A nasty, Valley life altering precedence was set by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission Tuesday night when they gave preliminary approval to the Bison Creek Ranch Subdivision in Huntsville. 150 lots on 458 acres (of which, at least 165 acres is in wetlands) with bonus density given for clustering, trails, road stubs, and excess sewage capacity. What a bunch of ... sewage! By the way, we at the Forum strongly disagree with giving developers a bonus when they will already receive a huge financial windfall by means of clustering their infrastructure (water lines, utilities, roads, etc.)
The precedence set now allows BIG builders to develop wetlands. Sadly, many citizens brought up compelling reasons for the issue to be tabled, but the Commission made the approval with a list of contingencies rather than tabling the proposal. The motion for approval was made by Greg Graves and seconded by Verl Creager, who incidentally appeared to be asleep (or at least uninterested) during much of the 5 1/2 hour meeting. The bottom line is that many real and legitimate concerns were brought up, and in true "Dog and Pony Show" fashion, the approval was rubber stamped.
Our hats go off to Commissioners Gary Allen and Keith Rounkles for asking the right questions and taking a definite stand against the travesty. We thought Commissioner Holmstrom may step up to the plate, but she grounded out by waffling to an "Aye" vote after all other votes had been cast.
Speaking of the commissioners, Jim Banks was noticeably absent. We support and agree with the Letter to the Ogden Valley News Editor published on February 15, 2007. Mr. Banks is definitely in a conflict of interest and should step down from the Commission. He works for the water companies of several Valley developers - the same developers who constantly bombard the P & Z and County Commissioners with rezoning requests and development approval.
More will be published, but it is time to wake up and get involved Ogden Valley. There are a couple of citizens groups forming and these groups would love your involvement. Members of the East Huntsville Planning Committee and the Valley Residents for Responsible Development are two such groups.
It is time to get unified and take a stand!