This is one of several important posts today, so scroll down to read them all.
Guest Post by IMA Believer
I attended the Commission farce yesterday. These people just don't get it. Both Zogmaister and legal beagle Wilson stated openly that their job is not to shut people down, but to bring people into compliance. Translation: they never met a commercial venture or a development they didn't like, no matter how bad it is. How about a casino, or a whorehouse, or an opium den? Sure, if it pays taxes, find a way to "bring it into compliance"!
They take their guidance from a slick little video put out by the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) that tells them that's what their function is. The ULCT? That's the developer/real estate lobbying group that opposed Gage Froerer's legislation last year to stop Powder Mountain Town. BTW, ULCT opposes it again this year. So the Commission and its minions take their instructions from lobbyists, for openers.
Next, the meaningless public comment period offered after the deed was done was truncated by the ever-rude and blustery Bischoff, complaining that Shanna Francis had exceeded her generous three minute allocation, when in fact almost all her time was taken up by legal department wizard Wilson who stuttered and stammered his way through a seemingly endless discussion of whether a comma means "and" or "or" or nothing at all. He even seriously suggested that the commission could have disposed of the whole matter by simply lifting Iris Hennon's cease and desist order. Just how would that be done legally, sir?
Bottom line: if you want to do something controversial, something marginal, maybe something really stupid and dangerous and noisy and dusty in the summer, just go ahead and do it--the commission will find a way to bring you into compliance. Forgot to plan ahead enough to follow the rules and file your app in time to get permission (if you can) the right way? No problem. Call Zogmaister; she'll approve anything.
And last, in fairness to Diamond Peaks, lest we forget, this application for an exemption did not come from Diamond Peaks, which has operated heliskiing operations for years without bothering anyone. It came from Wolf Creek Resort (with obvious handholding effort from the county)in its effort to buoy up trade at its no-doubt-struggling Red Moose Lodge by offering heliskiing right out its back door.
Make a bad business decision, say, to buy a motel with no customers, or a ski resort without checking the zoning first? No problem; call Zogmaister. She'll bring you into compliance.
Someone needs to remind these commissioners that they have a duty to the people who live here, not just to the people who want to come in and make money off the people who live here. Pehaps November might be a good time to deliver such a reminder.
Next, the issue goes before the The Ogden Valley Planning Commission in a meeting to be held:
Tuesday night, Feb.23rd
at 5:00 p.m.
in the Commission chambers in Ogden.
UPDATE: 2/17/10 @ 12:00 pm
Be sure to read today's article in today's Standard:
• Weber commission stands by exemption to ski helicopter service