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Monday, May 31, 2010

Divided opinions on plans for Powder Mountain

On the beautiful and calm Memorial Day before storm tomorrow evening at the Weber County Commission chambers, we will direct our humble readers to this morning's Di Lewis article:

Divided opinions on plans for Powder Mountain

Many Valley-ites are quoted with the majority of those quoted being opposed to the Memorandum of Understanding that will be before our humble group of all-star commissioners Tuesday evening at 6:PM (of course, get there early to get a seat).

From today's Di Lewis article:

Valley residents worry that increased traffic and the development of 2,800 units at the resort will turn their home into a polluted suburb.
"It goes far beyond the community this time," said Eden resident Sharon Holmstrom. "This time, they have the homeowners in a vise from which they cannot escape.
"If a development agreement is not reached, then homeowners are stuck with the incorporation and expense and horror of that. But if they go along with that agreement, then they undermine the general plan for the rest of the valley."
Eden resident Kirk Langford is concerned that allowing higher than normal density at the resort in order to reach a resolution will open the door for future developers to demand density variances.

Langford and Holmstrom, along with many other landowners, lost two-thirds of their development rights in the down-zoning of the valley in 1998.
Now they are worried the move the landowners hoped would preserve the valley will be pointless if the resort is allowed to have more than its allotted development rights for the amount of land.

"I'm for Powder Mountain being developed," Langford said. "I think they should get every single entitlement that they had on the land when they bought it. ...
"But I've watched people go to build one house up here, and if they're a quarter acre short, too bad, they can't build. So why should they (the resort) be able to get 1,600 more (units)?"

It's about fairness, said Eden resident Steve Clarke.
"The thing I focus on right now is the fairness issue that people who own a considerable amount of property surrendered property rights and went from 1-acre zoning to 3-acre zoning," he said.

"I feel like it's unfair for the county to give density to a resort that other people gave up willingly years ago. It's important for the county commission to acknowledge the contribution of these landowners."

But some residents believe the memorandum, with recent changes, might be the best plan they can get to end the problems in the valley, said Darla Van Zeben, an Eden resident within the incorporation boundaries and one of the residents involved in the lawsuit against the county.

The revised memorandum, now available on the county website, limits the resort to one golf course, creates a 1.5 percent fee for improvements and removes the developers' ability to withdraw from the agreement after action is taken on a neighboring development with common ownership.
Van Zeben said those were the issues creating the most worry among homeowners.
Most potential town residents don't think it's a perfect solution, she said, but it's one they can live with.

"There are parts of this deal that are tough to accept, but we're all in a tough situation and this new MOU might just be the best deal the Ogden Valley is going to get," Van Zeben said.

She said they are worried that if the incorporation is ultimately approved, it would allow unbridled development across more than 20,000 acres, rather than controlled development over 4,200 acres.

Because the incorporation petition was possible through a short-lived law, Van Zeben said she doesn't think other developers would be able to demand higher density.
 As a bonus today, we will include several letters to the editor of the June 1, 2010 issue of the Ogden Valley News.  It is posted below this article so be sure to scroll down.

As an enhanced bonus, we will link to this morning's Weber County Forum Post on the subject:

Standard-Examiner: Divided Opinions on Plans for Powder Mountain

In true Rudi-esque Fashion, he has created a "cribsheet" of various articles that have appeared on the subject in recent weeks.

Before we run off to 'Vegas Baby' to roll the dice on tomorrow's outcome, we will give all a chance to join in our straw poll that is located near the top of the right side bar.

As Ron Burgandy would say during signoff, "Stay Classy Ogden Valley."


G.T. Burnett said...

Not all of the home owners support the MOU! I live in this hostage area and do not and will not support it. I may be in minority, but I do care what happens to this valley. I appreciate all of the support, financially and otherwise, that all of you have given to this cause. I don't care that the POW MOU business hacks are threatening to do this or threatening to do that....screw'em! There is no honor in what they do and there is no honor in giving into them.

Ron Gleason said...

Thanks GT Burnett. PLease please please show up Tuesday night and let Commissioners know

Truth be told said...

GT Burnett, good to see that someone in the homeowners has some guts.

It appears the rest are only looking out for themselves and Mr. Burnett is concerned about the Valley.

I cannot believe the so called hostage homeowners trashed the very people that supported them in every way just to curry favor with the perps and the County.

Bed Bug said...

Don't you wonder why Mr. Burnett is not folding like the rest of the homeowners? It may be that he sees the bigger picture when all the other homeowners ask only, what's in it for me?

Not all of us support the MOU said...

The homeowners are very divided as is evidenced by the only 6 families who signed the open letter of support.

They were trying to round up signatures the night before the publication deadline and fell way short.

The Economy, Stupid said...

Think of all of the tax revenue that will funnel into Weber County - a true cash cow.

Why would anyone be opposed to development on a mass scale?

Gretel said...

To "The Economy, Stupid", remember that when you are sitting at the four way stop in Eden for several minutes for each car in the traffic that will be exploding in the Valley. Keep telling yourself about all the tax revenue.

Lawsuit participant said...

FYI, the 7 homeowners who signed the open letter to the Valley are the 7 citizens who stepped forward and agreed to be the named plaintiffs on the lawsuit. Check it out at

No other individuals were contacted with requests to sign the letter.

Lives there, too said...

Thank you, G.T.Burnett, for letting people know that we as homeowners do not agree on everything, nor do we tell each other how to interpret the facts. Whatever the outcome of this situation, we will work together as neighbors to protect the future of the Ogden Valley.

Funny how we all had “guts” for the 2 years we stood between the Ogden Valley and the former management group at WAH, but now we don’t when we think that the new management group has presented a reasonable compromise solution and aren’t afraid to say so.

Before too much trashing of the homeowners occurs, please remember that these homeowners are the voters that will control the zoning of over 20,000 acres if the MOU is rejected and the court does not rule the law unconstitutional.

As for seeing the bigger picture: Formation of a town would remove the entire Powder Mountain area, including the hillsides from Eden to Liberty, from any obligation to conform to the Ogden Valley general plan, or to consider the impact of development on the larger Valley. Is that in the best interests of Weber County or the citizens of the Ogden Valley? We don’t think so, and we think the majority of the citizens of the Valley will agree with us if they think about it.

Sellout Inc. said...

It should be recognized that the homeowners filed the lawsuit not to protect the valley, but to protect themselves. The other supporters from all over the valley joined the homeowners in any way they could with money, time, and hard work even though they were not directly affected by the town incorporation.

It should be noted that one of the very homeowners that signed that disgusting letter, predicted himself three years ago that when the price was right, the homeowners in control would take almost any deal.

He was right!