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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Consequences of Incorporation

As we in Ogden Valley wait to find out if the Powder Mountain ownership will opt to continue with the town incorporation petition or negotiate a compromise with the Weber County Commission, it may be the ideal time to reflect on how much more is at stake than the civil rights of the affected homeowners if the incorporation is approved.

While protecting the basic civil rights of those homeowners is critically important, we must realize if those rights are honored, the incorporation must fail.  We must recognize that there are those who would ignore those rights, thus we will continue to focus on the other significant issues regarding the incorporation of a town at Powder Mountain.

If the incorporation is approved, all adjacent properties to the actual Powder Mountain resort area that are within the town boundaries will be free to develop under density and lot size controls established by the new town's planning commission or town council. The net effect of this could be that those Valley residents adjacent to or included in the incorporation area of Powder Mountain could witness development with lot sizes and density numbers that would not be acceptable under the existing Ogden Valley General Plan and Weber County ordinances. There is also the specter that other types of zoning and development that are not residential could be approved on such town properties since Weber County would have no control on town zoning or planning issues.

It is important to note that the incorporation area is approximately 26 square miles, and that it includes the Ogden Valley hillsides above the currently occupied land from approximately Middle Fork to Liberty town center.

Decisions of the proposed town council and planning commission will be in control of the Powder Mountain ownership and large town land owners in and around the resort for at least the first two to four years.

Most residents in the Valley are aware of the identities of the main property owners that currently have considerable land holdings within the proposed town boundaries. The town incorporation will be a financial windfall for most of them. Despite the repeated denials of these property owners, it is apparent this was their goal (in concert with the Powder Mountain ownership) from the beginning when the initial rezone and subsequent incorporation petitions were filed.

Finally, the town incorporation will do nothing to resolve the single road access issue with the inherent safety and traffic load problems from an eight to ten fold increase in vehicle numbers calculated from Powder Mountain’s own traffic study. In addition, incorporation will not address the numerous issues which were the subject of the other conditions attached to the grant of the rezone by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission.  It will be as if those issues and the concerns surrounding them do not exist.

The Powderville Neighborhood Steering Committee
The VCRD Staff

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