Thank you for letting me respond to the letter written by Mr. Rose. I am very concerned with such slander.
Mr. Rose states that we are making claims we have no right or authority to…I would ask with what authority or right does he have to write his letter and call us liars? He is not speaking on behalf of the LDS church, so he has reduced himself to name calling and fear mongering.
Mr. Rose stated we were misleading people to sign the referendum. He stated, “…the Church will go ahead and build the Temple anyway, even if it cannot proceed with the development around the temple. This is simply not true.” “What evidence do the opponents of the rezone have that the Church will go ahead and build the Temple?” President Nelson, leader of the LDS church, announced the temple during the April 2019 general conference. He did not say it was conditional on a housing development being built around the property. Never in the history of the Church has a temple been announced and not built.
Mr. Rose continues, “be aware of those trying to protect their own property interests — in surrounding themselves with lots that fit their idea of what the lifestyle in the area should be. In seeking to protect their own property interest, they are trying to dictate what someone else, in this case the Church, can and can’t do with respect to its property.” I don’t know a single person that would not fight to protect their property interests and a personal ideal of what their community should look like. We all work very hard to earn a living and provide for our families. We worked hard to buy our land, our homes and do not want to see that developed away. But I would say, Mr. Rose has a misunderstanding of property rights. Property owners do not have carte blanche to do whatever they will. That is why there are planning and zoning laws. Zoning regulations and restrictions are used by municipalities to control and direct the development of property within their borders. Since land-use and zoning regulations restrict the rights of owners to use their property as they otherwise could — and often want to. It is the role of these ordinances to regulate and manage land use…..of private property owners.
Mr. Rose’s letter goes on to say, “the Church’s proposed development plan is totally consistent with the County’s general plan for the area…..The Church has every right to seek and obtain a zone change for its property….it has property rights.” If this plan were consistent with the current zoning plan of the County, then the LDS Church would not have to seek a rezone. The very fact that they are seeking a rezone is an act to seek a variance or waiver to the current plan. I would agree that the Church has the right to seek this rezone, but the citizens of this county have equal rights to disagree with that rezone. That is why the process for referendums are in the Utah Code.
Finally, he says, “Do not join the deception by signing the petition.” What deception? Those that support the referendum are exercising their right, as a citizen of Tooele County, to contest a legislative decision and ask the decision be put to the people of the county. A referendum is a power reserved to the voters that allows the voters, by petition, to demand the reconsideration and repeal of any legislative action of the legislative body of the county. The decision does not become law unless it is approved by voters. The referendum simply puts the rezone question to the people instead of a body of three. What is the fear, lying or deception in letting the people decide?
Protecting my rights as a citizen.