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Thursday, January 31, 2008

HB164 will be reconciled with SB25


SB 25 incorporates all the provisions that Mel Brown and Gage Froerer had in HB164. They will push to get it out of the Senate and then Brown and Froerer can amend on the House Floor if needed. It will need 2/3 vote to make sure we get the effective date where we need it to stop Powder Mt.

We should all support SB 25 in the Utah Legislature. It is important that you write to all your representatives on this bill.

If you need e-mail list of State Reps contact me at

Larry Zini

UPDATE: 1/31/08 @ 2:30 pM

Links to the representatives contact info:

2-1-08 @ 8:00 AM

You can download a Word or PDF summary of the Senate and House rosters at:

Phone calls are much more effective than emails.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Contact Speaker Curtis on HB164!

Speaker Curtis has stated that he will hold any bill that is to amend
the incorporation process out of the House for debate. Obviously this
concerns us. We are encouraging everyone to contact his office and to
e-mail him stating support for amending the municipal incorporation

Thank you for your support,
Mel Brown

Office and Phone Number
Work Phone: 801-538-1930
Fax Number: 801-326-1544
Email Address:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Support HB164

All Ogden Valley and Weber County Citizens should support HB164 now in the State Legislative process. This bill will undo the unintended consequences of HB466 that has provided the loophole for Powder Mountain to bypass the planning controls of Weber County by incorporating into a town.

All residents should write to their State Representatives to support HB164 sponsored by Mel Brown.

We feel HB164 has the proper language to rectify the effects of HB466. It also will impact the current incorporation petition by Powder Mountain.

If you would like a list of State Legislators to e-mail, please contact us at

Larry and Sharon Zini

Saturday, January 26, 2008

VCRD Website

We have just started up our new VCRD Website. Please visit and let us know what you think. We will be adding more information as we go. If you have any ideas or suggestions please pass those on. I know my e-mail forgot to include the web address. Pilot error!

Larry Zini
VCRD Chairman

Friday, January 25, 2008

Incorporation revision Bill Needs Citizen Support

There is a bill working its way through the legislative process that will address the unintended consequences of HB466 passed last March. When this Bill reaches committee, all residents that support the new Bill should make a special effort to go to the Capitol and testify in support of the Bill. We will post more information on the Bill and the date of the committee meetings on the blog as soon as that information is available. Check the blog every day!

Larry and Sharon Zini

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Powder Mountain Meets with 100 town's people and Legislative opposition.

In the first of its kind meeting South of Cache Valley, Powder Mountain met with a hand picked few residents last night who would reside in the proposed new town of 100. About 75 or so were said to be in attendance. Be sure to read our friend Rudi's explanation of the "haphazard" (aka "half assed") rendevouz from yesterday's Weber County Forum.

Powder Mountain has met and catered to Cache Valley residents on more than one occasion, but has continually snubbed Ogden Valley residents - the same residents who will take the brunt of the negative results related to the massive development.

Not to disappoint us, the owners and petitioners for the new town were suspiciously "no shows." Instead, their young and beautiful public relations firm and a lawyer, all dressed up as "project managers," ran the show.

The Standard's Marshall Thompson provides an excellent rundown along with information of pending legislation intended to correct the gross inequities of HB 466.

Apparently the heavily Realtor weighted legislature passed HB 466 last year unanimously, but did not realize the potential loopholes. The loopholes have surfaced in other areas of the state as well.

Powder Mountain and their shrewd team of lawyers and consultants, lobbed a scud missile through the gigantic loopholes last Friday when they filed to incorporate as a town, bypassing county planning and red tape.

Cache Valley resident and State Senator Lyle Hillyard, lawyer and consultant for Powder Mountain, said via email to the Standard,

"Powder Mountain did not involve me in their decision to form a new city (in Weber County). If they do the same for Cache, I expect that they will no longer need my services."

Hillyard agrees that HB 466 needs some changes.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

PM's Closed Door Meeting

Wow, Powder Mountain is finally going to meet with some Ogden Valley Residents but they refuse to do it in an open meeting forum. It will be interesting to see if they even allow the press in the meeting. It should be noted that Powder Mountain has chosen to avoid talking to most Ogden Valley residents at all about their plans to this point.

You see folks, they don't want anyone to see what may turn out to be a very negative response to this town incorporation idea from affected residents so they want to limit the audience. They are not thinking clearly, since all the information from the meeting will get out to the public sector anyway.

Without question they intend to dangle sweet incentives to try and influence the residents affected.
We would just like to see them come up with a solution to the Powder Mountain road issue. They have not been able to solve that issue and that failure has led them to choose to try to incorporate a town so they could bypass any Weber County oversight on their development.

This issue is not a done deal, and citizens of Ogden Valley and Weber County will have a say on what will be done at Powder Mountain.

"Speak up for what you want, or take what you get"!

Larry and Sharon Zini

Ogden Valley Planning Commission Meeting tonight!

The OVPC meeting will be held this evening, and once again several important items are on the agenda.

A rock crusher is being proposed for the Trapper's Crossing Subdivision in Huntsville, and a zoning petition has been filed for property on the Old Snowbasin Road near Ski Lake Village.

Also, a Chair and Vice Chair will be elected.

Click here to see the agenda in its entirety, but be sure to attend this 4:30 PM meeting.

At a minimum, this meeting should prove entertaining as it is the first meeting since Planning Commissioner Jamie Lythgoe signed the petition of incorporation for Powder Mountain Town.

From the Standard Examiner, "Lythgoe, whose family founded Powder Mountain and sold most of their land to the current developers, stirred up a controversy when she refused to recuse herself while the OVPC considered the resort’s expansion plans. Even though about 200 acres of her family’s land was included in the resort proposal, she denied any conflict of interest. Eventually, she abstained from voting and her family’s property was removed from the plans.

Louis Cooper, chairman of the planning commission, said he was surprised by Lythgoe’s involvement. “It’s kind of interesting that she would be one of the petitioners,” he said. “But things change, and situations change, and maybe she decided things are different now.”

Lythgoe said she signed the petition to see how the plans would develop. She said it is too early to tell if she would run for mayor or town council. “I have a feeling of curiosity about what it all means,” she said.

Now let's see, she is a planning commissioner who denied any conflict of interest, but eventually recused herself from a vote, only after all other commissioners had voted affirmatively.

Now she signs a petition for incorporation, but doesn't know "what it all means?"

You cannot buy this kind of entertainment folks!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

HB 466, the NEFARIOUS Realtor Lobbyists and much more....

UPDATES at end of post

Some interesting comments were posted on the Utah Wingmen for Property Tax Reforum site relating to HB 466:

"Rozinante said...
I find it very "interesting" if not coincidental that the Senator who sponsored HB 466, which makes it easier for a developer to incorporate an area into a Town. And then lets the developers pick who will be on the town council and planning commission once a new town has been formed, was sponsored by Senator Sheldon Killpack (R) Dist 21 (Davis County). And guess who was the single highest non political contributor to his campaign? ANSWER: The Utah Realtor's Association.

Join the Machman in making all our citizens aware of this nefarious realtor/developer influence on our communities."

Machman replied:
They (Realtor Assoc.) may be for private property rights, but they sure as hell are not for environmental controls, air quality, or organized and planned communities or the stability of a community. No they are for profits and fast bucks at the expense of other's property rights, air quality, water quality, and community stability. MM

Speaking of State Senator's, let's not forget that State Senator Lyle Hillyard is a representative of Powder Mountain and also a State Senator who supported HB 466. He is also a Cache Valley resident with a "love for Cache Valley."

It's no wonder he would support this unfettered fiasco on the other side of the mountain, since it will not affect the Valley he loves and will surely equate to a big pay day for him.

Click here for more about HB 466 , including audio debates from the Senate Floor.

To read Cache Valley's KVNU For the People, click here.

Lastly, it appears Powder Mountain strategically filed the petition ahead of the Monday opening of the General Legislative session, since Senator Stowell is planning legislation to change HB 466. Be sure to read the comments at the end of Senator Stowell's post.

UPDATE: 1-21-08 10:30 AM

A must read from the Voice of Deseret Blog site, which includes a fantastic collection of Powder Mountain literary fodder.

And don't miss a post and comments from our friends and neighbors at the Weber County

And we finish up with more arrogance from Powder Mountain's Mark Arnold in the Logan Herald Journal.

Powder Mountain’s immoral action

It is almost laughable that Mr. Arnold, one of the Powder Mountain owners, was quoted in today’s Std-Ex as saying he didn’t want to do anything immoral, but did exactly that. By using the recently adopted HB466, the Powder Mountain developers will bypass any oversight and controls by Weber County on planning and development. It doesn’t seem to matter at all to Powder Mountain that the people of Ogden Valley who will be most affected by the traffic and density changes, will have no say in the impact of those changes.

As it stands, HB466, originally intended to cut the red tape for the process of incorporating small Utah townships, has instead become an unintended mechanism allowing slick developers to thumb their noses at county zoning regulations. Such seems certainly the situation with respect to the now pending Powder Mountain municipal incorporation application, judging from the comments of Mr. Arnold noted today. The defects of HB466 have also caught the attention of at least a few legislators, and the Utah Association of Counties has made it a high priority to steer this legislation back to the legislative floor for remedial modification in order to bring Utah counties back into the municipal approval process.

The serious issue that Powder Mountain cannot resolve with this proposed incorporation is the road up to the resort. Anyone who currently uses that road is fully aware that the road is inadequate and dangerous for the projected resort traffic based on Powder Mountain’s own traffic study, and there is no easy resolution in sight for this traffic issue. In addition, the traffic increase on Ogden Valley roads will exceed anything the residents have ever experienced in the Valley’s history.

We should also reexamine the facts of conflict of interest regarding Jamie Lythgoe. This issue was brought before the OVPC last year but rejected based on Ms. Lythoge’s assurance that there was no conflict of interest. We wonder now how the other OVPC commissioners feel having been sandbagged by one of their own. She has now signed on as a petitioner to a scheme designed solely to subvert a reasoned decision of a commission of which she is a member! That is absolutely outrageous. It is clear now that she and her family stand to gain from this development. Accordingly, she has been actively engaged in support for the incorporation.

Your VCRD Staff

Friday, January 18, 2008

Powder Mountain tries end run!

The following article in today’s Salt Lake Tribune clearly demonstrates that the owners of Powder Mountain are determined to ignore or bypass the conditions recommended on their rezone petition by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission.

It is also clear they do not want the residents of Ogden Valley who will be the most affected by this rezone, or their representatives, to have a say on density or traffic issues.

Your VCRD Staff

Petition filed to create town of Powder Mountain
By Kristen Moulton
The Salt Lake Tribune 1/18/08

The owners of Powder Mountain Ski Resort, frustrated with delays in securing permission for a 4,400-acre rezoning, this morning filed a petition with Weber County to incorporate as a new town.

Scott Doughman, one of the owners, said in a news release that the law allowing incorporation ensures the resort's property rights are fairly represented in local government.

The resort last month wrested endorsement for the rezoning from the Ogden Valley Township Planning Commission, but there were many strings attached. The Planning Commission, for instance, wants the owner to essentially build a second road into the resort. The Weber County Commission had expected to take up the proposed rezoning this spring.

Powder Mountain's new owners want to transform the resort that straddles the Weber and Cache county line with 18 new ski lifts; 2,700 houses, condos and town houses; 385 motel rooms; corporate retreats, lodges, retail shops and restaurants; and golf courses.

In the news release today, Doughman said "The Town of Powder Mountain is the next step in a logical evolution of the vision residents have for this community."

The Weber County Commission would have final say over the rezoning and development plans, but incorporation would allow Powder Mountain to have its own planning commission.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cheese for the Powder Mountain Whine


As residents of Ogden Valley, everyone should read the article Second Powder Mountain Road Detail in the Top Of Utah section in today's (Saturday the 12th) Standard Examiner.

You will read an informative article about a meeting in Hyrum conducted by Powder Mountain representatives for the citizens of Cache County. Once again, the Powder Mountain advocates indicate that a road through Cache County to the
proposed Powder Mountain resort is not under consideration since it is “problematic” because of negative public opinion, and topographical problems according to Brooke Hontz the project manager for Powder Mountain. (What about public opinion in Ogden Valley?)

Later in the article Ms. Hontz remarked that they will ask the Weber County Commission to disregard the Ogden Valley Planning Commission’s (OVPC) conditions on roads and density numbers since “They just pulled those numbers out of a hat”. She went on to say that “We never had a chance to explain why we wanted as much density as we were asking for.”

As Chairman of the VCRD, I can assure our members that my wife and I have attended every OVPC meeting regarding the Powder Mountain rezone and Ms. Hontz was provided unlimited opportunities during these meetings to explain their density numbers and the privately funded traffic study conducted by Powder Mountain.

The facts are that the OVPC went to great lengths over several Commission meetings to review Powder Mountain’s petition, and passed the rezone with the 20 conditions so both Powder Mountain and the residents of Ogden Valley could be satisfied with the approved rezone. It is disingenuous and misleading of Ms. Hontz to trivialize the diligent work the OVPC Commissioners and Planning staff put into this rezone issue.

This kind of misinformation from Powder Mountain can only be countered by the residents writing to their Weber County Commissioners to support the rezone with the existing 20 conditions, with particular emphasis on supporting the conditions regarding the second permanent road access and the density numbers. Those two conditions are at the center of our effort to maintain acceptable density and traffic levels in our Valley.

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

Larry Zini
Chairman VCRD

UPDATE @ 7:30 PM

Cache Valley Radio Station KVNU’s Jennie Christensen talks with Paradise Mayor Lee Atwood about the meeting held last night in Hyrum by Powder Mountain developers.

Click here to listen to the recording - select the top audio file and the dialog begins about 11:30 minutes into the recording.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Powder Mountain to Meet with Paradise residents and Property Tax Fight to Heat Up

Powder Mountain developers seem intent on catering to Cache Valley residents while snubbing Ogden Valley residents. Why? Probably because Powder Mountain's plans do not involve encroaching upon Cache Valley's floor. The developers can stand with a straight face and tell Cache residents that the development will not cause them a hardship.

They cannot tell Ogden Valley residents the same rhetoric.

With that in mind, we just became aware of a meeting Powder Mountain developers are hosting in Hyrum, and we encourage Ogden Valley residents to make the beautiful drive through Sardine canyon to attend.

Here are the details of the Powder Mountain meeting that will be held at:

Mountain Crest High School

255 S 800 E

Hyrum, UT 84319

(435) 245-6093 click here for directions from Eden
Thursday, January 10th

6:30 pm.

All interested citizens may attend to hear forth-coming plans.

Also, the Mayor of Paradise was a guest on Cache Valley's KVNU radio recently fielding a call from a resident concerning Huntsville's resolution opposing the zoning change. Click here to listen to the dialog. From that page, you will see two audio clips and the Powder Mountain conversation is in the initial 3 minutes of the first (or top) recording.

Property Tax Revolt

The property tax revolt will be heating up soon as the General Legislative Session begins January 21st. Be prepared to join our local tax revolt leader, D-Bell, aka Minor Machman, as we turn up the heat on legislators.

Apathy has set in and we must speak up now to avoid another year of outrageous taxes. Some among us have not paid their taxes because they could not afford the increase - we must unify and insist on a legislative change. Here is one of the best articles in months regarding the broken tax system. Be ready to march up State street and rally on the Capital steps - there is power in numbers!

Be informed and get involved!

Start by visiting these sites and sign up for email updates:

We will conclude by listing some priorities and options for improvement discussed during a December property tax meeting hosted by John Primbs at the Ogden Valley library. Senator Alan Christensen and Representative Gage Froerer were both in attendance. Click here to view the list of priorities and options.

That same evening, several working groups were created. Click here to view the groups and let Mr Primbs know if you would like to offer your assistance.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Huntsville Opposes Rezone

The story we broke a about 10 days ago hit the Standard Examiner today in an excellent article by our new Ogden Valley Advocate Marshall Thompson, entitled "Powder Mountain Rezone Blocked." While Huntsville has seemingly taken a hard line stance, they bring up excellent points that the Weber County Commissioners must consider. Today's article generated some discussion in Cache Valley as well.

The resolution addresses density issues, but more importantly a secondary access road. One possible and likely location for the road would be through Vista (near Evergreen and Sunridge) and down South Fork Canyon, thus funneling Powder Mountains projected 10,000+ skiers per day through Huntsville. Not to mention, the increased traffic generated by the proposed 3800 additional housing units. (The Ogden Valley Planning commission did restrict the density as part of their conditional approval, but the Weber County Commission can add or withdraw any or all of the conditions).

Kudos to Huntsville for taking a stand.

On another note, we just heard that Weber School District is seriously considering scrapping the plan to remodel Valley Elementary this summer, and instead build a new Elementary in Eden. The present Valley School has been in the same location since the late 1800's, has endured a fire or two and subsequent rebuilds, and has many irreplaceable amenities nearby such as the library and one of the nicest parks/playgrounds in the State.

While the bus ride may be inconvenient for some on the North side, it would be a travesty to discard the history and legacy of Valley School.