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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Modern Day Ogden Valley Pioneer Passes

Sadly, we read in today's Standard that long time resident Leon Sorensen of Huntsville passed away Friday. Leon ran Leon's Market in Huntsville (where the Ogden Valley Community Church is) for nearly 40 years until the late '80s. He also served as Mayor and Councilman of Huntsville for years, and was a veteran of World War II.

Our condolences go out to the family.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Action - Powder Mountain Rezone!

While researching the Powder Mountain Rezone petition I learned today that because of the previous delays in hearing this petition, it will, in all probability be heard by the OVPC on October 23rd. The new Recreation Resort Zone ordinance will not be approved by that date. With this in mind, it is very important that we all communicate our input about the Powder Mountain Rezone to the OVPC Commissioners prior to October 23rd.

When voicing our concerns to the OVPC about the Powder Mountain Rezone petition, it is crucial that we focus on the specifics of the rezone petition and the issues and problems that can arise if the request is approved. For example you may wish to consider some of the following items: the numbers associated with the major density increase that would be brought about by the proposed zoning changes; increased traffic to the Valley on our predominately rural roads, safety concerns about the Powder Mountain Road itself, and the fact that it is the only way in and out of the resort, and the impact on the wildlife areas inside and surrounding the zones in the petition.

Where possible, it will be beneficial if we can make recommendations to the Commissioners on alternatives we'd like to see in this petition. We must assume the petition will be approved in some form. Please send your comments to:

Ogden Valley Planning Commission (OVPC)
In care of their clerk, Sherri Sillito
Her telephone number is: 801-399-8791

Her e-mail address is:

Include instructions to distribute your letter to all Ogden Valley Planning Commission members.

Remember to include your Name, and Address so they know who you are and to eliminate the possibility that your e-mail or letter would be discarded.

Your VCRD Staff

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Powder Mountain Rezone Tabled Again!

UPDATE - 9/27/07 From the 9/26 Standard Examiner, Ogden Valley Rezone on Hold

At last night’s Ogden Valley Planning Committee meeting the rezone request for Powder Mountain was tabled until October 23 without Commission discussion or public input. However, the OVPC did set a date for their members to make a field trip to Powder Mountain to view the areas involved in the request. This trip has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12 at 1PM. The Commission was asked if the public could accompany them on the trip. They had no problem with the request but Staff indicated they should check with legal because County vehicles will be used for the trip. We will follow up with Staff next week and let you know their response.

Another item on the agenda was a discussion only, no action required by the OVPC. The discussion was initiated by Ron Catanzaro, the Ski Lake developer, on his concept of establishing an overlay nightly rental zone for, first, his residential home development, the Chalets, located off Old Snowbasin Road and backing onto Hwy. 39. His idea also included expanding the overlay zone to other, similar developments in the Valley. Five different individuals from all over Ogden Valley spoke against this proposal. The OVPC commission did not appear to be receptive to this concept and the message was clear to Mr. Catanzaro that this type of zoning change was not in the best interest of the Ogden Valley.

Your VCRD Staff

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

*Prompt Action Required* Powder Mountain Rezone Request September 25th and More (Updated 9/25)

This is to remind all residents of Ogden Valley that an important decision on the Powder Mountain Rezone issue may be made on September 25th by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission.

The VCRD recommends that the Powder Mountain Rezone be tabled or denied, pending the passage of the Resort and TDR Ordinances, still being finalized. If this rezone is passed without the density controls provided by these pending ordinances, we can expect other developers and resort planners to file similar rezone petitions and continued unchecked development growth in Ogden Valley.

The VCRD staff suggests that all Valley citizens stay involved on these issues, attend the Commission meetings or Public Hearings, and continue to write to your Commission members to express your feelings.

Write to your OVPC at, remember to include your name and valley address.

If you have not signed the Powder Mountain Petition please look to the right of this message to find the Powder Mountain petition and sign by September 23.

Please forward this message or call those residents and neighbors not on line to get them involved on this important issue.

UPDATE: Be sure to read D-Bell's Speech before Utah Legislature’s Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee

Also, be sure to pick up and post your "FOR SALE - Can't Afford The Taxes" sign

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Site Upgrades

We have been making many improvements to the Forum with hopes of making this a "one stop shop."

The property tax issue is obviously huge, so we have created a page dedicated to the issue - Ogden Valley Tax Revolt - and it will include links to many local articles and news reports about the ongoing tax fight.

From there, you can link to other tax related sites such as D-Bell's "Wingmen for Property Tax Re-Forum" and a page we created for State Legislator Gage Froerer's submissions. The link for the Ogden Valley "For Sale - Can't Afford the Taxes" site is also there.

These links have been modified with graphics - simply click on the graphic in the right column and you will be "linked" to the site.

We are also looking at the creation of pages for candidates for the upcoming elections in Huntsville, but in the future will include County candidates as well. If you have any questions we can direct to the Huntsville Candidates, please post below or email to We will compile the questions and include them in our political pages.

More improvements are planned and be sure to sign up for our email updates using the form in the right column. As an added bonus, we have included a sign up link below. As always, no spam, just updates on local issues.

Sign up for all by clicking the email icon next to "Reading List by Feedblitz"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ogden Valley For Sale Signs, Property Tax Hearing, Powder Mountain Rezone and Letter from UDOT regarding Ogden Canyon concerns

Update at 11 AM Wednesday - For Sale - Can't Afford the Taxes Signs Are Available - Click for details

UPDATE at 11:30 PM 9-18-07

See you at the State Capitol, Ogden Valley! (If you are not recieving our updates, add your email address to our "Subscribe Me" link in the right column.)

There are several important items today.

Be sure to attend the:

Public Hearing on Property Taxes for the Utah Legislature's Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

3:30 PM

W135 House Building, State Capitol Complex, Salt Lake City

Comments may be sent to taxcomment@utah.govIt will be important that we pack the building and let the Legislature know we are serious about tax reform.

Our own "Wingman" D-Bell is on the agenda and could use your support. Arrive early for good parking and seating. By the way, D-Bell had a guest commentary in Today's Standard.

Also, we just heard that the Ogden Valley - "For Sale - Can't Afford The Taxes" Signs" will be available Wednesday afternoon, and

ABC 4 News featured Huntsville Town for sale on Monday. Click here to view the segment which featured Huntsville residents D-Bell and Richard Sorensen.

Click the sign for details.
Ogden Valley For Sale Signs

Next, Powder Mountain will once again be seeking a MAJOR rezone during a hearing on September 25, 2007. More details will follow, so mark your calendars and be sure to sign the petition.

Lastly, Larry Zini just received this reply from UDOT regarding his concerns over large truck usage of Ogden Canyon. Click on the image to make larger.

That's all for now..... SEE YOU AT THE STATE CAPITAL!

Sensitive Land Ordinance is Approved!

By an unanimous vote, the Ogden Valley Planning Commission passed
the Sensitive Land Ordinance last night.

This is the first of the 3 Ordinances for Ogden Valley that will provide
specific guidelines to help retain the character and charm of our Valley.

We recommend that residents support the Resort and TDR Ordinances
when they are presented at future public hearings.

Your VCRD Staff

Monday, September 17, 2007

Stay Focused and Involved


We just received a tip that our local Property Tax Wingman, D-Bell, will discussing our Tax issues during the KTVX 4 news at 4, 6 and 10pm tonight. Be sure to tune in!

Also, be sure to read today's Salt Lake Tribune Article, "Huntsville homeowners boil as property taxes soar"

Blogmeister's Note: Today (Monday, September 17th) is the deadline to file an appeal with Weber County for your Property Tax Assessment. Don't forget to bombard the Assessor's office with your appeals!

But there are other important issues that face us, and the first is a PUBLIC HEARING tonight. We are rerunning a post from about two weeks ago with details.

As Ogden Valley residents we are under severe pressure these days with substantial property tax increases and an endless stream of developer petitions that demand continued involvement on many development issues.

While the current property tax issue is front and center now with many residents, there are other items simultaneously happening that can have an adverse affect on Ogden Valley if we don't remain engaged.

The three draft Ogden Valley ordinances are moving through the Planning Commission work sessions. We will have the first Public Hearing September 17th at 5PM on the draft Sensitive Land Ordinance. You can view this draft ordinance with Planning Committee changes on the Weber County web site at

Concurrently, developer petitions like the Powder Mountain Rezone request and the amendment request to the CV-2 zone at Old Snowbasin Road should not be placed on our mental back burner.

The Powder Mountain Rezone if granted without the controlling effects of the Resort Zone and TDR Ordinances will add to the increased land values and ultimately to even higher property taxes. It will also open the flood gates for Snow Basin and Wolf Creek to seek similar rezone petitions and the unchecked upward spiral in density, property values and taxes will continue. The Powder Mountain rezone hearing will be on the 25th of September and all concerned residents should make themselves heard by being at the meeting and/or writing to the Ogden Valley Planning Commissioners.

The request to amend the restricted CVR-1 zone at Hwy. 39 and Old Snow Basin Road will be heard by the OVPC on September 13 at 5PM. Lifting the restrictions on this zoning could have a negative affect on the overall usage of the site and impact on the scenic corridor along Hwy. 39.

The VCRD staff suggests that all Valley citizens stay involved on these issues, attend the Commission meetings or Public Hearings, and continue to write to your Commission members to express your feelings. Write to your OVPC at, remember to include your name and valley address. If you have not signed the Powder Mountain Petition please look to the right of this message to find the Powder Mountain petition and sign by September 21.

Your VCRD Staff

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Property Tax Appeal Deadline Monday

The deadline to file your Property Tax appeal is Monday. The more appeals we can submit, the better for all as the deputy Assessor has stated if many are submitted from a certain area, then that area will be reassessed. He would not be pinned down when asked, "How many?"

We suggest you file an appeal, even if you were not planning on it, as it will ultimately help your neighbor and will make a strong statement. The County has stated they will accept appeals postmarked by September 17, 2007, although we would suggest hand delivery.

We also hear that D-Bell(click to view his missives) and Huntsville Town Councilman Richard Sorensen, will be delivering the petitions requesting a reassessment of all Valley properties. The petitions currently have 1,019 signatures, but there is room for more. If you have not yet signed, do it now by clicking on the petition link in the right column.

From yesterday's Standard, we read the "State Hears Davis Relief Plan."

And today, we read The family of a Huntsville woman who died from invasive meningococcal meningitis earlier this year wants to remind parents to get their children vaccinated against the deadly disease.

Kudos to her father, Cory Thompson of Huntsville, for his generosity and dedication to getting the word out and assisting with vaccinations.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Huntsville area CVR-1 change denied!

Ogden Valley Planning Commission meeting on September 13, 2007

Huntsville Area:

The petition by the new property owner to lift the restrictions on the CVR-1 property at Old Snowbasin Road and Hwy 39 was denied by a unanimous vote of the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. This means that the proposed 35 foot high building will not be constructed and the approved condo/tel commercial plan will remain intact if the land is devleoped.

Liberty Area:

The petition to rezone the property at approximately 4022 N. and 3500 E. in Liberty was approved with specific requirements. The new owner must start the development within 2 years (he wanted 5), he must follow the conceptual design as shown during his presentation to blend with the rural character of the Valley, and parking must be in the back. Should the owner fail to begin development within the 2 year period the property will revert to the current zoning.

Your VCRD Staff

Tax Relief Options sent to the Ogden Valley Forum by State Legislator Gage Froerer

Gage Froerer's office just sent over a document of possible Tax Relief Options. Click here to view.

Also, we just found out about a meeting for some? residents with Gage and Commissioner Zogmaister last evening (Wednesday) at the Ogden Valley Branch Library. We were not notified of the meeting, but would love to hear if you attended.

Was it by special invitation?

Also, in todays SL Tribune, we read that the State Legislature is holding a Public Hearing on September 19th - we at the Forum broke the story two days ago. Where do you get your news, Ogden Valley? Be sure to sign up for our new email list. The form is in the Right column.

Click the comment link below this post and give us an update.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Property Tax Page and Legal Fight

With 6 days until the September 17th deadline to file an appeal with the county, we must turn up the heat.

A page dedicated to the Property Tax Issue has been created, and among other pertinent items, it contains information on Property appeals and a State Public Hearing on Utah's Property Tax

We will update daily, so check back often and become educated on Proposition 13 type issues.

ALSO, THE LEGAL FIGHT IS ON and your donations are necessary. So far some $3,000 has been pledged from local residents, but we need more for the WAR CHEST. Contact "Taxlead" D-Bell with your support, and click here to read his legal updates.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ogden Valley Tax Revolt - part 21!

According to today's Standard, well over 100 (we would guess more like 150 - 200 as they were lined up chaotically outside as well as inside) Huntsville Residents packed the Huntsville Town Hall Saturday night to have Ogden Valley Realtors provide a Market Analysis of their Property. The goal was to reduce the assessed value of the properties, which in turn will reduce the assessed tax.

We also read that the county expects over 2000 appeals, although to date they have only received 675. The deadline is September 17, so time is critical if you have not yet submitted your appeal.

From the September 7 issue, we hear rumblings of several state legislators who are planning property tax relief for seniors. While we at the forum are optimistic, we don't hold much hope of the legislature passing a bill that would provide WIDESPREAD tax relief. We must turn up the heat and keep applying the pressure.

For more tax related info, be sure to check our sister page which will be updated over the next few days.

UPDATE: 9:00 am

All great minds think alike, and the following was posted concurrently by our VCRD staff:

Help for property tax appeals.

Thanks to the dedication of Richard Sorensen, Huntsville City Councilman, and several Real Estate volunteers, many residents of Huntsville received help regarding their property tax appeals Saturday night at the Huntsville Town Hall.

The resident response exceeded all expectations and indicates the importance of this issue to all.

We urge all Valley residents that wish to appeal their property tax assessment, to do so before Sept. 17th of this year. Read the story in Sunday's Standard Examiner about details. There is a story on the front page and also in the Top of Utah section. If you need any help, contact Mountain Valley Realty (745-4141), Gage Froerer & Assoc (745-4221) and John Allaire (745-2619)

Your VCRD Staff

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Important Meeting Today

The second workshop on the Resort Recreation Ordinance is today, Sept. 10 at 5PM. at the Weber County Commission Chambers.

The Public Hearing for the Sensitive Land Ordinance is Monday, Sept. 17 at 5PM. Click here to view an interactive map.

October 11 is the third (hopefully last) workshop on the Resort Recreation Ordinance, and if time allows they'll start working on the TDR ordinance.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ogden Valley Property Tax Page Being Created

We at the forum are in the process of creating a page dedicated to the property tax issue. That way, these other important issues such as the Powder Mountain and Ski Lake rezone requests will still have prime posting, but we can easily access the Property tax information. As Mr. Zini so eloquently states, we must Stay focused. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Public Hearing On Draft OV Sensitive Land Ordinance

Important Reminder!

The Public Hearing for the Draft Ogden Valley Sensitive Land Ordinance is scheduled for Monday, September 17, 2007 at 5:00 PM in the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd., Ogden in the Weber County Commission Chambers.

The draft ordinance with Planning Commission changes can be viewed on the Weber County Planning Commission web site along with an interactive map of the Ogden Valley Sensitive Lands.

Please review the draft ordinance with the new changes. Then let the Ogden Valley Planning Commission know whether you are for, against or have further recommended changes to the draft ordinance by attending the September 17 meeting, e-mailing or calling the OVPC clerk, Sherry Sillito at: Her telephone number is 801-399-8791. Be sure to include your name and address with any correspondence and request that she give each of the commissioners a copy of your comments prior to the public hearing.

Remember: Speak up for what you want or take what you get!

Your VCRD Staff

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Ogden Valley FOR SALE

We were just informed that one of the council members in Huntsville is looking into PUTTING THE TOWN FOR SALE. More specifically, every lot and residence in town, with the concurrence of support of the property owner of course.

More specifically, he is looking into purchasing hundreds of all weather posterboard signs (similar to campaign signs) which would state, "FOR SALE - Can't afford the taxes!"

He is formulating the initial order, but the cost with a wooden stake would be about $1 each (maybe a bit less with volume).

This would certainly generate local and state press to our plight, and probably even national media attention.

If you would like a sign, contact Richard Sorensen immediately as he will place the order VERY soon based on interest. Also, please let him know if you would consider being a distribution point for your area.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

We start off this Sabbath morn with a previously overlooked Deseret News article from August 28th, "IS UTAH NEXT FOR A CAP ON HOME TAX?" But first a clarification: There may have been some unintended consequences with the 25 year old California legislation as there is with any legislation. Quite simply, you can never cover all your bases. However, 25 years have passed and at least 11 states have enacted some sort of tax relief.

We at the forum say examine the other state's initiatives and create one that works for Utah. We call that Prop 13 Type legislation. The Anti Tax relief lobbyists curiously leave out the "type" in their organized propaganda against tax relief.

Next, we read a letter to the SL Tribune from former Californian John A. Davidson who claims Proposition 13 passed because of "unbridled lust for additional tax revenue." That certainly sounds familiar in Weber County.

For a weekly dose of satire, Standard writer Mark Saal mentions his 43% tax increase.

We will conclude this morning with a series of articles and video from our neighbors on the Southeast side of the Valley. Congratulations to Father David who was recently elected to be the new Abbot of our own Trappist Monastery.

We are fortunate to have these great neighbors as there are only 12 such Trappist Monastery's in the U.S. Father David Altman, now Rev. David Altman, has been a member of the community for 41 years.

And finally, a Kutv 2 news story about our Trappist Friends.

BLOGMEISTER NOTE: One of the downsides to Blogs is that many postings get "pushed" down as new blogs are posted. That is the idea behind a Web Log, aka BLOG. While we try to link past posts to new posts of similar and important content, some may be overlooked. That is why we suggest you check back often and scroll down to view previous posts.

Better yet, get involved by posting your comments by clicking the "comments" link below.