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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Update on Bison Creek Ranch

When the VCRD Trustees learned late last week of Bison Creek's Stream Alteration request, a letter was sent from the VCRD to the Utah Division of Water Rights (UDWR). That letter, and the concerns expressed by several nearby landowners to the UDWR, resulted in an on site meeting scheduled by the UDWR yesterday morning. At the meeting were representatives from the UDWR, the Utah Division of Wildlife, the developer, his engineering company, the VCRD and several landowners. Although invited by the UDWR, the Corps of Engineers chose not to attend.

The purpose of the meeting as stated in a letter from the UDWR was for Barry Swartz of Bison Creek "to clarify certain points regarding the various drainages involved and their relationship to the development." And that "this may be a good time for adjacent property owners to have their concerns addressed."

Mr. Swartz and Gardner Engineering reviewed the project using maps which included among other things the location of streams, springs, irrigation ditches, bridges, culverts, boardwalks and trailways. There were many questions asked and answered concerning the following: location of the streams and springs to be altered, the percent of wetlands impacted by the project & how calculated, why the boardwalks through the wetlands aren't included in that calculation, whether all bridges will be outside the wetlands, the approach to be taken to prohibit trucks from driving through wetlands during project construction, precautions taken so lot owners do not impact wildlife, mosquito abatement, ownership & responsibility for the roads, lakes, wetlands & sewer treatment facility, source of water for homes, lawns, lakes, wetlands & to replace lake water lost to evaporation.

The answers provided were not always ones we wanted to hear. The developer referred back to being given approval from the Corps of Engineers on many items. One such item is the exclusion of the boardwalks in calculating the percent of wetlands disturbed by the project. Per the developer the boardwalks are designed within the Corps's accepted parameters so as to be excluded from the measurement.

The developer did say that because of concerns received by the Corps late last year from Valley residents on the overall percentage of wetlands included on Bison Creek property the acreage was recalculated and more wetlands added to the project. (A minor win for our side.)

The representative from Division of Wildlife commented that they had asked for those lots in the upper portion of the development to be pulled back because of an endangered species of bird in the vicinity. This reduction of lot sizes was agreed to by the developer. (Another minor victory.)

Some attendees made recommendations based on personal experience to increase the size of the culverts to be used. The UDWR representative mentioned they would also like to see the culverts enlarged and half piped. At first Mr. Swartz agreed to enlarge the pipes, but then backpedalled and said he would do "whatever the State and Corps wants."

When the meeting was adjourned the UDWR rep asked the developer to show him certain areas of the project. We were not included in this discussion.

Sharon Zini
VCRD Secretary

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Rock Crushing in the Valley

I did not attend the OVPC meeting on Tuesday 6/26 I have been informed that the proposed zoning change to allow rock crushing in MV-1 zones was denied.

We can expect this decision to be appealed to the County Commissioners. You are encouraged to write to your the Commissioners and voice your opinion concerning this issue.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ogden Valley Planning Commission Meeting tonight!

The Ogden Valley Planning Commission Meeting will be held tonight:

June 26, 2007

4:30 Pm

Weber County Commission Chambers
Click Here for the agenda

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Letter to Sen Hatch, Bennett and Rep Bishop

This is a copy of the letter Sharon and I sent to our Federal Representatives
about the Bison Creek Ranch development and their recent request for Alteration of
the streams on their development property. They all received indivdual letters.and we felt
that since the US Army Corps of Engineers was involved in the original permit process at Bison
Creek, our Federal leaders may be able to assist with any review.

June 22, 2007

Dear Senator Hatch, Bennett and Rep Bishop

The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to an issue in the Ogden Valley that is of major concern to ourselves and other local residents.

Approval has been granted by the Weber County Planning Commission for the development of Bison Creek Ranch, including a sewer treatment facility adjacent to Highway 39. While the initial application for the Bison Creek development involved a permit approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers, it appears that the Bison Creek developer did not identify three streams on the property in their initial application.

The Bison Creek developer initially denied the existence of these springs, but has recently filed an application for an alteration permit for these now acknowledged streams and tributaries with the Utah Department of Natural Resources -Division of Water Rights.

This omission would make the initial Bison Creek Ranch request incomplete since their Joint Application stated that only 0.48 acres of watercourse and wetlands will be affected by this project. We request that the Army Corps of Engineers do a complete reanalysis of this application as it may now exceed 0.50 acres. If this is the case, a different Army Corps of Engineers permit would be required.

Your assistance is requested to insure that the US Army Corps of Engineers review and recalculate the percent of watercourse and wetlands now affected by this development.


Lawrence J. Zini Sharon A. Zini

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Public Hearing for Rezone in Huntsville

A public hearing is being held on June 19, 2007 at the Weber County Commission Chambers to discuss a rezone request that was denied by the Weber County Planning Commission in April.

The County Planning department is also against the rezone, but the petitioners have appealed to the County Commission.

This is of particular interest to those in Huntsville since the property is in very close proximity to Huntsville's water source and the resultant increased density could have a very negative impact on the water source. It would also be precedent setting for adjacent properties.

Be sure to attend this important meeting.

Richard Sorensen

Here is the information from the Counties web site:

Notice is hereby given that the Weber County Commission will hold a public hearing on
June 19,2007,
at 10:00 a.m, in the
Commission Chambers, 1st Floor, Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd.,Ogden, Utah,
to consider rezoning property in Section 2 Township 5 North Range 2 East from Forest F-40 to a Forest F-5.

Copies of the proposal may be reviewed prior to the hearing in the Weber County Planning Commission Office, Suite 240, in the Weber Center.

By Board of Commissioners of Weber County Jan M. Zogmaister, Vice Chair

ATTEST: Alan D. McEwan, CPA Weber County Clerk/Auditor

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bison Creek Files To Alter Spring Creek

Bison Creek has filed with the office of the Utah Division of Water Rights to Alter tributaries to Spring Creek.

The Camel got his nose in the tent - what next?

Comments must be made before June 18, 2007.

Here are some details:

Application to Alter a Natural Stream No. 07-35-0022 (SPRING CREEK
TRIBUTARIES (3)) has been filed in the office of the Utah Division of Water
Rights. Your comments are requested so we can evaluate any impacts caused
by the project.Click Here to see the application and documentation

If we do not receive comments by that date, the department will assume you
have no input on the proposal outlined in the application. If you have any
questions or comments, contact: Judy Mattson
or phone Judy at (801) 538-7414.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Bonus Density Awards

Letter to the Weber County Commission From Larry and Sharon Zini

We request that the Weber County Commission give serious consideration to removing all Bonus Density Awards for future development in the Ogden Valley. These Bonus Density Awards are a significant factor in the accelerated growth in the valley.

We are not advocating abandoning the Transfer Development Rights (TDR) concept in the Valley. We feel TDRs are an important component for the open space development concept.

If Bonus Density Awards are retained by the Weber County Commission, we recommend that:

1. The Weber County Commission reject the proposed TDR ordinance that provides additional bonus density units for TDRs purchased by developers. This ordinance would, in effect, increase the total Bonus Density Awards to 40%.

2. Maximize bonus density units at 20%, based on the original developer plan, exclusive of any TDRs purchased.

3. Consider reducing, and eventually eliminating Bonus Density Awards over the period of the next five years within the Ogden Valley.

Larry & Sharon Zini