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Sunday, May 16, 2010

What is so bad about the idea behind Powder Mountain being developed?

Guest comment by JRP  - a comment in response to our  post:

Public Hearing on June 1st about Powder Mountain

JRP asked some questions early this morning and we wanted to make sure the questions were not overlooked by our humble readers.  We copied and pasted the post below unedited.

Can anyone help JRP out?

Forgive my ignorance, but what is so bad about the general idea behind Powder Moutain being developed. I know that there are certain restrictions and limitiations but those are arbitrary, right? I mean, they can be undone just as easy as they were implemented. In fact, some people would argue that the current zoning rules regarding Ogden Valley are biased or skewed toward a thype of unfounded protectionism.

I also, find it interesting that people don't seem to look at how this will benefit the local and general Utah economy. The quintessential objection to any type of development (helipad etc...) is "NIMBY" (not in my back yard). I think that holding such as stance reduceds the objector to a mere hypocrite, as per the objector argues that the developers are egotistical yet is he not being equal?

I would like to know, economically and morally, why the basic idea of allowing Powder Moutain is reprehensible.


Pistol Pete said...

JRP, the Powder Mountain issue is centered around the request to radically change the zoning. Powder Mountain could now be developed under the existing zoning, but that zoning would not allow for two golf courses, and thousands of units (dwellings). The zoning changes would ignore the density numbers for the Ogden Valley master plan and the resulting traffic increases would clog our roads in the Valley. The main issue though is the Powder Mountain road that cannot be modified to be safer according to UDOT. It has four areas that are over a 12% grade and cannot safely handle the increase in traffic that would result from the developers' plans.

What happened is the developers did not do the proper research on the single road, the safety issues and the existing zoning before they bought the land.

4 years ago, the Ogden Valley Planning commission developed 19 conditions in their recommendations to the Weber County Commissioners. The major conditions were a second access road, much less density numbers and a less ambitious golf course plan.

When the developers saw that they were not going to get what they wanted from the Weber County Commission, they used a new, poorly conceived incorporation law (HB466) to try to incorporate the area into a town, thus bypassing the Weber County Planning commission so they could create any zoning they wanted. The flaw in the new law was that it canceled the civil rights of the the homeowners they required in the town by not allowing them to determine if they wanted to be in the town or to vote for their initial town leadership.

Powder Mountain can go ahead right now and enhance their development without any zoning changes, but they cannot build a "World Class Mega Resort" as they called it, without the zoning changes they want.

These changes will change the lifestyle and ambiance of the Ogden Valley and many residents that don't object to some growth, recoil at the thought of another Park City in our Valley.


I would be happy to forgive your ignorance, JRP, but your ignorance is unforgivable. No one--NO ONE--is saying that PM should not be developed. We are saying that the development should conform to the well-thought-out (but sadly miscalculated in favor of development) land use ordinances called zoning, which are designed to insure, to the extent possible and to the extent followed by the County Commissioners whose job it is to work within the law (hint, hint), that the health, safety, and welfare of the people are preserved and protected from massive overdevelopment and the concomitant adverse effect on the quality of life in the area regulated.

Where, pray tell, is the "benefit [to] the local and general Utah economy" when an area is so overdeveloped that it can no longer sustain the overcrowding and is either abandoned or allowed to deteriorate into a sleaze and cheese jungle of neon, traffic jams, and filthy air and water? Protections against those outcomes are hardly "unfounded."

Land use regulation derives from the concept of the greater good for the greatest number of persons. Exceptions to that principle for the benefit of those careless enough to buy without checking the rules, and wealthy and aggressive enough to buy legislatures and sometimes courts, are neither economic nor moral. They are reprehensible.

745local said...

I believe the Term "NIMBY" is not a stance or an objection, but a term used to discredit the opposition:

"NIMBY ... is used pejoratively to describe opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development close to them... The term is usually applied to opponents of a development, implying that they have narrow, selfish, or myopic views."

I think the questioner is likely not interested in hearing about the problems associated the proposed powder mountain development and will remain ignorant no matter how much "help" he his given.

S Tuck said...

Hello I for one can believe your ignorance. Stupid is as stupid does
To honestly think that creating a town with out A tax base with out a safe way to get there and to get out
no fire or police just bring hoards of people for recreational purpose
HELLO. I have severed on the Weber County Planning Commission When it did more than recommend Also the Weber County Board of Adjustment.I have lived here in Liberty for almost 41 YRS.This valley will continue to grow in spite of all the (excuse me) ignorance and all the unfounded protectionism and the ?? arbitrary
12% grade and lack of sewer delivery and a hole lot more.The people whom origenally started Powder knew how to and did the right things. There has never been and no possibly way because of the infrastructure will there be a Park City.Powder will continue The greed and quick riches come and go
as I have seen. The web and tide continues.