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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Review of a Conservation Easement (and Purchase of Development Rights)

Transfer of Development rights are definitely a hot topic right now, but it seems as though details or examples are somewhat hard to find.

Read this informative article from The eco-logic POWERHOUSE to find out what Bio West hasn't told you!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Major Developments Proposed For South Side of Valley

The long anticipated post Olympic development boom has hit the valley hard and Huntsville is the latest target. The South side of the Valley has somehow escaped the rampant growth so prevalent in the Eden and Liberty area. With the exception of the Ski Lake, Green Hills and a few isolated areas, the growth on the south side of the past few years could be considered sporadic. UNTIL NOW!

Several projects are in the planning stage. One of the largest, Bison Creek, was the cover article of the latest (12-15-2006) issue of the local Ogden Valley News. According to the article, the planned subdivision is 458.868 acres and consists of 150 lots. The cluster lots could be as small as 10,000 square feet (less than 1/4 acre). This land has inherent problems as much of the area is wet. The developers are also proposing an on site sewer where the treated waste water will be stored in a community lake for reuse in the secondary water system. And Weber County or its assigns will provide sewer service.

Another proposed project is Trapper's Crossing which will be located on the old Trapper's loop road. Details are not available, but rumored to be some 80 acres with about 27 high dollar lots. There is also talk of expanding along the foothill to the east.

Still another will border the South boundary of Huntsville Town and is called "The Rivers." The proposal calls for 42 lots on about 55 acres. What happened to 3 acre zoning? This subdivision would be along the west side of Highway 39, west and south of the storage sheds and American Legion.

All of these developments plan to send their sewage to the Sewage system run by Weber County located on the Bison Creek Subdivision. Furthermore, the 16 acre lake full of processed sewage will be a playground, complete with a boat house. Let's dive in!

Stay tuned for more details....




Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Save our Ogden Valley Property Rights Meeting

A large grass roots ground swell have developed among Valley residences concerned about the Steering Committee & Gem Committee proposed ordinances. If you have not read these ordinances. Please take time to become familiar with the issues.

The Save our Ogden Valley Property Rights Committee will meet at the

Huntsville Library Auditorium on November 30th 7:00 P.M.

Please come prepared to discuss the issues by having read and studied the proposed ordinance changes.

Click Here To See Drafts

Sunday, November 05, 2006

County Commissioner Elections

Tuesday's election will be very important for all Valley residents and business owners as two of the Weber County Commission seats (seat A and B) are up for election. In fact, of all the races on Tuesday, I view it as THE most important as those we choose will have a very active roll in the shaping and planning of our Valley.

That being said, I will pass on some of my findings while trying to make the difficult choice from four qualified candidates.

Click here to see the findings

Monday, May 15, 2006

Wolf Creek Rezone Petition Public Hearing May 16th

Be sure to attend this important meeting - for more details, click here:

NOTICE OF HEARING
Notice is hereby given that the Weber County Commission will hold a public hearing on the 16th day of May 2005, at 6:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers, 1st Floor, Weber Center, 2380 WashingtonBlvd., Ogden, Utah, to consider a petition to rezone property at 2640 North Highway 162, fromAgricultural AV-3 to Commercial CV-2. Copies of the proposal may be reviewed prior to the hearing in the Weber County PlanningCommission Office, Suite 240, in the Weber Center.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Porterville Residents Fight Rezone

Excerpts From the Standard Examiner May 8, 2006

Proposed development causes concerns

BY DEANNE WINTERTON Standard-Examiner correspondent


MORGAN — Morgan County’s development boom is attempting to stretch its fingers into sleepy Porterville, and residents are fighting the negative effects it may have on their property.

At Tuesday’s Morgan County Council meeting, landowner Robert Wingate sought to rezone 66 acres so he can build 17 5-acre lots on Red Hawk Ranch near 3570 S. Highway 66.

However, the council voted to send the action back to the Planning Commission in hopes the commission will reconvene the Porterville area plan committee.

Does the Morgan County Council actually listen to its citizens? And do their citizens actually speak up?

Residents living near the proposed development, some of whom have shallow wells, are hesitant to allow construction of the new lots, which would use individual wells and septic tanks. The concept plan also calls for an equestrian trail.

Chet Adams is concerned that the plan also calls for a park near his farm where he slaughters about 35 animals each year.

“People moving from urban areas don’t like to see animals slaughtered,” said Adams, who has lived in the area for about 48 years.

Craig Taylor, who owns land south of the proposed development, also objects to the project, saying, “A man’s entitled to sell his ground to make a profit, but this will set a precedent for this area without forethought that will shape other options of other landowners, defining future use of our property.”

Michelle Peterson, who lives at 3400 S. Highway 66, is equally concerned about water quality if the development proceeds. “If they have to dig wells, what happens to the existing wells?” she said. “I have a shallow, handdug grand-daddy well. I would like to keep my family healthy. If my well does go bad, who will help me take care of it?”

Kenneth G. Adams, who also uses a well in the area, called for reconvening the Porterville committee. “Our battle is not with Wingate, but with the proposal that could change the very face of our community,” he said.

Property Taxes Are Rising!

As has been previously mentioned on this site, many changes are occurring in and around our valley. Some are good, and some not so good. It seems as though the Post Olympic Housing boom has finally hit in a big way and there are both winners and losers.

Obvious winners are the many developers who are scattering our valley with new homes and subdivisions. Contractors, Realtors and mortgage brokers are all cashing in and we certainly don’t begrudge them for doing so. Many investors are reaping rewards by "flipping" run down properties for a ridiculous fortune, while some farmers and homeowners are selling out to jumpstart their wealth.

Weber County has taken note and is going after the easy money our valley provides by reassessing our property values. If your property taxes have not gone up yet, you can expect them to rise sharply in the upcoming years. Rumor has it the county has not reassessed the lower valley for years because it is not cost effective to do so, but they have been out in force reevaluating our properties. To the county, we are easy money.

The losers in this situation are those of us who wish to stay, but may find ourselves priced out of the market with the imminent tax increases. The time to band together and create a strong voice is now and that is one of the main reasons for the creation of this site - to unify and inform our community while planning an attack against taxes. One only has to look at Ketchum, Jackson and Park City to see the negative affects of outrageous property taxes. You will be hard pressed to find an "old timer" on a fixed income in any of those areas.

So where do we go from here? That is the million dollar question. In 1978, California voters passed Proposition 13, entitled "People's Initiative to Limit Property Taxation." In a nutshell it states that the real estate tax on a parcel of property is limited to 1% of its assessed value, until the property is resold. This "assessed value", however, may only be increased by a maximum of 2% per year.

The good new is that Utah is one of 24 states that allows citizens initiatives on ballots. Now it would be a big feat to have a few from Ogden Valley push a similar initiative onto the state ballot in 2007, but it may be realistic to get it on the Weber County ballot.

This is simply a grassroots effort at creating interest and input. While we do not have all the answers it is definitely an important issue that needs to be addressed very soon. Your input is welcomed. Check back often!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

Land Sliding Away - Building On Hillsides!

Here is an editorial that appeared in the Standard May 4th regarding the Morgan Council allowing developments to be belt on known or potential slide areas. Weber County should also take note.

Land-sliding away
Standard Examiner

Thursday, May 4, 2006



For weeks, now, this newspaper has been filled with stories about hillsides moving and the miserable consequences for the people who own homes on, or below, those sliding hills.


It strikes us as both curious and a bit callous, then, to hear some comments being made by Morgan County Council members.


But first, some history: The County Council voted a couple of weeks ago to allow about 830 homes on 1,200 acres in Mountain Green. And in Phase 2 of the development, which will see 149 homes, there are 76 homes on lots that could, potentially, experience some kind of sliding in years ahead.


The county is requiring, then, that the buyers of the 76 homes be made aware that the possibility of instability exists.


"There's a certain amount of buyer beware," Councilman Bart Smith explained. "The county is doing its part to put them on notice."


The Standard-Examiner's correspondent Deanne Winterton quoted Morgan County Engineer Austin Rowser as being even blunter: "History has proven that (those lots) may not be the best place to build. Small failures are always a reality, but we do not have a county ordinance to address grading of the lots."


That sounds a lot like leaders washing their hands of the decision to let development proceed on hillsides that everyone agrees may become unstable.


Losers in the 4-3 vote -- not counting the homeowners who may be out of luck someday when their homes become uninhabitable -- were the council members who think the majority is making a mistake. Councilman David Gardiner summed it up when he said, "We have to be concerned when we hear the heartache of people with landslides on their land. I feel we're setting a very dangerous precedent."


No kidding. If Morgan County doesn't have adequate laws on the books to give its leaders the power to stop development of homes on land that may slide, it should begin investigating its options in that regard. Furthermore, if those homes are built, the possibility of slides better be known to every buyer of every home in perpetuity. Likewise, lending institutions and insurance companies should be examining whether or not it's a good idea to finance and insure homes built on potential slide areas.


As for the morality of building homes on potentially unstable lots, in a perfect world nobody would attempt such a thing. But we understand that people demand to live on hillsides and will pay a premium price for the opportunity. The developer, Gardner Development operating under the name Cottonwood Creek LLC, should be able to give homeowners some assurance that it has built homes that won't be ruined by slides. If it can't, maybe it should re-evaluate whether or not those homes should be built.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ogden Valley Utah Forum

Ogden Valley Utah Forum
Well it looks like somebody finally did something to intervene with those poor sheep and horses over in Huntsville. This ridiculous and sickening situation's been allowed to go on way longer than it should have. Too much of a conflict of interest for the Mayor to address his own sister's problems? Congradulations to the people over there that finally took the initiave to bring it to the attention of someone or anyone for that matter outside the place that should have taken care of it - and along time ago. I got tired of taking the drive over to get to Trapppers. It was a public embarrassment that was ignored for way to long. Probably as long as the Mayor's been in Office over there?

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Weber County Commission Minutes from March 21, 2006

Items affecting Ogden Valley from commission minutes:


Final approval of Sheep Creek Cluster Subdivision Phase 4 at 3800 E. 4600 N.
consisting of 25 lots including a financial guarantee in the amount of approximately $398,108.56

Kevin Hamilton, County Planning Department, showed maps of this final phase of the Sheep Creek Cluster Subdivision. Twenty four of the lots are accessed off of the road that comes off North River Drive. All but one lot sit between Sheep Creek and the North Fork of the Ogden River and will be serviced by Powder Mountain Sewer, and the one lot that sits to the west will be serviced by a septic system. While the lots do not fall within the floodplain, the County Engineer requested that the lowest habitable floor be built above the base flood elevation adjacent to the lots because of the porousness of the soils. There was concern that if the river reached flood stage the ground water would rise to a problematic level. The base flood elevations for each lot is listed on the final plat and those building on the lots will be required to construct above those levels. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval.
Commissioner Bischoff moved to grant final approval of Sheep Creek Cluster Subdivision Phase 4 located at 3800 E. 4600 N. consisting of 25 lots including a financial guarantee in the amount of $398,108.56; Commissioner Cain seconded, all voting aye.


Public Comments:

Paul Southwick, representing North Eden Acres Phase 4, thanked the Commission for approving his item. Mr. Southwick commended the Ogden Valley Pathways on what they had done, stating that it was clearly noticed what these improvements did to enhance the Ogden Valley. He said that with the number of homes going up in the Ogden Valley the Commission should consider charging an impact fee during this time. Commissioner Cain noted that the State required the county to do an impact fee study prior to being able to impose it. The county conducted a study at the end of last year and had been waiting for the closing of the legislature session to find out the outcome on impact fee legislation. Commissioner Cain said that it would be helpful if Mr. Southwick attended the forthcoming public hearing on impact fees and stated his position

Blog Away!

Over the years, there have been many "advocates" for those of us in the Valley. Advocates who stay up to date on Valley happenings and keep a watchful eye on events taking place in the commission chambers and the town hall.


The problem is that the job of advocate has a high burnout rate - you can only last so long, before you assume your voice does not matter. With that in mind, residents need to come together. The more advocates we get the easier it will be for everyone. With new cyber tools such as this forum, we should be able to build momentum. Your voice does matter and you must be heard. WE MUST BE HEARD!


Lots of things are happening right before our eyes and it is time we wake up! Believe it or not, I am new to the blogosphere, so bear with me during the learning curve. Although I'll initially limit original articles to those of my own composition and those of a few others, the invitation's immediately open for the submission of "guest editorials," which can be sent to ogdenvalley@gmail.com

If this web project pans out, I'll no doubt add "guest bloggers" to the team on an ongoing basis.

Thanks for visiting and BLOG away!

Friday, April 28, 2006

About Ogden Valley Utah Forum

Many changes are occuring in and around our valley. Whether you are a long term and full time resident, or a more recent part time transplant, these many changes and issues will effect us all. Growth, traffic and Sewage and water issues are a huge concern and have been limited largely to the north side of the valley, but there are now several developments proposed on the South side. Large developments that are in various stages of planning and approval from the County.

This venue is intended to serve as a non-partisan public community forum, providing citizens of Ogden Valley Utah a cyber focal point within which to discuss, debate and rant about any and all local governmental policies and issues in and around Huntsville, Eden and Liberty, Utah.

Users are invited to visit, chat, argue, bicker, promote and co-ordinate political events, post, link and read articles, and whatever else -- so long as they observe a reasonable level of civility and decorum. For those folks new to blogging, consider this blog a cyber "letters-to-editor" venue, with a lot more of a free-wheeling attitude than you'll find in your hometown newspaper.

If you want to put in your $.02, just post your own comments with the comments button. The comments interface is similar to the one you probably use for regular email. For those of you more familiar with the ways of the blogosphere, you already know the drill, so have at it and enjoy.