Battle rages in Highland over Sunday business restrictions

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  • ScubaScott88 Highland, Utah
    Sept. 1, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    I'm a Highland resident and a Mormon, and everyone that I have talked to that lives in Highland are in agreement, we are in favor of stores being open on Sunday. My family and I choose not to shop on Sunday, but there are many residents who are not Mormon and I feel it is wrong to infringe our religious beliefs on others; there is the matter of freedom of choice. Plus, the obvious benefit to Highland's economic troubles. I have had to on occasion run to the store for diapers and Immodium, why not support Highland instead of one of our local neighboring cities? The ridiculous ads that have been invading our mailboxes of late, which almost reek of propaganda, are trying to frighten us into thinking our city will dissolve to ruin if stores are open on Sunday. Not so, give us some credit please. It is my hope that common sense in this case will prevail.

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 30, 2012 7:25 a.m.

    @Kris and @Rod. The arguments are thin at best. No one on this board or in the article answered the question at the heart of the matter: Why does anyone in Highland care who operates their business on which days of the week?
    Your elected officials already turned the matter down. Aren't those the types of matters that you have elected them to deal with? If you don't like it, hold them responsible through electoral means. Citizens' initiatives should be used sparingly at best.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2012 5:33 p.m.

    It is not only Mormons who observe the Sabbath. Many Protestants also do so. This is not a "Mormon issue." A day of rest is good for the community and most people agree that the logical day for that is Sunday. There are Muslims in Highland who prefer the stores to be closed ON SUNDAY, even though that is not their day of worship.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 4:34 p.m.

    So one town wants to have businesses closed on Sunday. What's the Big Deal? If the majority of the residents want it, that's ok.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 29, 2012 4:26 p.m.

    I lived in Utah for many years. In that time, I saw many similar attempts at restricting Sunday business.

    I saw people try to close county golf courses and swimming pools on Sunday. They tried to make a case based on revenue to the county, but the numbers did not support them.

    I saw people try to shut down a big amusement park (Farmington?) on Sunday. They framed it as a noise issue. As if it wasn't just as noisy on Saturday.

    I had a neighbor tell me I should not be mowing my lawn on Sunday. Not at 6am, but noonish. At least he was honest about why.

    Lets just talk about what it is. Lets talk about the Elephant in the room that no one wants to call by name.

    "who value a common day of rest and believe it benefits the community as a whole"

    This could have just as easily said, "our religion frowns on doing business on Sunday"

    It is much tougher to make a defensible case based on That, isn't it?

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 2:58 p.m.

    JOEBLOW A problem with the argument of letting customers determine whether or not a business operates within a city and which restrictions are imposed on it is that it is a delegation of authority from the residents who are directly impacted by a business to the customers of a business that may or may not reside within city boundaries. The issue many have is where do we a draw a line as to what a community can regulate. If the hours of operation of a business can be restricted (e.g. midnight to 6 AM) for one that is located next to a residential area is it really a stretch to say that in a community that values a common day it is unreasonable to restrict operations on a specific day.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 29, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    How about this?

    Do not restrict business from operating on any days that they choose.

    Have a boycott campaign within the city. Let businesses know that, while legal to do so, if they choose to open on Sunday, they will not be frequented by town residents.

    Isn't that how the free market system works?

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    @Rod, I'm not talking about Europe. Neither is this article. Only you are. I don't care what anyone in Europe does. I'm talking about a community that is >80% Mormon, in the middle of my home state. Why does Highland want to control someone's right to conduct business on whatever day they choose? If the message truly isn't "non-Mormons stay out", Highland has a real perception problem.

    I thought government staying out of people's lives and lower taxes were things that Utah County residents valued. I thought free enterprise and freedom from a domineering religion that was too intertwined with the government was a big reason why America existed in the first place. Face it, this law and laws like it, go too far into the realm of government intrusion.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    Thanks Highland for saying, "No, anything does not go in our community."

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    Oops. the prior post should read I'm proud to live in a community that does NOT focus on cost ..."

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 12:41 p.m.

    Monk, I don't worry about offending non-Mormons any more than European countries with Sunday closing laws worry about creating the impression that they are religion zealots or are concerned with losing tourist business. This is not an exclusive "Mormon" or "Christian" issue as evidenced by the adoption of Sunday closing laws in a very secular Europe, as well as other states, counties and cities in the US.

    I'm proud to live in a community that does focus on cost as a criteria for the values it supports. I think it is great that there are still a couple of communities that people can locate in where Sundays are a shared day of rest. How sad would it be to eliminate this choice for individuals, families and businesses.

  • ignoranceisbliss Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    "Should (residents) be forced to strike down an ordinance that supports their values because a few may be 'offended'?" Mann said on his blog. "When did standing up for values become a vice rather than a virtue?"

    “Although conceptually, a zoning regulation is unenforceable if there is not a sufficient nexus between it and the health, safety, and general welfare of community residents..” [Smith Inv. Co. v. Sandy City, 958 P.2d 245 (Utah App. 1998)].

    The residents may value a common day of rest and feel that it benefits the community as a whole, but if the health, safety, and general welfare of community residents is not jeopardized by business on Sundays the ordinance becomes unreasonable. Residents are wasting their time voting on this issue. It is very hard to distinguish the idea of Sunday as a day of rest as something other than a religious affiliation when it is stated in the bible as one of the Ten Commandments.

  • Rod Mann Highland, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    The blogs referred to by the article are:

    1) Libertas Institute of Utah (Jeremy Lyman)
    2) Mannkind Perspectives (Rod Mann)

    Personally, I think the article was very fair although the title is a bit hyped. Within Highland the conversations between residents have been very civil. Can't say the same for Facebook and other online commentary by non-residents but that is to be expected. I find it interesting to note that it is generally proponents of eliminating the Sunday business restriction that are the first to bring religion into the picture and the first to make disparaging remarks regarding the character of those who support Sunday closing (tyrant, religious bully ... and my two favorites idiotic fairy tale worshiper and libido dominandi:The will to power; the desire to dominate; the lust for government).

    If BYUSTER drove through Highland to get to Timpanogas cave he must have blinked when he passed Highland's only gas station, which is open on Sunday and where treats and snacks can be purchased.

  • Kris Highland, Utah
    Aug. 29, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    I have not noticed any "raging battle." I have noticed a very calm, organized effort to let the people of the community decide this issue, instead of allowing three city councilman to decide it for the entire community.

    I told our city council that I would prefer a modest tax increase to Sunday retail. In response, they gave us a significant tax increase AND Sunday retail.

    There is no evidence that Sunday retail will improve Highland's bottom line. There is some evidence to the contrary. And we do know that Sunday retail will change the climate of our quiet community.

    There are logical budget cuts that may not be fun, but that can and should be made. These would have a much greater impact on our bottom line than Sunday retail.

    People who live here and operate businesses here chose to locate here knowing the community standard. They could have located almost anywhere else in the state and shopped/dined or been open on Sunday. If that was what they wanted in their home town, they should have gone somewhere else. If they want those things now, there are numerous options within five minutes of Highland's city center.

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    Highland and Alpine are really unfriendly to small business. They also go out of their way to be unwelcoming and inaccessible. Even the citizens have a "bedroom community only" mentality. If you want that for your town, fine. If you don't want business in your community, that is fine. However, local taxes and fees will be higher to try and make up for revenue that isn't there just to fund the basics.

    If you don't want to conduct business on Sunday, no one is forcing you to. But, a law like this in Utah is a different way of saying, non-Mormons are not welcome in our town. As a Mormon, this is unsettling to me and my family. My family and I will take our business elsewhere on weekdays.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 29, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    The last line in my first comment was cut off for some reason and does not make sense. Sorry for any confusion.

    Don, I did read the article. Start to finish. Twice. And I agree with your assessment.

    I am suggesting that the people who put the issue on the ballot are trying to re-institute an unnecessary regulation. They want the Government to pass a law regulating a businesses.

    I am not opposed to regulations per se where necessary. However, I am not a fan of those who attempt to regulate and instill their version of morality on other.

    I see nothing wrong with shopping or golfing or swimming or going to an amusement park on Sunday. Those that do can easily choose to refrain from those activities.

    How is anyone hurt if I "choose" to shop at a business that "chooses" to be open?

    Now, if someone tried to FORCE these businesses to be open, you and I would probably be in agreement.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Aug. 29, 2012 7:26 a.m.

    Hey Joe read the article. The government voted to eliminate the Sunday closing law. The PEOPLE put the issue on the ballot to be voted on by the PEOPLE. Next time please read the article before commenting on it.

  • BYUSTER Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 6:16 a.m.

    "Those who support Sunday restrictions are people "who value a common day of rest and believe it benefits the community as a whole," Mann said in his post."

    It just so happens that the "common day" Mr. Mann and his co-religionists "picked" is Sunday. The day that their pet deity forbids work on, imagine that. Mr. Mann is doing a poor job of disguising his religious beliefs in secular language. His arguments and nothing more than an appeal to religious tradition and popularity.

    I took my family to Timpapnogos Cave via Highland on Sunday. Needless to say, we couldn't stop for water or snacks, because everything was closed. On the way home, we didn't stop for gas or lunch, get the picture.

    Enjoy your quiet Sundays, Mr. Mann. I'm sure they'll make your ever increasing property tax burden worth it. I won't be doing business in Highland so long as religion and politics ride in the same cart.

  • Dauly Provo, UT
    Aug. 29, 2012 5:13 a.m.

    Welcome to the world of the social contract. Living in a society means you are subject to the value system of that community despite your personal views. It would be nice if the social contract was an actual contract to make it more clear to everyone that any law created by a society reflects some vlaue (ie what they feel will guide their community to the end state they desire) whether religious or not.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 29, 2012 5:04 a.m.

    Too Funny.

    We keep hearing

    "get government out of our lives" and "job killing regulations"
    It is clear that consistency is not a strong suit.

    Unless some politician is trying to force you to shop on Sunday, what's the big deal?

    "I think it is wrong for me to shop on Sunday. I also think it is wrong for YOU"