Roy, Utah, has an increasing population for many good reasons. Affordable housing compared to the rest of Utah, cheap produce, and close proximity to outdoor recreation is attractive to new residents.
However, not everything in Roy, Utah, is that easy to live with. Locals have some advice for anyone looking to live in Roy, and you’ll want to pay attention to their 17 reasons not to move there!
1. Ogden’s Problems Cross Over Into Roy
Ogden, which is just to the north of Roy, has a reputation in Utah for being a little more chaotic than other cities. It has pretty areas, but the city as a whole has confusing streets, dirty buildings, and a questionable amount of crime.
Since Roy is so close to Ogden, some of those issues bleed over into this city just down the road. If there’s a shooting or another major crime in Ogden, there’s a good chance that they’ll be passing Roy while escaping.
2. The Main City Always Looks Dirty
Some American cities have a chronic problem of looking grimy. No matter how much you clean them up, the scraggly landscape and cracked asphalt will always make them look a little like somewhere you wouldn’t want to be at night.
As a local, this is something that’s always walked the line between endearing and a little embarrassing about the city. Yellowing buildings and signs, crispy dried weeds, cracked and repaired asphalt, and outdated signs mix with the scent of car exhaust and sun-baked trashcans. Shopping for a prom dress in a dark little one-room shop is nostalgic for me but is slightly shocking for people who’ve moved in from different areas.
If you’re thinking of moving to Roy, learn to live like a local. Ask your neighbors where you’re at risk of getting food poisoning, check bathrooms for cleanliness before eating out anywhere, and take your shoes off when you come into the house so you’re not tracking spilled soda or bodily fluids onto the carpet.
The city is safer than it looks, which is great. You’ll just have to get used to the way it looks before you can feel confident walking around at night.
3. Roy is Split Between Dense City and Sub-Rural Farms
Driving through Roy is an interesting experience. Some parts of the city are dense urban or suburban areas, full of tightly packed houses and apartment complexes between stores and freeways, and other parts of the city are full of more chickens and goats than people.
This makes living here a little more of a challenge for both groups, as well as for city zoning and planning. Rural communities have very different needs than tightly packed apartments, and rules like the number of dogs allowed in a house can seem a little weird for a family with several acres and a few cows.
Before you move to the city, make sure you know where you’ll be living. Don’t get upset if your neighbor’s house smells like horses or if they’re resistant to your kids coming to visit. Farms aren’t petting zoos, after all, and large animals like to enforce their own boundaries. Know what you’re getting into before you buy!
4. If it Doesn’t Smell Like Car Exhaust, it Smells Like Manure
This is a simple and eternal fact of living in Roy. If your house doesn’t smell like car exhaust and inversion, it probably smells like manure and lake stink. There’s no escaping it. Get a good perfume, and you’ll probably get used to it after a couple of weeks or months.
If you think you can change this, I’d suggest you avoid trying. The easiest way to start a feud with your neighbors is by complaining about any kind of manure smell. After all, the farm families and horses have probably been living there for much longer than any pretty new subdivision, even if they share a backyard.
As a local, nothing is more frustrating than the new neighbors calling Animal Control to complain about your chickens making noise and doing what chickens do.
5. You’re Close to Hill Air Force Base and All Their Problems
Hill Air Force Base does a lot of good things for the community. It offers air shows, brings money and jobs to the local economy, and has a pretty cool museum. Locals don’t have a lot of complaints about the base itself.
However, there are a few inevitable problems that come from living next to any military base.
First, it makes dating and new friendships challenging. When someone is only going to be in the area for a few weeks or months, building a stable relationship is hard. You never know when things are going to change.
Next, it makes prosecuting crimes committed by military members difficult. Even if it’s just some drunken vandalism or a fender bender, identifying who did it and how to get justice can be tricky. People don’t always want to charge service members.
Finally, Hill Air Force Base has been in hot water a few times for environmental pollution. Chemicals in the soil are a much more tangible issue than any conspiracy theory about airplanes, and the air force base is currently trying to clean up this literal mess.
Other problems, like students frequently moving and teachers or daycare providers needing to stay on their toes, are also common.
6. Jets Make Naptime and Conversations Difficult
Have you ever tried to teach a history class in a portable building while the local Air Force Base is running drills overhead? If you haven’t, there’s no way to quite describe the experience. Any attempts I make will be as shaky as that classroom.
The roar of engines and the occasional sonic boom drown out any conversation. Teachers and presenters just give up and wait out the noise. Rooms shake, pencils go rolling, and babies wake up and cry.
The worst part is that there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it, and even living under the jets for a decade will barely start to habituate you. You’ll just get into the habit of going silent whenever you start to hear that specific kind of roar.
7. Public Transportation is Only Available Along the Main Roads of the City Centers
Roy does get points for having a pretty decent bus system along the main freeway. If you can catch a bus, you can get a ride that connects to Frontrunner or even goes as far as Ogden and Salt Lake City, giving you access to better job opportunities while saving a little on gas and car insurance.
Unfortunately, this is only accessible to anyone who lives close to the main streets and city centers. There aren’t any buses that go out to the suburbs, much less the sub-rural areas where much of the community lives. Since there’s no parking by the bus stations, many community members find themselves driving everywhere they go.
Other cities like Bountiful have solved this problem by having a park-and-ride near the main transportation hubs, so you can catch buses to other cities without worrying about the safety of your car. In Roy, your options are to park in a random parking lot and hope for the best or get a ride to the station.
8. The Pet Policy is Strict
Roy, Utah, has a pet policy that will be an immediate dealbreaker for many families. You’re only allowed two cats or dogs total, with no exceptions except for total service animals.
This means that you can have two dogs, you can have two cats, or you can have one of each. If you have two dogs and one cat, like many families own, you’re out of luck. Animal control can and will remove one of the pets if you’re found in violation of the law.
Having an Emotional Support Animal does not change this law. The only exceptions are kennel licenses, which would mean that they’re not your pets and you’re just housing them, or fully licensed service animals.
Service animals must be medically necessary. These are animals like trained PTSD service dogs, seeing eye dogs, epilepsy detection dogs, or animals that serve as mobility aids. For context, these animals are legally known as medical devices, not comfort animals, and are the same ones that are allowed on planes and in movie theaters.
9. Nicer Apartments are Pricing Out Long-Time Residents
Roy has never been much of a fancy area. It’s more brown and beige than anything else, but it’s cozy, and it’s home to a lot of people. It has its own kind of charm and nostalgia. This special nostalgia is partially connected to how affordable the city is compared to much of Utah.
Unfortunately, new developments and apartments are raising the rent for locals. While this is nice in theory, offering less scary housing to prospective residents, these developments are pricing out long-time Roy locals. Without Roy’s affordability, they’re in trouble.
10. Theft and Vandalism are Thorns in Locals’ Sides
Roy doesn’t have a lot of crime, and that’s a major selling point. Unfortunately, the crime that does persist in Roy is the annoying variety.
Locals report experiences with petty theft, car break-ins, and vandalism over almost anything else. Littering and graffiti are persistent challenges that nobody can quite get a handle on. Apartments, cars, and homes are all vulnerable to these crimes.
They’re small enough that reports aren’t always accurate because people figure it’s too much trouble to deal with. If somebody vandalizes a mailbox, the owners might just let it slide because they figure it’s dumb neighborhood kids.
If you move to Roy, Utah, take a good look around the neighborhood before you commit to living there. If you see vandalism, graffiti, lots of litter, or other signs that the neighborhood has stopped caring about petty crimes enough to report them, be cautious about living there. Your house won’t be the exception to the rule.
11. Cheap Entertainment is Limited
Roy has great entertainment nearby, with resources like Lagoon Amusement Park just a few train stops away, but none of it is affordable. Families will small children may struggle to find entertainment in the summers and winter.
Alternatively, many people may feel pressured into spending more than they can afford to join social gatherings. Rec center passes, amusement park passes, and even eating at cheap restaurants can add up in cost.
12. Driving Can Get Scary
Many states joke that the construction cone is their state’s flower, but I’ve never seen a state where it was quite as true as it is in Utah. The Roy area is constantly under construction in one way or another.
As challenging as that can be, it’s far from the biggest problem a driver faces in Roy. Other hazards include horses and riders on the side of the road, irrigation ditches that are camouflaged by weeds, slick winter conditions, unexpected fog, whiteout conditions in snow storms, and creative experimental changes to road designs that aren’t explained well to any of the locals.
Locals like myself can testify that these situations make even a basic driving day into a challenge, ensuring that you never let your guard down.
13. Schools aren’t Great Compared to Other Parts of Utah
The schools aren’t the worst you’ll ever find, but they’re not great, either. Parents may just find themselves disappointed and underwhelmed with the quality of education their kids are receiving.
14. Kids and Teens Have Limited Options for Play Outside the Home
We’ve already mentioned that cheap or affordable outings are limited, but the problem is even further reaching for kids and teens. They need time outside, after all, and Roy isn’t the best green space in Utah.
Trails nearby have rattlesnakes and tarantulas, so kids can’t be left unsupervised on them. Parks are limited and have had problems with drug users or homeless people living in them. Teens and kids are left with the option to stay at home or start exploring scarier options, and parents can easily get overwhelmed.
15. Weather is Extreme
Utah’s crazy weather can leave you freezing one morning, then have you in a t-shirt the next afternoon. As annoying as this is for schoolchildren who have to carry a coat in May, it’s much worse for anyone trying to garden or grow fruit trees.
16. Roy isn’t Immune to Utah’s Inversion Problem
Utah has bad air. There’s no other way to say it. If you think you’re escaping the massive pollution of the Salt Lake Valley by moving to Roy, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you haven’t escaped a thing. All that grey around your home isn’t just fog.
Yes, you really can taste the air, and it’s bad. We don’t just wear masks during quarantine!
17. The Great Salt Lake is Threatening Roy’s Air Safety
Utah’s Great Salt Lake is approaching a little closer to “time bomb” status with every passing year. The lake is drying up, leaving a bed of heavy metals and arsenic for everyone to worry about. If you’re moving to Utah, know that this could soon be a problem for you and your family as well.