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  • Levan Town will take action if residents are out of compliance with town ordinances

By Rebecca Dopp
Times-News Correspondent

What can Levan Town residents expect if they do not comply with town ordinances on fence encroachments or line-of-sight hazards? A letter from the town, fines, and possibly a large bill for labor.
The town council discussed what they should do with a resident who had been sent numerous letters to comply with the town's ordinance on fences with no reply or action.
Brian Huntsman, planning and zoning member, said the town had sent this resident numerous letters. He said that they needed to send a letter stating that action must be taken to take the fence off city property or else the town employees would come and take it down and bill the resident for the labor.
Brent Taylor, council member, estimated the fence in question to be about 5 feet off on city property.
Sandra Mangelson, council member, encouraged residents to be aware of where their fences are and if they are not in compliance, then to move them.
"Who has to send the letter?" asked Jilean Ercanbrack, council member. "The beautification committee does not have the authority."
Heather Taylor, town clerk, said the letter can come from the town council or planning and zoning, but it must be certified and signed by the mayor.
She said that the ordinance, to the best of her recollection, states that if there is an encroachment, the fence will be removed at the owners expense.
"So there is a penalty," said Ercanbrack.
Mangelson asked if there was a time frame in the ordinance. Taylor said that the ordinance about abandoned vehicles on city property is 48 hours, but she couldn't remember what the fence ordinance said.
The town council said they needed to look at the ordinance to make sure of the time frame, but said they had given this resident many opportunities and they needed to move ahead.
Ercanbrack made the motion to contact the town attorney to verify the ordinance and then send a certified letter from the town to the resident in non-compliance. The motion passed.
Also, there are two residences in town that have trees that obscure the line-of-sight on the highway and cause a hazard. Neither problems are on city property, but they cause a safety concern for those driving.
"The first one, on the first street north in town, you have to drive clear up almost into traffic to see down the highway," said Mayor Russell Mangelson. "The other one on the south side is the same thing."
Larry Durffee, council member, said that they had some confusion over what the ordinance states on setbacks.
"Zoning says it is 40 or 45 feet, the ordinance says 30 feet, but the confusion comes is, 30 feet from where?" said Durffee. "It says 'from the top back of the curb'. We have no curb."
Even if the homes are older and the setbacks are off and it is grandfathered in, if it is a safety concern, they should be dealt with the same.
He said the trees in question could be trimmed to meet with compliance, and not taken all the way out.
The property on the north end has a high speed limit in front, not yet down to 35 mph, and the other property has high foot traffic crossing nearby to go to the park and safety is a big concern.
Ercanbrack said the town needs to clarify the ordinance before any action can be taken on the trees. However, she felt that a letter asking them to comply should still be sent.
"That gives us time to see if they will do it and we can research the ordinance and then if we need to to send them a certified letter," she said.