Our Opinion By Larry and Sharon Zini
We feel the VCRD (Valley Citizens for Responsible Development) is moving in the right direction. Communication among the citizens that care about our valley is essential to muster the clout needed to deal with the strong influence of some developers and a mostly compliant Ogden Valley Planning Commission.
These contentious development growth issues impact the entire Ogden Valley, not just the towns of Huntsville, Eden or Liberty, or the unincorporated areas. If all concerned Valley citizens support the VCRD, it can become a powerful political force. With each of us getting involved and contacting our Weber County Commissioners, it would send a strong message to those three ELECTED officials.
We encourage everyone to read the blogs placed by concerned Valley residents. You should post your opinions in the comments area and participate.
We also recommend that all concerned Valley residents read the 3 new proposed ordinances, not just the overviews, the actual ordinances. The overview does not address the very generous "Bonus Density" provisions for developers. We consider bonus density provisions to be the heart of the accelerated growth issues in the Valley.
Sharon and I have reviewed the three proposed ordinances pending consideration by the Weber County Planning Commission, CHAPTER 38B, Ogden Valley Sensitive Lands Overlay Districts, CHAPTER 43, Ogden Valley Master-Planned Recreational Resort Zone RR-I and TITLE 37, Ogden Valley Transfer of Development Rights as well as CHAPTER 22B, Cluster Subdivision Special Provisions.
We feel the TDR Ordinance was drafted with good intentions, but it provides an accelerated growth opportunity to developers through the generous "bonus" provisions noted under 37-3, the terms to be included in the Chapter 22B, Cluster Subdivision Special Provisions following approval of the TDR Ordinance. This could result in significantly more units for developers in the Valley than anticipated and will accelerate the negative impact on the overall quality of life.
The following is a hypothetical example of how the "Bonus Density" provisions included in 37-3 of the TDR proposed ordinance can add to the growth of units in the Valley in a manner that is not obvious at first glance. We have all heard that "The Devil is in the details."
If a developer asks for approval for 200 units and he also has 50 units of TDRs he purchased from a Valley resident, he appears on the surface to have the ability to develop 250 units. However, under the proposed "Bonus Density" provisions of the new TDR ordinance, he will receive an additional 100 units (40% of 250) for his project. At this point, the total units now involved are 350 units. It does not end there. If the developer is involved with Resort zoning, he receives an additional 10% in bonus units for employee dwellings (35 units or 10% of 350) and these units do not count against his total units approved. These additional employee units are included in the draft ordinance CHAPTER 43, Ogden Valley Master-Planned Recreational Resort Zone RR-43-3-H Employee Housing and Transportation Provision.
In summary, we started with 250 units and now we are at 385 units in the above example. This is a 54% increase in units over the original request. We feel the TDR bonus density provision should be removed from the new proposed ordinance. The bonus density units when earned by developers, should be maximized at 20% of the original proposed developer units.
We believe that a temporary moratorium on development in the Ogden Valley should be considered by the Weber County Commission until these proposed ordinances can be reviewed and a new impact study conducted.
Larry and Sharon Zini
UPDATE April 30, 2007:
This comment promoted for ease of viewing:
We at the forum have long been opposed to the Bonus density that is given so freely to developers who cluster, provide open space, etc. The bonus is in the developers ability to "cluster" their infrastructure such as roads, utilities, etc. and they should not receive further incentives - we call that double dipping.
And now, as Larry and Sharon have pointed out, the TDR's include verbiage for HUGE bonuses that will create substantially more units.
Contact the commissioners and urge them to call a "time out" and ask for a moratorium on all new development. As we see it, that is the only option.
Contacts List for County Commissioners:
Shelly Halacy, Administrative Assistant to the Weber County Commission
Weber County Commission
2380 Washington Blvd. Suite 360
Ogden, UT 84401