A district judge's decision that Clearfield officials must allow Davis County to open a mental health treatment facility has been upheld by the Utah Court of Appeals.
The ruling, received this week by Deputy Davis County Attorney Gerald Hess, upholds 2nd District Judge Douglas L Cornaby's decision that the city acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" in denying a conditional-use permit for the center.Davis County applied for the permit from the Clearfield Planning Commission and City Council in 1984 but was turned down by both in the wake of public protests.
The county filed suit, and in April 1986, following a two-day trial, Cornaby ruled in favor of the county and ordered issuance of the conditional-use permit. The mental health department opened the treatment facility a little more than a year ago after reconditioning a home.
Clearfield City appealed Cornaby's ruling, and in a decision dated May 13 and received Monday, three state appellate judges unanimously upheld the lower court's ruling.
The appellate court said Clearfield gave no fact-based reasons for denying the conditional-use permit and the court found the real reason for denial was "public clamor," which is not a legal basis for such action.
County commissioners were pleased with the ruling.
"People want good jails and good mental health treatment facilities, but not in `my backyard or across my street,' " said Commission Chairman Harold Tippetts.
Clearfield City Manager Wally Baird said a decision on any further appeals in the case had not been made.