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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Horse Theft in Ogden Valley Friday - Watch for White Ford Excursion

Updates below:

While we are awaiting more details, we are posting a heads up to Ogden Valleyites to keep your eyes peeled for any suspicious activity such as someone with new horses. Sadly, we received this email this morning:

There were 2 horses stolen today (Friday, August 29, 2008) around 9:00 A.M. from Lori Lewis & Mike Twitchell's home on River Dr. in Eden. The horses are a pony size sorrel gelding and a small buckskin mare. They also took all of the riding gear for these horses. An eye witness saw a 2006 or so white Ford Excursion pulling a blue 2 horse trailer at Lori & Mikes home loading the horses and pulling away.

If anyone remembers seeing this rig today or has seen these horses please call the Weber County Sheriff or Mike and Lori @ 330-4607.

From another message we received:

They believe it was done by someone in the valley and hope that the horses might still be in the valley. Although the CSI team was up and did fingerprints and they are investigating, the fact is that the horses could be transported somewhere very quickly.

Please contact the Weber County Sheriff''s department immediately with any information.

Blogmeister Update - 8/31/08 @ 12:15 am

We just received the following via email:

Just so you know the Weber County Sheriff "does" know who's Ford it was and who's trailer it was. They are investigating where the horses are. I talked to them personally because it was my trailer that was borrowed. Just so you don't get everyone in an uproar the Sheriff has it under control.

Blogmeister Update - 8/30/2008 @ 1:30 PM

We just received a more detailed description:

Stolen Horses!! From North River Drive, Eden, Utah!!

17 year old 13 hand sorrel gelding, white hind sock, split right ear, and a white stripe down his face.
Seven year old buckskin mare, long mane and forelock.

Witnesses observed a white Ford Excursion pulling a blue straight load horse trailer from the home on Friday morning at approximately nine or nine-thirty. The horses may still be in Ogden Valley or may have been transported via this trailer down the canyon at some point during the day on Friday.

Please call Weber County Sheriff if you have information or Adriane at 1-801-726-9442

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Senator Bramble Goes Off On Pizza Delivery Girl

As luck would have it, after posting the Standard Masterpiece this morning in which the Editors hinted (or strongly suggested) that we should get rid of our State Legislators, we caught this story on the late news.

The ever pompous Senate Majority leader, Curtis Bramble, showed his true colors a few nights ago by going off on an innocent pizza delivery girl who informed him she could not take a check. After the tirade, the young lady made a valiant stand by blowing the whistle on this jerk and the timing could not have been better in light of the upcoming elections. She tells the story on her once quiet blog entitled "Cartoon Brick Wall," and we think the blog title may be appropriate as Bramble's reelection campaign probably hit her brick wall.

Check out the blog and comments here, as her site is heating up the blogosphere!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Standard Examiner Steps up Again

The editorial in today's Standard Examiner is right on point once again
regarding the Powder Mountain issue with Weber County. We appreciate the
unbiased assessment provided by the editorial staff.

No one knows where this saga will go next, but the citizens of Weber
County and Ogden Valley can take heart at the fortitude recently
displayed by the Weber County Commissioners and the Standard Examiner.

Larry and Sharon Zini
Ogden Valley

Blogmeister Update 8/22/08 @ 9:28 am

This is a classic Editorial and we would be remiss not to include some of its passages for all to view front and center. Of course, just click on the link above embedded within the original post to read this masterpiece in its entirety. Here are some classic quotes chosen at random:

  • The utter freakishness of the town-incorporation law passed by the Legislature in 2007 continues to defy common sense in Weber County.

  • Their [Commissioners] reasoning: Maybe it’s possible to put a shine on this lump of ... coal.

  • ...only one Top of Utah incumbent legislator, Rep. Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful, did not vote for House Bill 466 — she wasn’t present when the vote was taken. Every other member of the House and Senate in the Top of Utah voted in favor of this bill.

  • ...HB 466 was such a grotesque piece of legislation, it allowed significant manipulation by petitioners/developers

  • Commissioner Jan Zogmaister’s sarcasm was apropos when she remarked that if those people [Powder Mountains list for Mayor and Council] were appointed, a family reunion could constitute a quorum of city government.

  • This process is a joke. The developers are taking advantage of the oneyear gift provided by a developers’- lapdog Legislature.

And the best saved for last, with our emphasis added:

  • What we’d like to know about the whole affair is this: Did all the lawmakers who voted in favor of this bill get something in return from the developer lobby? Or did they vote in favor of it because they were too incompetent to understand what they were doing? Either way, are these the people voters want representing them at the Capitol?

We at the forum have said it before, but if someone in the private sector had created a mistake such as the Legislature did for us, they would be kicking sand all the way to the unemployment line.

The November elections are rapidly approaching, and we say throw the bums out!

UPDATE @ 10:05 am

Our old friend Rudi has been busy this morning. Don't miss his take where he states, "Std-Ed editorial board launches a no-holds-barred editorial barrage..."

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Like all of our Ogden Valley friends, we salute Commissioners Dearden, Zogmaister, and Bischoff for their courageous decision to refuse to appoint a Town Council not representative of the citizens of the potential town. It’s nice to see our elected officials truly represent us!

Those of us who live in “Powderville” care about our neighborhood and all of our neighbors. We care about what the actions of the past few months could do to destroy our sense of community. To that effect, we request that a distinction be made between the petitioners and the petition sponsors.

The petitioners are the 22 individuals who signed the incorporation petition, including 8 who live in the neighborhood. Motivations of these individuals have been speculated upon ad infinitum, and none of us will ever know exactly what was going through their minds. Had the neighbors not signed the petition, it would still have been a “qualified petition”. Since the petition has now been approved by the Weber County Commission, the petitioners are no longer players in the story, except as potential mayor/council members and citizens with rights to have and express their opinions.

The petition sponsors are 3 individuals: Mark E. Arnold of Layton, Lee A. Daniels of Park City, and Edward F. Bates of Salt Lake City. None of the 3 is a resident of the “town” or a registered voter in Weber County. Kimball Wheatley’s excellent post reveals how much they pay in Weber County property taxes. The commission has refused to appoint from the very limited list(s) provided by the non-local petitions sponsors, and it is the petition sponsors and their hired guns who have publicly challenged the commissioners’ actions.

In our efforts to protect citizens’ rights to be meaningfully involved in the process, we should exercise extreme caution to respect the rights of those who disagree with us. We in the neighbourhood would appreciate it if negative comments be directed at the petition sponsors and not at our neighbors.

Thank you again for your continuing involvement and support.

A Guest Post by
Darla Van Zeben

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The PERPS of Powderville Act III

Guest Post by Kimbal Wheatley

In Act I (January), the investors who bought Powder Mountain Resort decided to create a town and force some of our neighbors in Eden to be part of it. Because the town would have a puppet government explicitly designed to bypass the laws, rules and regulations all of the rest of us have agreed to live by, the good people of Ogden Valley refer to it as Powderville, a “company town” where conflict-of-interest is the norm, robber barons are in charge and the residents are unimportant . It is hard to find a printable name for the people perpetrating this hard-to-believe scenario, so I have come to simply call them the PERPS, although lately I have seen a name I may like better…Powdervillans…kind of rolls off the tongue.

This all started when the PERPS bought a resort zoned for a reasonable 1180 housing units and proposed 2500 instead. When the Planning Commission balked for health, safety and welfare reasons, the PERPS moved to form the town of Powderville to bypass Weber County planning and zoning processes and ordinances. But they could only execute their scheme by trampling on the voting rights of Powderville town citizens which, as you can imagine, caused a bit of an uproar…enough that Powderville residents are threatening disruptive action and the Utah legislature immediately reversed the flawed law that allowed it to happen.

In Act II (July), the County Commissioners asked the PERPS to delay forming the town and instead to work with them to reach some sort of compromise they were sure could be mutually beneficial. The PERP idea of compromise was to present an absurdly one-side Development Agreement the Commissioners simply couldn’t stomach. It might have been some of the whereas clauses extolling the virtues of the PERPS and their development plans…or maybe it was the part about exempting them from all county development and building rules…or maybe it was the bit about raising property taxes to finance the infrastructure instead of using their own money. Whatever, the commissioners did the right thing, saying “no, go ahead and form your town.”

By the way, the idea of raising property taxes to finance the extensive road and utilities structure for the town is particularly interesting since the PERPS don’t pay much property taxes on their 7200 acres ski resort…not even as much as just one house in the town. I diverge…

Back to the story – Act III (August) is where the commissioners select [click here to continue]

Weber County Commission refuses to act on Powder Mountain list! -- Ogden Valley Exclusive - audio of today's meeting.


In what must have been a stunning move to Powder Mountain, the Weber County Commission refused to act today on the Powder Mountain petition to name the Powderville town council and mayor.

To say that the Weber County Commissioners were a little put out by the revised list of names submitted by Powder Mountain would be putting it mildly.

Powder Mountain refused to include any names other than their original selection plus 3 spouses and two new individuals on the town council list presented to the Commissioners. Interviews of numerous other qualified residents were jointly conducted by the Commissioners and a representative from Powder Mountain. The two new individuals' names were not previously submitted to the commissioners nor were they interviewed. A good question is why don't all of Powder Mountain's selected candidates for the town council have to go through the same interview process as other candidates?

Commissioner Bischoff said he was "Offended" by the new PM list after all their discussions and interviews. Commissioner Zogmaister said that the petitioners could have a "family reunion and probably have a quorum" if they used the list submitted by Powder Mountain. Commissioner Dearden said that every attempt was made to work with Powder Mountain to help make the list more representative of the town's people, yet Powder Mountain came back with the same list that also added three husband and wife pairs.

The Weber County Commissioners repeatedly asked the Powder Mountain representatives what criteria was used by Powder Mountain to exclude all other qualified candidates from consideration and the three Muses (see no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil) had no logical response. Their refusal to explain the Powder Mountain reasoning seemed to increase the frustration of the Weber County Commissioners.

Commissioner Bischoff stated "It may be time for a Judge to decide the issue". The three Weber County Commissioners decided not to act on the Town Council petition but told the Powder Mountain representative that they would be willing to meet with Powder Mountain to discuss the list and all the qualified candidates.

We think the Weber County Commissioners deserve our thanks for standing up to Powder Mountain on this town council issue.

In other business, the Weber County Commission appointed Gary Alllen to replace the resigned Jamie Lythgoe on the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. Gary has served on the OVPC during the previous several years.

Go to the VCRD Website for a complete list of OVPC members and contact numbers.

Blogmeister update: In an Ogden Valley Forum Tuesday night exclusive, we offer a recording of this morning's landmark decision of the County Commission to take no action at all. We applaud them for taking the stand. The recording is not perfect and subject to some background noise, as we could not fit our Denon Audio system inside the chamber, but you can certainly crank up the volume and hear it unfold. We have included only the Powder Mountain agenda item, which took the last 25 minutes of the meeting. Hearing Powderville's project manager, Brooke Hontz, tap dance is well worth your time as she was definitely out of her league this morning. The commissioner's questions get interesting at the 11 minute mark if you wish to fast forward.

In a second audio clip, Eden Resident and GEM Committee Chairman Steve Clarke asks a poignant question of our Commission and legal staff. (6 minutes)

Lastly, be sure to read Kristen Moulton's Tribune article, and as always, check out the discussion on Rudi's award winning Weber County Forum.

What say ye Ogden Valley citizen's?

Commission Meeting Reminder

Just a brief Tuesday morning reminder of the Weber County Commission meeting this morning:

10:00 am

Weber County Commission Chambers

2380 Washington Blvd

Ogden, UT

The agenda was finally available Monday on the County web site, even though it is dated August 14, 2008 and the county site states that it will be posted by the Friday prior to a meeting. We think it is a fairly important meeting that should be posted more than the minimal 24 hour state required public meeting notice, especially since it appears to have been available last Thursday. Time and time again, important agendas are not available for public viewing and we all should demand answers from our County Leaders.

Our tantrum aside, two important Ogden Valley issues stand out on the tardy agenda (we will paraphrase for brevity):
  1. ...appointing a member to the Ogden Valley Planning Commission.
  2. ...appointing a Mayor and Town Council for the town of Powder Mountain.

Now two mysteries abound - which planning commissioner is being replaced mid term? Certainly it would not be 'no conflict' Jamie?

And who will lead our company town - the town we call Powderville.

Be the first to find out and see you in the chamber!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Long Road Out Of Eden

It is a slow news day as we prepare for the Tuesday County commission meeting (once again the agenda is not posted on the county's web site), so we will post one of our favorites we have been saving for a few months.

The cover photo may resemble the Sahara desert, but we think it is a computer enhanced view of Geertsen a few years after our greed monger Powderville Perpetrators have created their two championship golf courses, leaving our high mountain desert valley desolate and baron.

Certainly Don Henley, Glenn Frey and Timothy B. Schmit wrote this incredible song with our Powderville Perps in mind. Yes, it is a long road out of Eden, but don't let the door hit you in the backside as you leave town, Mr. Arnold, Daniels and friends!

Be sure to read Kimbal Wheatley's latest incredulous post below and see you Tuesday morning at the Weber County Commission chambers as the mystery Powderville Mayor and Town Council will be revealed.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Please tell me it isn't so

Blogmeister UPDATE 8-17-08 @ 11 am: We have added a link to the pdf tax file mentioned by Doc Wheatley. Also, don't miss the conversation on the topic over at the Weber County Forum.

A guest post from Kim Wheatley

Before you toss this as just one more rant from Dr. Wheatley, you ought to read it. I realize Powderville will likely come into existence and I realize the majority of the town council put forward by the commissioners will likely support the town turning into a high-density resort. We have mostly accepted that a corrupt legislative process is what it is and did what it did. So, we are moving to the next phase…how to get the town up and running.

In preparation to support the people of Powderville, who are about to have a town they are not at all ready for, I began wondering what kind of tax revenue they will have to work with. The county has a wonderful on-line tool where you can get the tax history and detail on every parcel in the county, so I began to add up the taxes paid on the properties in the town, starting with property owned by Eden Heights LLC (1520 acres) and Eden Heights II LLC (97 acres). This is the property that surrounds the existing homes in Powderville, on both sides of the highway, and was added to the Development Agreement proposed to the county commissioners, bumping the number of dwelling units up by 1100 (from current zoning of around 50). The county assessor says the property has a fair market value of $18,640,390 or $11,530 per acre, which passes the smell test if you consider how steep a lot of it is. They also say 2007 taxes totaled $255.18, WHICH DOESN’T. Yes, that’s two hundred and fifty five dollars; with taxes on every parcel ranging between 15 and 17 cents per acre….wow, the taxes on the property my home sits on is 2400 times higher!

Next I tallied up the tax contributions of Western America Holding LLC, the people I generally refer to as the PERPS. County tax records show they own 6188 acres with a fair market value of $9,012,201 or $1456 per acre (fails the smell test). Their 2007 taxes added up to $7,565.67, which stinks to high heaven; total property taxes paid on two 80 acre parcel are $4.46 and $4.55. Of the total, only a quarter of an acre is taxed above $12 per acre (paying $334 per acre), and only 40 acres is taxed above 23 cents per acre. Unless there is another mechanism for collecting taxes on buildings and facilities that I’m not aware of, these taxes also include the lifts and lodges and other improvements at the resort.

Based on my own tax notice, only 18% goes to the county general fund and I assume this is the piece of the pie the town gets to run their government and provide services to their citizens. Bad news for the town as they ramp up…they can only expect tax income of about $45 from the Eden Heights bunch and another $1362 from Western America.

Just to put this into perspective, I added up the property taxes paid by one three-generation family in the town who have three homes (the homes of grandparents, parents, child). You guessed it. In 2007 they paid $12,556…1.6 times the property taxes the combined resort owners paid on a major ski resort and 7200 acres of land. A reasonable estimate is the people in the town will be paying at least 95% of the taxes to support it.

How in the world we ended up in a taxing situation like this is beyond me. I’ve tried, but I just can’t see how one can reconcile all the inconsistencies in this mess. The “fair market” valuations don’t make sense and the “taxable value” makes even less sense. HB466 (the law that allowed the town to be forced on the people without a feasibility study, hearings or vote) was based on fair market valuation, but fair market valuation apparently has little to do with taxes actually paid and revenues the town can expect to operate with. And now, in addition to a town that at least 55% of the people don’t want (15% are in favor and rest don’t care or are undecided) they are about to get stuck with a town council hand picked by PERPS that don’t pay enough taxes to even be on the radar screen.

I guess the good new in all this is now we can add a blatantly unfair taxing system to a blatantly unfair town-making system as this mess makes its way into the press and the courts. Our elected representatives have succeeded in allowing a bunch of greedy, ruthless perpetrators, who don’t even pay a fraction of their fair share of taxes, to take away people’s right to vote for an elected government…and all of this in a place that used to be called Eden.


Kimbal Wheatley, Ogden Valley

PS. If you have a hard time believing all this, you can study the PDF attachment where all the tax information described above is summarized or, better yet, go to the county website and verify my numbers.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Important Meeting for Ogden Valley Residents

This is a call for all Valley residents to attend the Weber County Commission meeting on Tuesday, August 19th at 10:00AM. It appears that the Weber County Commissioners will name the makeup of the Powderville town council.

It will be noteworthy to see if they name a representative council, or a town council packed with Cobabe family members and employees from Powder Mountain.

Since there are so many potential conflict of interest issues with the original list submitted by Powder Mountain, we will find out how much intestinal fortitude our Weber County Commissioners are willing to display.

Larry and Sharon Zini

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Run For Josh Pack Saturday

It will be a big weekend in Ogden Valley with the Balloon Fest and the Xterra Race, but we think the most important event will be the "Run For Josh."

Here's the scoop:

5K Run / Walk

Saturday, August 16th

Eden Park

All proceeds will go to defer medical costs

Blogmeister's note:

Lifetime costs incurred by SCI (spinal cord injury) individuals average $900,000 and can reach as high as $2.7 million depending on the level of injury.

Keep up on Josh's progress here AND drop him a note.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board Finally Weighs In On The Powderville Debacle - Powder Mountain Investors Beware!

It seems as though the local papers are jumping on the anti Powderville Incorporation band wagon. Yesterday, we highlighted an excellent Standard Examiner editorial on the topic and today the Tribune chimed in.

Also, be sure to read Curmudgeon's insightful post on the topic.

What say ye humble Ogden Valley supporters?

We say it's time for all residents, Valleywide, Countywide and Statewide, to support our Powderville residents in a lawsuit to defend their Constitutional rights.

Any takers? Or givers?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Standard Examiner Comes Through!

If any of us have had any doubts on this Powder Mountain issue, the Standard Examiner Editorial in the Opinion Section of Sunday's paper should put those doubts to rest. The editorial hits the issue right on the button and confirms that we indeed have a marginally effective Weber County government.

The sad result of all this is some of the Weber County Commissioners become defensive and circle the wagons when obvious problems are brought to their attention. From property tax scofflaws to excavation oversight in unincorporated areas, some County employees refuse to acknowledge their responsibility to correct or rectify problem areas. Of course, this does not mean all County employees have that attitude, but it all starts at the top of the chain.

There is no doubt that at least one of the Weber County Commissioners did try to resolve this Powder Mountain issue without incorporation, but in the end it went for naught. The Powderville incorporation brings an entire new set of problems for the County to the forefront. The action or lack of action by the Weber County Commission to avoid litigation from Powder Mountain, may result in a Federal Lawsuit against the County that could initiate a detailed examination of Weber County's actions leading up to the incorporation.

Larry and Sharon Zini

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Josh Pack Spinal Cord Injury Update

We just received this update from Richard Sorensen of Huntsville (we have added a link to the Standard Examiner article describing the accident):

Most Valley residents are aware of the unfortunate diving accident about ten days ago when 18 year old Josh Pack fractured his 5th vertebrae while recreating with his family at Pineview. Josh is the son of Cord and Lisa Pack of Eden and is an incredible young man.

Josh is still in the McKay ICU unit and during a visit today I asked Cord what could be done for Josh and their family. Cord's simple reply was, "Visit this web site and leave some comments for Josh." He also wanted me to spread the word of the site as his family reads the posts to Josh daily and Josh looks forward to hearing from Valley residents.

Will you please help spread the word to encourage everyone to stay updated on Josh's recovery and to post comments that will be read to Josh?

Thanks, Richard

We at the forum are glad to help and wish Josh a speedy and thorough recovery.

Friday, August 08, 2008

How can I help?

UPDATE: 8-8-08 @ 11 PM
Rudi from the Weber County Forum has expounded upon this posting. He spoke with Commissioner Dearden yesterday and offers this:
We'd like to add one additional call to action. If you, or someone you know is eligible to serve as mayor or council member for the soon to be appointed Powder Mountain Town government, now's the time to submit names and brief resumes to the Weber County Commission. The Commission will be compiling and vetting their own expanded candidate list; and as of our last conversation with Commissioner Dearden a day ago, the Commission had received only one single citizen application.

The residents of Ogden Valley and Weber County have been bombarded with endless information on petitions from Powder Mountain for first a rezone, and then for the incorporation of the town of Powder Mountain.

In our opinion, the town incorporation will not be a good thing for Ogden Valley and most of the residents that live here. If the incorporation moves forward, the owners at Powder Mountain can choose their own town council and mayor with the approval of the Weber County Commission. They will establish their own planning commission and will be able to grant any zoning they choose without oversight by the Weber County Commission. This means no limit to dwellings (density) and therefore unacceptable increases in traffic up the single Powder Mountain Road that is not safe now. Traffic will increase 8 to 10 times over current levels on S R 158 and other Valley roads. Their plan for two 18 hole golf courses that will use millions of gallons of water every summer and the magnitude of the resort will negatively affect all residents and wildlife in the Valley with the increase in traffic and pollution.

Many citizens may be asking, what can I do to help express my feelings and concerns about the town and it’s possible impact on Ogden Valley and all citizens of Weber County.

Here are some options to consider:

1. Write or call to the Weber County Commissioners and express your
feelings about this so called “World Class Ski Resort”. Let them know if you approve of the slate of town council members and mayor submitted by Powder Mountain being all company people or Cobabe family members, or should the Weber County Commission continue to demand that Powder Mountain provide a more comprehensive list to include members of the homeowners group that were forced into this incorporation in violation of their constitutional rights.

2. If you feel that an Ogden Valley Planning Commission member violated the conflict of interest rules by working for the Powder Mountain town interests at the same time she served on the OV Planning Commission, demand a full internal hearing and the involvement of the Weber County Legal staff to investigate.

3. Write letters to the editor of The Standard Examiner, SLC Tribune, The Deseret News and the Ogden Valley News. Ask for a guest commentary spot and make your views known.

4. A legal fund may be established in the Valley to deal with the legal issues of the affected homeowners. The fund will need your financial support. More information will be made available on this later.

If you have any doubt that this is important, please consider the long view on what this size of development will do to the rural characteristics and charm of our Valley. Most people do not want another Park City in Ogden Valley.

You may go to the VCRD Web Site and under Resources and Contact local decisions makers, are the e-mail addresses and telephone numbers for the Weber County Commission members. If not online, call 801-399-8406 to express your concerns to
the Weber County Commissioners.

Use the Ogden Valley Forum blog to stay current on Valley news if you are online, or follow events in the Ogden Valley News.

“Speak up for what you want, or take what you get”

Your VCRD Staff

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Utah's newest town and The PERPS Chosen Six - Welcome to Powderville, aka Powder Mountain Town

UPDATE: August 6th @ 10 am: This mornings Standard and Deseret News offer a few more details of yesterdays landmark decision.

We have to give the PERPS credit as their script remains unchanged and is sounding much like a scratched record. Their list for Mayor and Council members has a striking resemblence to that of the original petition for incorporation.

We nailed three of their choices during last nights post:

Alvin Cobabe (90+ years old) - Powder Mountain Founder

Council Members:
LaVar R. Lowther- Alvin Cobabe's Grandson

Jamie Lythgoe- Alvin Cobabe's Granddaughter and Ogden Valley Planning Commission member

Rick Stearman (USAF Col -ret.) Powder Mountain Road resident and member of the Powder Mountain Ski Patrol

Erin Stokes - Was involved in golf at Wolf Creek and a real estate agent. Was head of the host program at Powder Mountain...and has already laid her cards on the table.

Steve Moisen

Powder Mountain Incorporation Ok’d

Today by a vote of 3-0, the Weber County Commission granted the petition for incorporation for the town of Powder Mountain. This was not a surprise to most citizens of Weber County and Ogden Valley.

On a second petition, the Weber County Commission tabled the request by Powder Mountain to name the town council for the new town until August 19th.

The reasons the Commissioners tabled this request are listed below.

Wanted a longer, more comprehensive list of names of residents for consideration that included a true cross section of affected homeowners on this issue.

Said he was concerned about conflicts of interest regarding some of the names submitted. He also expected a longer list of names of homeowners.

Said she wanted time to study the list and to do due diligence on the names submitted. She also said there should be more names submitted and encouraged all residents of the affected area to submit their names to be considered by the Commissioners.

It is disappointing that our Weber County Commissioners chose not to stand firm and reject the incorporation petition based on the harm that will come to those affected homeowners that lose their rights to equal protection under the law. However, with the incorporation as the trigger mechanism, the homeowners do have legal recourse in Federal Court.

All of us should recognize that the ramifications of this incorporation, if left unchallenged, will not only effect Ogden Valley, but all Weber County citizens who use Ogden Valley for recreation throughout the year.

It's official - Powderville aka Powder Mountain Town

More details are being penned, but we will link to our friends at the Weber County Forum for the sad, but expected news. Be sure to read Curmudgeon's 'spot on' comments after the article.

Also, don't miss Kimball Wheatley's Act III below regarding a new plan for Powder Mountain resort investors.

Kimbal Wheatley's Act III (aka round 2)

We received Act III from Kim Wheatley yesterday, and with the recent and official incorporation of Ogden Valley's second town, we ring the bell for Round 2 (this time without the gloves) - any volunteers for a Round girl?:


We are dealing with people without scruples (which gives them an advantage), motivated by greed (maybe a disadvantage), and seemingly immune from public, government, and agency opinion (a bit na├»ve I think). But in the end they are dependent on investors who are probably not as ruthless, greedy or stupid. I say it is time to take the gloves off and go directly to their current and potential investors in their primary language…their money and risk to their money and, for some, their reputation and risk to their reputation.

It appears Act III of the PERPS of Powderville will officially begin tomorrow around noon, but the county has likely revealed their intention to the PERPS. Here is what I think it means in the short term:

The county is accepting HB466 as something they can’t do anything about, saying they merely administer the law; their only latitude being able to appoint council members, not necessarily accepting the slate put up by the PERPS. The town residents must continue to challenge HB466, now including litigation. The rest of us in the valley must put up money to help fund the legal battle.

Some kind of dance will take place between the county and PERPS about who gets appointed to the town council. The town residents must demand a fair and impartial council, especially when it comes to decisions about Powder Mountain Resort. The more this can be done in print and in public meetings, the better. We all need to YELL FOUL when conflict of interest is apparent. Every issue on every agenda must be scrutinized for conflict of interest on the part of the council; council members must know they are being carefully watched and conflict of interest violations will be prosecuted.

Probably the first thing the town council needs to do is to hire competent legal help to advise them on issues and law. Under no circumstances should town residents (and the council) accept the sole opinion of the PERP attorneys. We have seen from the Development Agreement proposed to the county that they do not consider balanced opinion, instead preferring to distort the law wherever they can to achieve their ends.

During their time courting the town residents the PERPS made a lot of promises…like putting up $750K to finance the town. Given their proclivity to changing the game, many will be conveniently forgotten. The town residents must document as much as they can and bring it up in public meetings.

Mission one for the PERPS is to get the high density they want granted in an irrevocable way; that way, even if the town collapses (a likely scenario) they want the density to be a “right” which the county would have to take away from them (a “taking” of their property rights). Their attorneys have been working on this for at least a year, so they likely already have created the zoning and planning laws and ordinances they want. They will request the town council immediately accept their proposals. The residents must be ready for this with a substitute resolution: “…until a proper sorting out of the planning and zoning issues takes place in the public arena, the town adopts, across the board, the zoning and planning laws and ordinances as they currently exist in the county…”. The issues are huge for this new town and due diligence is a moral imperative…the decisions will affect generations to come.
The PERPS are attempting to create a “company town,” reminiscent of old mining and railroad towns where the corporation holds all the cards and no one is accountable for the impact on the residents or environment. They even named the town Powder Mountain because they think it will aid in promoting their scheme. However, the residents of the town don’t have to accept Powder Mountain as the name of their town and may have much better ideas. The town residents must resist the company town concept at every turn and, unless they really like it, should immediately change the name of their town to something more to their liking. The town will be a legal construct with many powers and responsibilities as granted to its residents and required under Utah State law. The PERPS, and the developers they intend to sell to, need to get the message that they are NOT a company town, and they have most of the votes.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Powderville To Become A Reality?

The Powderville Saga has been ongoing for more than a year and it seems as though things will come to a head during the Weber County Commission meeting Tuesday morning (10 am @ the Commision Chambers).

It sounds like Round 2 of a scheduled 5 round bout will begin Tuesday at noon as the Commissioners are implying their only choice is to approve the Powderville Incorporation. We strongly disagree and urge the commissioners to stand up for the Constitutional rights of their constituents and say "Hell No" to our greedy neighbors. We are certainly not holding our breath as the county will likely be on the wrong side of a pending, lengthy legal battle, and we are betting Powder Mountain will not tapout anytime soon.

Don't miss the latest update compliments of our friends at the Weber County Forum today, and don't miss the unveiling of the new Powderville Mayor. Could it be "Dr. C?" (Alvin Cobabe), Ogden Valley Planning commissioner Jamie Lythgoe (granddaughter of Dr. C)? Rickie Stearman?

The next episode of our evolving soap opera should be exciting - arrive early for what is sure to be a packed house.

Just when we thought it couldn't get any better....

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Steve Clarke analysis of Powderville's Development agreement Part II and a bonus comment from the Sierra Club Chair

It seemingly may be a moot point since the Powderville Incorporation miraculously showed up on Tuesday's Weber County Commission agenda, but here is part two of an expert analysis by Eden's own Steve Clarke. Our loyal readers will recall reading Part I of Steve's analysis about ten days ago.

Also, in a special Saturday afternoon bonus, view an article from the Weber County Forum, complete with comments to the commissioners from the Chair of the Sierra Club

Friday, August 01, 2008

Powder Mountain Incorporation on Agenda

The Weber County Commission Web site has the Weber County Commission agenda for August 5th at 10:00AM. Item #6 is a request to approve a resolution to grant the petition for incorporation for the Town of Powder Mountain, and #7 is regarding Powder Mountain's request to appoint the Mayor and Town Council for the town to be incorporated at Powder Mountain.

Cut and paste or just click here:

It is important that the incorporation impacted homeowners find out how much input the Weber County Commission is willing to provide to Powder Mountain on these appointments. According to the Lt. Governor and our State Representative, the law provides the WC Commission considerable discretion and input on the people that are to be appointed.

Larry and Sharon Zini