The Powder Mountain rezone was tabled again last night until November 29th at 5PM. It appears some of the OVPC members were clearly split on this idea, but it was decided to continue the debate on the 29th.
Commissioner Bill Seigel formally opposed this move, he stated that they have talked about this rezone enough and it is time to vote. Chairman Louis Cooper feels that possibly some agreement with restrictions could be reached to satisfy all interested parties.
We did not see any new answers to the questions surrounding density numbers or traffic and safety issues in the Valley and the Powder Mountain Road. New questions regarding water usage and watershed depletion due to two 18 hole Golf courses were raised along with the possibility that Powder Mountain may choose to install snow making equipment to protect their financial investment if natural snow is less than expected with the predicted climate changes and drought. The water depletion issue can be significant when you consider that all this would be new water usage and at a very high volume all through the year.
Corey Pope from UDOT stated that if UDOT was asked to build the Powder Mountain Road now, it probably would not build it due to the extreme grades and narrow confines. A resident of Weber County that drives a school bus for a living said that under Federal Rules, School Buses cannot use roads where the grade exceeds 6%. The Powder Mountain Road has some areas where the grade is more than double that number. In fact the average grade number for the entire road is over 12%. This should not be minimized when considering buses and traffic from up to 10,000 skiers and more on holiday weekends.
The density numbers can be deceptive as well. The planning staff used some hotel room numbers that are not used to calculate density, and the total units in Weber County were reduced from 2800 to 2504. But this is misleading for traffic and people predictions because people will be driving their cars and riding buses to stay in those hotel rooms that are not counted in the density statistics. In addition, the 900 units and their visitors to Cache County must be counted in any traffic
predictions since all of them will have to pass through Ogden Valley and up Powder Mountain Road going in and coming out of the resort.
To clarify the Planning Staff's responsibilities, they carry the burden to offer the best approach to petitioners based on what the petitioner is trying to achieve. These recommendations do not reflect any endorsement of the petition, but a willingness to provide county services for each citizen. The Powder Mountain Project Manager stated that the rezone was "approved" by the planning staff. This is not true, they recommended the only path (a rezone) that would provide the required zoning for the two 18 hole golf courses.
Your VCRD Staff