We will start off this morning with a recent letter to the editor of the Standard Examiner from Huntsville's own Sharon Zini. Sharon graciously thanks the Ogden Valley Planning Commissioners for "stepping up to their responsibility" regarding the Greed stricken Powder Mountain rezone request.
We also congratulate Star Standard reporter Marshall Thompson and his wife Kristen on the recent addition to their small family. With literary deadlines approaching, Marshall penned his Powder Mountain story while timing his wife's contractions. Now that's dedication and we in the valley are fortunate to have Marshall covering our local stories. It seems as though the Standard has a renewed interest in "Ogden's Hole" and we appreciate the coverage.
We also read that the Weber County Assessor's budget increased by $190,000 in 2008 vs. 2007, due to the nearly 2,000 appeals and the resultant reassessments. The funds will pay to improve the accuracy of mass property value appraisals, said Douglas Larsen, deputy assessor. “It’s the result of the very energetic property tax attitude this year,” he said. “The funds are tied to a consideration of how we collect data and how we interpret the data.”
Lastly, we will include a letter to the commissioners from a concerned Edenite regarding the looming Powder Mountain rezone:
To: Weber County Commissioners
Eden, Utah 84310
As you prepare to consider the issue of development at Powder Mountain I request you consider the following issues as part of your deliberation. I support the property rights of owners, responsible growth and development. I support growth at Powder Mountain. I support a jurisdiction’s planners and elected political leaders rights to implement policy in keeping the established precedent, existing regulations and the general ideals of local residents.
My single biggest concern regarding the “Powder Mountain” review process and proposed plan is the failure to adequately deal with issue of vehicular access. Powder Mountain is fairly unique among ski operations, in that the base operations, parking, and proposed development are all at the top of the mountain (almost). A planner worth his or her salt wouldn’t dream of designing and a staff reviewer wouldn’t dream of approving a residential community of a couple hundred units with only one point of ingress and egress. Emergency access and good traffic design dictate multiple points of ingress and egress even if a planned community sat on a flat rural road. To not require the same minimum standard for this large planned community/development is negligent. Powder Mountain Road (SR158) is a truly challenging road from a safety standpoint in good weather and down right treacherous in poor. Basic requirements of an “adequate public facility” planning ethic demands the existing road be improved significantly, or more likely, a permanent all weather alternate access road be constructed to Weber County and UDOT standards. Zoning approval should be conditioned on the secondary road being built as phase one (day one) not after 8, 80, 800 or 3000 units. The alternate (secondary) access could serve as a dedicated construction access. With out the separation of commercial and commuter traffic on Powder Mountain road, tragedies are not only likely but inevitable. Are the commissioners informed as to the accident history of that portion of SR 158?
Following are thoughts and questions as a result of my cursory review of your staff’s recommendations and the TIS update. I will be out of town the day of your hearing and hope you will consider my ramblings…
Fehr and Peers traffic analysis
1. Define actual location of recommended Commuter/shuttle parking at “base of powder mountain”
a. zoning of location
b. will location be in residential area adjacent to Wolf creek PUD or in business district of Eden? Impact on character of surrounding area.
c. lighting of location
d. hours of operation
e. spaces required
f. ADT’s are reduced by 3903 forced shuttle. Assuming two trips and two passengers per vehicle (900 +\-) spaces required?
2. With conditional denial of air transportation what is impact/change to traffic analysis?
3. Reduction of traffic by transit program is speculative. For instance, stating lift discount will drive shuttle use assumes competitive pricing on lift tickets from other ski resorts does not exist. A $5 discount (for instance) is not going to drive behavior for convenience.
4. Excerpt from TIS update: The reduction in trips due to transit will be between 15 and 20 percent for the condo, resort home, hotel, and retreat land uses. This number is based on calculations used in the updated Flagstaff Mountain Resort Transit and Parking Management Plan Update, prepared by Fehr & Peers and dated August 5, 2006. A copy of this study is available upon request from Fehr & Peers.
Obtain copy of Flagstaff Plan for relevance. Are Flagstaff residential, operations and services at the top of the mountain like Powder Mountain?
4. Does traffic study consider impact from Cache County impacts (units)
5. Does traffic study consider impact of commercial support vehicles impact on traffic flow (food delivery, trash removal and other community support supplies).
6. What is traffic impact of construction related light and heavy commercial traffic on Powder mountain road during multi year build out? I have a hard time seeing semi’s, lowboys, dump, concrete delivery, craned drywall, dumpster and other vehicles sharing the road with skier traffic.
Weber County commissioners staff recommendations.
1. OVBC conditions construction of second access at 895 units, Weber Staff recommends construction at 1223 units. Unmitigated unit increase of 36%, why? Permanent Secondary road should be condition of first building permit!
2. Why is there no staff recommendation to include or adopt OVPC conditions in the Weber staff recommendations?
1. Why not consider a MOU between Cache Co and Weber Co dealing with access and services provided by Weber Co. being equitably funded through redirected real estate tax revenue from Cache Co. parcels.
2. Is annexation a possibility?
3. Where will the child of a full time resident in the proposed community attend public school?
4. Will School Bus service be provided up Powder Mountain Road?