Last night at the Weber County Commission public hearing on Powder Mountain it was no surprise when the Weber County Commissioners voted to accept the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) submitted by the Powder Mountain developers with a unanimous vote. The County Commissioners stated this was just a beginning, with much more work
to be done.
Despite the numerous Ogden Valley residents who spoke sincerely of their opposition to the MOU, citing the General Plan and fairness issues, it was clear in the end, that their well documented and logical points had negligible influence with the Weber County Commissioners.
To be sure, there were supporters of the MOU at the meeting and they spoke of their reasons for support. Most said they were affected homeowners who want to be free of the incorporation threat. They feel caught in a vise between the developers and Weber County. They must have forgot who put them there in the first place.
Commissioner Dearden spoke at length about the poorly written bill (HB466) that was passed in the state legislature and how these things happen. What he failed to address was the fact that when the bad bill was replaced a year later by a revised bill on incorporation, the specific section that generated this entire anti-incorporation uproar was left in place in an intentional and calculated move by the legislature.
Of interest was the presentation of Mr. Pierce of Pronaia when he said that in his investigation of the use of Transfer Development Rights (TDRs) around the country, TDRs have not been found to be successful. Not so much as a whimper was heard from the three Weber County Commissioners despite the fact that these same Commissioners have directed the GEM Committee and others to evaluate the use of TDRs for implementation in Ogden Valley, involving many hundreds if not thousands of hours of study and reports in recent years. Yet the Commissioners had no reaction when Mr. Pierce questioned the value of TDRs. This does not bode well for open land preservation in the future for Ogden Valley.
In addition, it was obvious that the Commissioners are dismissive on the issue of consistency regarding the 3 acre restriction that other developers and land owners have followed in Ogden Valley for the last twelve years.
Mr. Pierce also did his best to lay the blame for problems on the initial Powder Mountain developers (WAH) due to their approach and strategy. While he may have a point, Pronaia’s hands are tarnished as well for continuing to use the threat of incorporation to achieve their goals.
Mr. Pierce may feel this is somewhat unfair. Accordingly, The Ogden Valley Forum challenges Mr. Pierce and Pronaia to drop the incorporation with no strings attached to demonstrate good faith, and to continue this process using the offices of the Weber County Commission and the Weber County Planning Department to work out a non leveraged and equitable deal on the development at Powder Mountain.