The Juab County Commission is keeping a watchful eye on the development of some farm land near the Juab-Utah County border.
Commissioner Richard Brough, who is employed in Utah County and commutes on I-15, first noticed the improvements on 800 acres of farmland - a cabin, outbuildings and a "fancy" entrance being built on the property.One concern he had was that the owners had failed to purchase a building permit.
Commissioners also had heard that the property was being developed as a pheasant farm. The property is not zoned for commercial development, although commissioners agreed that they would welcome the additional taxes such an enterprise would bring and would gladly rezone the property.
The property once was part of the Doc Steele Ranch. Part of the acreage, purchased by a conservation group based in California, was donated to the state for a deer and bird refuge.
Terry Casper, representing property owner Harry Carlson, told commissioners the farm would be just a farm.
"The cabin is going to be a house," said Casper. "As ranch hand I will live there."
He said that while the plan is to raise some pheasants, as well as chickens, those birds will be for personal use of those connected with the property and will not be raised for commercial gain. Already the land has been planted with alfalfa. "We are running a ranch," he said.
A sprinkler system has been installed as well.
Nevertheless, commissioners wonder whether the planned use is the same as the stated use.
"The signs posted indicate it is a gun club," Brough said.
Commissioner Jim Garrett said he thinks that if the venture is a working farm then the signs should be changed. "They should be posted, `No hunting without a permit.' "
Commissioners agreed to allow the building permit without a zone change if the signs are changed.
However, they were adamant about expectations and they will rezone the property as commercial if the owner is found in violation of the zone.