Road property owner disputes Nibley's sewer requirements
By Jacob Fullmer
September 25, 2006 NIBLEY -- One
Nibley resident objects to the measures the City Council
is taking to protect the area's drinking water.
Nathan Zollinger, a longterm Nibley
resident, has been trying to build his home up Hollow
Road near the Blacksmith Fork River for over a year
and has been "pretty patient" with the legal process.
He'd like to begin building his house as soon as possible,
even if that means taking the city to court.
"I feel like Nibley city is
constantly squinting at things that don't matter," Zollinger
Zollinger's land sits at 695 W. 1700
South. The city denied his request for a building permit
when he first started his project because the lot rests
in a flood plain. So Zollinger built up the ground level.
Now the city is concerned with Zollinger's ability to
properly dispose of sewage.
City ordinance requires anyone within
300 feet of a sewer line to hook into the city's sewer
system. Zollinger's land is outside the radius which
would obligate him to connect to the system now, but
the city foresees growth going that direction. Zollinger
knows he will be legally required to hook up to Nibley's
sewer line when the pipe reaches him but would rather
save money by installing his own septic system now.
To complicate the matter, Zollinger's
land sits in a water source protection zone -- a zone
which deems septic tanks a potential threat to the area's
drinking water. According to Zollinger, his land is
three-fourths of one mile "as the crow flies" from the
Councilman Thayne Mickelson explained,
"We have an obligation to the citizens who live here
and those who are coming here."
Mickelson also said the city must
consider the cost of taking a sewer line within 300
feet of Zollinger's property on the hope city growth
will continue in that same direction. If the growth
stops, the investment may never earn back the money
spent. If the city officially denies the building permit
request, Zollinger could take the city to court to obtain
his desired property rights. The possible court costs,
Mickelson says, could be equal to or greater than the
appropriate action now.
City Manager Larry Anhder recommended
the council grant the building permit but also warned
against the challenge of reversing water contamination.
In a phone conversation on Friday afternoon, Anhder
was told by the Utah Division of Drinking Water the
risk of contamination appeared minimal.
The council tabled the item until
additional information about the risks involved can