For years, this small city just north of Ogden had avoided the population growth boom that has swamped the rest of the state, but not anymore.

In years past, about 40 homes a year were built in Harrisville. Now, a whopping 181 homes in nine subdivisions are in planning or building stages.Harrisville Mayor Fred Oates is glad to see the newcomers.

"We want to be known as a bedroom community," Oates said. "Once people come home, we don't want them to have to travel elsewhere to fish, play ball or go to the park."

To that end, part of Harrisville's master plan is to create a series of parks connected by footpaths to the city's main park.

Farr West, just west of Harrisville, is also growing - though not as quickly. It has approved 75 new homes in two subdivisions this year. However, another 74-home subdivision is expected soon, and one with 300 homes is on the horizon, said Farr West Mayor Jim Papageorge.

Harrisville's biggest growth concern is the water that runs out of the mountains every spring. Now there is enough room for the water to pass through, but new houses could get in the way.

To that end, the planning commission now forbids new homes from having a basement, and developers also have to build water retention basins in their subdivisions.

"Our planning commission is one of the toughest in the state," said Oates, the commission's former chairman. "We don't want developers to do what they want and suddenly we're responsible for it."

Papageorge said Farr West's infrastructure is strong, so he isn't worried about rapid growth. He would like to see more commercial building since property taxes paid by homeowners now pay mainly for fire protection.

Growth has also meant restrictions on new and longtime residents of these former farming communities.

"It's changed the way animals are viewed," said Diane Hirschi, Farr West city recorder. "We have to limit how many animals people can have and how they keep them."

Oates said the same thing is happening in Harrisville.

"People in the subdivisions don't want a horse looking over their back fence," he said.

Still, both cities know it's easier to work with people than to try to fight growth.

"You can't deny people who want to build here," Papageorge said."You just try to control what you do want."