voiced concern at a public meeting.

This may be the case, but some citizens are still concerned over the growth. Ruth Beckstrom and her husband Kelly have lived in Nibley for 20 years. While they aren't anti-growth Beckstrom said they feel like the growth could've been handled a little smarter. She said she knows of some new homes which ended up having flooded basements because the city and the developers didn't coordinate sufficiently on some issues.

Having five children of their own, the Beckstroms know that growth is inevitable as new families need homes, but they moved to Nibely in hopes for a rural community and want to keep it that way. In an effort to keep open space around them they have purchased 18 acres and as they will be allowed to do what they intend with it, they will also allow others to do so.

Another change that Nibley is seeing is the development of commercial property said Anhder. When Wal-Mart and Macey's decided to move to the south end of the valley Anhder said this caused a major shift in retail stores and Nibley is seeing that. The new Maverik by Macey's and the developments currently in place along Highway 89-91 are a few projects Anhder said Nibley has been working on.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Anhder said.

This increase in the pressure to build commercial sites on the south end of Logan is something that Anhder said will bring in more commercial property and this is something that Nibley is just learning how to deal with.

While the city has to work with the growth in terms of providing the infrastructure to its citizens, this is something they are willing to do. Anhder said he believes the growth will continue, but that Nibley won't run out of space in his life time or the next generations. He commented that while there are many new homes going in, the number of homes for sale is relatively low.

This growth also affects the school systems in the community. Nibley Elementary said they will be hiring three new teachers next year and bringing in a portable classroom to accommodate their students. Yet this is something the city is willing to work with because of the rich environment they feel Nibley has.

"Who would want to leave?" Anhder questioned, saying that while two-thirds of the population wasn't here seven years ago, they are now here to stay.


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