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]