Council names Swink interim county attorney, denies
January 15, 2009 | LOGAN -- With little pomp and circumstance,
the Cache County Council unanimously appointed Deputy
County Attorney James Swink to serve as interim county
attorney until a replacement can be found for his former
boss, George Daines, who resigned last week amid a flurry
While many awaited the council's decision at its regular
meeting Tuesday evening, the announcement was noticeably
overshadowed by other business, including debate regarding
the proposed Estancia subdivision to be located northwest
After more than half an hour of discussion, the council
voted 2-3 not to approve the developer's request to
develop 15 lots, citing too many problems with the plan.
The planning and zoning commission earlier voted 6-1
to recommend a plan in which the developer agreed to
take on the expense of bringing a southern access route
up to code while the county would be responsible for
the northern side.
Smithfield Fire Chief Jay Downs asked what provisions
would be made for emergency services, including what
could be done to improve water flow in case of fire.
He stated that tinder trucks could only provide about
700 gallons per minute, whereas 1,500 g.p.m. is the
desired level. The motion included an amendment to require
the developer to install sprinkler systems in all new
residences should the request be granted.
The council, which has had the request on its docket
for three months, was forced by Utah law to take action
at the meeting. The law requires local governing bodies
to address an issue within 45 days if the complainant
believes reasonable time has passed for a decision to
be made and submits a letter requesting a decision.
Some on the council voted against approval because
they had not had sufficient time to consider solutions
to problems the subdivision would create, while others
said the idea of putting a subdivision in such a rural
area was bad from the start.
"This is just not a good idea, folks," Councilwoman
Kathy Robison said. "We need to change our ordinance.
We shouldn't be held hostage to this when it's not a
good idea. It's just not."
Councilmen Cory Yeates, S. Brian Chambers and Robison
voted against the motion to approve the request. New
council members Jon White and Craig "W" Buttars voted
to pass it, and since there was not a tie, newly-elected
chairman Craig Petersen's affirmative vote was not counted.
The council decided to draft a letter to the developer
detailing why the request was denied since it did not
ostensibly violate any ordinances. Swink also noted
before the vote that a denial could potentially trigger
a lawsuit from the developer.
In other business, the council voted to:
• defeat proposed county ordinance 2007-05 — which would
update a 1970 ordinance regarding agricultural subdivisions
— for the purpose of reintroducing it in a more current
form with a year code of 2009.
• name H. Craig Petersen as council chairman and Gordon
A. Zilles as vice-chairman.
• authorize an interlocal agreement between Smithfield
City and Cache County for EMS services.