I’m sure that the developer argued to the planning commission that he had the right to use his "private property" as he chose. Utah has a culture that eschews regulation – calling it the "heavy hand of government" interfering in the free market. This is not the first case in which developers were allowed to build where it was unsafe. A similar situation occurred on Trappers Loop some years ago.
If governmental agencies are unable or unwilling to protect the rights of citizens other than the developers, then the only recourse is to hold the developer responsible and require him to provide restitution. Too often the developer walks away and those who have suffered turn to the government for assistance. This is another case of privatizing the profits while socializing the costs — the developer gets the profit while the public is stuck with the bill.
Freedom implies (and requires) responsibility.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.