Quantcast

Centerville seeks to ban hunting in city limits

Published: Monday, Feb. 6 2012 8:14 p.m. MST

CENTERVILLE — Running, cycling and horseback riding are popular pastimes along the Legacy Parkway Trail.

And then there's hunting.

The stretch of pasture and wetlands in Centerville west of I-15 had long been a favorite of local hunters during waterfowl seasons, city officials said. Their numbers have dwindled in recent years, following the opening of Legacy Parkway in 2008 and its accompanying trail about a year later.

Today, city leaders say there's no safe place for hunting in the former farming community, and they're proposing to ban the practice within city limits.

"I think what we've done is we've outgrown that lifestyle," Police Chief Neal Worsley said.

City leaders recently initiated the proposed hunting ban, calling it an issue of public safety.

"You've got people walking or riding horses and bikes," Mayor Ron Russell said. "It's concerning to them that you've got people toting shotguns around and hunting."

The discharge of a firearm already is illegal throughout the city — except by those with hunting licenses during designated waterfowl seasons.

Under state law, seasonal hunting is allowed on the 200-plus acres from Centerville's north border to the industrial park to the south, and between Legacy Parkway and the Legacy Nature Preserve to the west.

"It doesn't make sense to have this little swath (of hunting area) in there with the other recreational activities going on there," Worsley said.

That area includes the Legacy Parkway Trail, meaning hunters legally could shoot from one side of the trail, targeting ducks or geese on the other side, he said.

"You just can't shoot across the roadway," Worsley said.

A public hearing on the proposed ban is scheduled for Tuesday's City Council meeting at City Hall, 250 N. Main. The meeting gets under way at 7 p.m.

If the City Council decides to move forward with the ban, it would submit the proposed ordinance and minutes from the public hearing to the State Wildlife Board for approval, said Steve Thacker, city manager.

"If the board approves it, which we assume it will, the City Council can then adopt the proposed ordinance," Thacker said.

The ban initially would address complaints from regular users of the Legacy Parkway Trail. Hunting also takes place in the foothills on the city's east side, though generally outside city limits and on unincorporated Salt Lake County or Forest Service land, Thacker said.

However, the city's Foothills Management Plan adopted last fall calls for the city to annex land in the foothills to better control development and recreation uses there, he said.

"We very likely someday will annex up the mountainside," Thacker said.

If approved, the ordinance banning hunting also would apply to land annexed into the city, he said.

City officials say they don't expect much resistance moving forward with the ordinance.

"It's a public safety issue," Mayor Russell said. "You've got real heavy use of those areas by people who are walking or riding bikes. It's incompatible with those who want to hunt.

"There are plenty of other places to go hunt," he said.

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS