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City Council Discusses Controlling Urban Deer Population

Apr 07, 2016 01:40PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com

Draper - During its meeting on March 1, the Draper City Council discussed the process of controlling urban deer populations. John Fairchild and Steve Gray from the Division of Wildlife Resources laid out the process cities have to go through in order to begin removing urban deer. 

Gray explained that before any removal plan is approved, the city has to prove the deer are creating significant damage to property or are posing a threat to public safety. After that is established, the city must follow a series of requirements to get the removal plan approved. This includes holding a public hearing and showing proof of general liability insurance of at least $1 million. After that, a plan is developed specifically for the city.

“You have to determine how many deer you want to remove,” Gray said. “You can’t remove all of them.”

Gray explained there are two main ways of removing deer. The first is by killing the deer and donating the meat to the city’s residents. The other method is by trapping the dear and releasing them. Gray pointed out that the trap-and-release method is more time-consuming and more costly, though he didn’t have exact figures available. 

Councilmember Michele Weeks asked if the deer are killed on public or private property. Gray explained the hunters contracted to kill the deer receive approval from private land owners to pursue deer on their property. Gray also said these contractors are very subtle and most neighbors don’t realize they are working in the area. 

The city council then heard from recreation director Rhett Ogden, who gave the Parks and Recreation Department annual report. Ogden explained that the programs offered by the Parks and Recreation Department grew in popularity in 2015. For instance, there were 156 youth basketball teams last year, and its arts and crafts workshops always fill up fast. 

A new adult kickball program exploded in 2015. Gray said it has become one of the biggest leagues in the state. The youth soccer program is the biggest money maker for the department, with over 1,600 kids signed up last year. 

The city council approved three items on the consent agenda unanimously. This included the Feb. 16 city council meeting minutes; resolution #16-13 appointing Nate Crowther, Doug Anderson and Mel Polland Jr. as members of the Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee; and agreement #16-42, assessment-in-lieu for Rasmussen Subdivision. 

Councilmember Weeks asked that item D be removed for discussion. The item dealt with the approval of the Park Place Bungalow final plat, and Weeks was concerned with the narrowness of the driveway. Councilmember Alan Summerhays agreed with Weeks but felt the issue of narrow driveways needs to be addressed in a separate ordinance, and the Park Place Bungalow was too far gone in the process. Item D was passed four to one with Week giving the dissenting vote.

The council unanimously approved ordinance #1192, which switched a zoning from RA1 to RA2. It was passed without much discussion.

The council also approved the amendment of lot 4 of the Willowbrook Estate plat in order to split the approximately 2.25-acre lot into two one-acre, single-family residential lots. This was passed without discussion. 

The council unanimously approved a zone change from A5 to CI for a 1.63-acre parcel owned by Maverik. Maverik has been in the process of building a gas station at approximately 14817 S. Minuteman Dr. Summerhays asked a representative of Maverik if the gas station will have diesel fuel offered away from the gasoline pumps that are specifically for truckers. The representative confirmed there would be.

The council unanimously approved resolution #16-12, a cable TV franchise agreement with Comcast of Utah. Staff member Mike Barker explained that the prior agreement with Comcast of Utah expired on Nov. 1, 2015. The parties have negotiated a new franchise agreement that complies with federal law and will benefit the residents of Draper.   

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