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JAHS

Proposed sale of Manti street

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How do you curb the activities of those annoying those Evangelical street preachers during he Manti Miracle Pageant? Buy the street that they do their protesting on. 

"One side argued for what it saw as a logical business deal. The other side argued that its right to free speech was being infringed.
That was the bottom line during a vocal hear public hearing of the Manti City Council on Thursday, Jan. 26 that drew a large crowd.
What was the controversy about? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wants to buy the stretch of 100 East that goes from the north side of 400 North, north alongside the Manti LDS Temple, LDS Distribution Center and Manti LDS Stake Family History Center, to U.S. 89, where 100 East terminates.
While all property abutting the street in church-owned, the street is also the site of religious demonstrations and street preaching during the annual Mormon Miracle Pageant.
If the street became private, the church could ban such First-Amendment activities, which would force the preachers and evangelists to move further from the center of the pageant, the event that is the focus of their evangelistic message.
The road is approximately 1.65-acres and was appraised at $80,000, according to Soper. The church has offered the city $160,000, double the appraised value. And the city is proposing to earmark the whole $160,000 for the sports complex on the northwest end of town"

Proposed sale of Manti street to LDS church sparks controversy

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Didn't this same fight happen a few years ago with the church buying a street in the middle of temple square in SLC? I think the church won that one.

When I was a kid, my family went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Parking was on the south side of the street and so we had to cross through protesters to get to the performance. My parents turned it into a game of 'red rover' and said, "run and don't get caught." We all made it except my kid brother who got surrounded took a pile of tracts so that he could get through. Anyway, since then the church has expanded parking to the north side of the street so visitors don't have to enter a public space from their vehicles. Protesters are down to just a trickle.

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Quote

 

Funnell reported that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) had delivered a letter stating its disapproval of the sale. Funnell said he planned on reporting the outcome of the new public hearing to contacts at the ACLU.

“I think you should consider that the sale could be a dangerous risk,” Funnell said. “The city could stand to lose far more than the $160,000 sale cost if the ACLU pursues litigation.”

 

Charming fellow.  Got to love the threats.

But seriously though, what would the Manti Pageant be without the protesters.  They're tradition at this point.  Having a little "discussion" with them is as much a tradition for some as the pageant itself.
It's not like they are remotely effective or manage to disrupt the actual pageant at all.

But maybe if this sale works the Church can buy the sidewalks surrounding Temple Square and the Conference Center.

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Do the protestors bring any income into the city?  Will they be allowed to set up somewhere else to protest even if it isn't in prime location?

I see no reason the city needs to forgo a very good deal for themselves as long as there are other places to protest.

There is no inherent right to be comfortable or not have to work at it to protest.

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4 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

Charming fellow.  Got to love the threats.

But seriously though, what would the Manti Pageant be without the protesters.  They're tradition at this point.  Having a little "discussion" with them is as much a tradition for some as the pageant itself.
It's not like they are remotely effective or manage to disrupt the actual pageant at all.

But maybe if this sale works the Church can buy the sidewalks surrounding Temple Square and the Conference Center.

During the height of my faith crisis, I wanted to see them in action. I even thought I sided with them. Then when I saw it with my own eyes, I compared them with LDS members and saw a stark difference and it didn't favor them, it favored the TBM LDS members. I didn't like it at all, because I wanted to believe they were the good guys, since I was down about the church. But I hated to admit, the LDS exuded a better light.  Or it was all in my head.

So for me, and probably a lot of people that go to see the pageant, it might be a bonus. But oh how they get annoying. And my husband mentioned to me, how the EV's were praying in the streets which according to him is a no, no or something. 

 

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I don't see a problem with any city to sell property and a new owner vacate the street - i.e. use the property for another purpose by using the purchased land to the benefit of their land holdings.  The fact that the land being sold was used by the public at one time has no merit even if protesters used it once a year for a short period of time.  

I wonder if Planned Parenthood wanted to buy land that is currently used as a street would pose a problem for the ACLU?  This seems strange.

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The Church is not trying to do away with free speech, it is trying to foster an environment where it's member can gather and enjoy a Spiritual and enjoyable religious experience. This so they can enjoy this far from the sound of the vulgar crowd, and out of eyeline from offensive signs, that would also rob them of the same Spiritual experience. Besides such activities in America, are an affront to all Americans, or should be. I would also like to point out that many anti-Mormons will not show up when this type of behavior is taking place, and condem such activities. 

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19 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

I don't see a problem with any city to sell property and a new owner vacate the street - i.e. use the property for another purpose by using the purchased land to the benefit of their land holdings.  The fact that the land being sold was used by the public at one time has no merit even if protesters used it once a year for a short period of time.  

I wonder if Planned Parenthood wanted to buy land that is currently used as a street would pose a problem for the ACLU?  This seems strange.

Public land is public land.  And land that has a history of public land/space should not be so flippantly disregarded.  

If the Church does not intend to block N 100 E from public access, then the Church should not be permitted to purchase a public street for the sake of effectively limiting free speech on a public road way. 

If the Church intends to block 100 E so that 100 E can only be accessed from HWY 89, AND the Church intends to dig up 100 E from 400 N to which every Church owned building comes first; this proposal could make access to the FHC and Distribution center fa private road. 

Edited by provoman

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1 hour ago, provoman said:

Public land is public land.  And land that has a history of public land/space should not be so flippantly disregarded.  

If the Church does not intend to block N 100 E from public access, then the Church should not be permitted to purchase a public street for the sake of effectively limiting free speech on a public road way. 

If the Church intends to block 100 E so that 100 E can only be accessed from HWY 89, AND the Church intends to dig up 100 E from 400 N to which every Church owned building comes first; this proposal could make access to the FHC and Distribution center fa private road. 

I assumed the road was being vacated to be used a plan for the uniting all of the property.  If an entity is just buying a street and still wants to use it as a street and its only objective is to control who can or cannot use it then it makes no sense.  

The operative objective is the acquisition of the land for an improvement to the entire assembled plot of ground.  

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On 2/2/2017 at 0:51 PM, Calm said:

Do the protestors bring any income into the city?  Will they be allowed to set up somewhere else to protest even if it isn't in prime location?

I see no reason the city needs to forgo a very good deal for themselves as long as there are other places to protest.

There is no inherent right to be comfortable or not have to work at it to protest.

We actually have a right to peaceably assemble on public property. Selling it to prevent peaceable assembly is a runaround the constitution. Whether we are comfortable or have to work at it is another question.

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1 hour ago, thesometimesaint said:

We actually have a right to peaceably assemble on public property. Selling it to prevent peaceable assembly is a runaround the constitution. Whether we are comfortable or have to work at it is another question

You used the phrase “runaround the constitution” rather than  “violates the constitution.”  Is it your opinion that the proposed sale would not violate the constitution?”

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Over the years , one will notice that the area around the White House has been ' undesignated ' as public access. Was this unconstitutional? Cities are given the power to establish roads and parks etc. They can sell land to private interests and do so regularly. Processes are in place to allow such land transfers. Whether the Manti sale is appropriate is a different question than if it is legal.

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3 hours ago, thesometimesaint said:

We actually have a right to peaceably assemble on public property. Selling it to prevent peaceable assembly is a runaround the constitution. Whether we are comfortable or have to work at it is another question.

No, the sale of the land is a sale of the land.  It may also prevent any future use by the public, but the one does not equal the other.  

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In the article:

“Since there is no public property connected to the roadway, essentially the city has been maintaining a driveway for the LDS properties surrounding the street,” 

I don't think the church is buying it just to keep out the demonstrators, if it is not being used for any other purpose by the city selling it to the church makes sense and they can take care of their own driveway. 

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21 hours ago, Sleeper Cell said:

You used the phrase “runaround the constitution” rather than  “violates the constitution.”  Is it your opinion that the proposed sale would not violate the constitution?”

The proposed sale of a public street for the sole reason to restrict peaceable protest is a violation of the Constitution. IMNTBHO 

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CFR where the law states this, please.

Also CFR where it is stated by the Church or city that is the only reason for the sale of the road.

Edited by Calm

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Having looked at the site on google maps satellite, the road dissects the Church property with a double wide road that looks unnecessarily large, out of place and likely unattractive (the Church's road's paving looks in much better care).  The highway it comes off of has another intersection at most a quarter a mile up, so no inconvenience for those who might currently use the road as a short cut.  The roads controlled by the Church appear well laid out and attractive.  Uniting the whole complex by either removing the road completely or tailoring it to the needs of the buildings' layout makes a lot of sense and will likely create a greater sense of an actual park area which will be enjoyable for the residential area next to it.

Without taking the protest into account at all, it is a great decision imo to create a beautiful space out of a so so one.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Having looked at the site on google maps satellite, the road dissects the Church property with a double wide road that looks unnecessarily large, out of place and likely unattractive (the Church's road's paving looks in much better care).  The highway it comes off of has another intersection at most a quarter a mile up, so no inconvenience for those who might currently use the road as a short cut.  The roads controlled by the Church appear well laid out and attractive.  Uniting the whole complex by either removing the road completely or tailoring it to the needs of the buildings' layout makes a lot of sense and will likely create a greater sense of an actual park area which will be enjoyable for the residential area next to it.

Without taking the protest into account at all, it is a great decision imo to create a beautiful space out of a so so one.

Agreed. Since the property on both sides of the road is owned by the church anyway and it was made into a dead end street, I am surprised this wasn't done a long time ago. 

https://goo.gl/maps/iH29r8yMJvP2

 

Edited by JAHS

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So they closed it off from Hwy 89?  It is hard to tell from the photo.  Makes sense as I can see pedestrians easily being hit by drivers coming too fast off 89 without a stop sign...which would  be annoying since few would need to turn most of the time and  there is another turn off just a bit away.

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It probably wasn't done because they weren't ready to develop the area.  Or the city could have asked to make a deal or donation to fund the sports complex the money is going to, so they said why not, but if you want that much, we would like this in exchange.  In the long run, with what they can now do to the property, well worth the cost given the good feelings for the city, even if the bussed in protestors are ticked off about it.

People who are not residents and pay little into the city support system should have little to say about city development, imo.

Edited by Calm

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49 minutes ago, JAHS said:

Agreed. Since the property on both sides of the road is owned by the church anyway and it was made into a dead end street, I am surprised this wasn't done a long time ago. 

https://goo.gl/maps/iH29r8yMJvP2

 

  1. Does the LDS Church own all of the land that abuts the entirety of the public road and public side walk on the east side of N 100 E? 
Edited by provoman

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If you zoom in, you can see the intersection with Hwy 89 has been blocked off for some time.  Looks like cement columns to me.I say "some time" as the sides of the roadway show dirt or gravel built up on the shoulder of 89.

So weird knowing that road goes by our town a mile or so away. :)

The article quoted above says the Church owns all the property next to, "abutting", the street.

Edited by Calm

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Also from the article:

"“Since there is no public property connected to the roadway, essentially the city has been maintaining a driveway for the LDS properties surrounding the street,” Soper said.

The city has been talking about selling the street property during several mayoral administrations, Soper said. Now, he said, it was time to get final public comment and move forward."

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The street was closed off for safety reasons:

"“Everyone has their own feelings and the right to their own feelings, but I don’t think that anybody who is for the sale of the street is thinking, ‘We need to take away the rights of these people.’ I think they’re thinking of the youth of our county, and I say shame on anyone who wants to take away this opportunity (to build a sports complex) from our youth.”

“Every dollar counts in our town,” said Shannon Miller of Manti. “When UDOT said that 100 East needed to be closed for safety reasons, Manti got left on the hook to maintain the road. Maintenance is expensive. The highest and best use of the property no longer rests with Manti City. I believe the road should be sold.”

Other Manti community leaders who spoke in favor of selling the road included Jane Braithwaite, Mike Jorgensen, Scott Hintze, Doug Barton and Andy Lyons.

One resident said he supported the sale because he owned nearby property and thought the value of his property value would go up. He added, “The protesters are welcome in front of my house any day. I think we could have some wonderful conversations with them.”"

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Liability might be an issue.  What if a pedestrian got hit while crossing to the pageant?  Could they not sue the city?  Would not the city have to provide security, etc. without charge because it is their street?

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