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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Predictable Outcome for Ogden Valley

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.


Tank Top said...

Good luck with your challenge. These developers think they have everyone fooled that they are not the bad guys in this action (they want you to forget the extortion leverage they are using) to hold the homeowners and Weber County hostage.

Let's be clear, they are the bad guys. They would never compete on a level playing field, that is why they used the incorporation law to circumvent the 19 recommendations in the first place.

T.R. Morgan said...

Don't the County Commissioners know that they are elected by the residents of the County, not corporations? It is ridiculous that the County would enter into a "binding" Memorandum.

It is scary to think that after more than two years, the Commissioners "stated this was just a beginning, with much more work to be done." What have they been doing for the past two years?

Who actually created the MOU? Did the Commissioners have a part or are they just "rubber-stamping" again?

Richard said...

Interesting that Pronia says TDR's will not work. In a recent meeting with Snowbasin, Clint Ensign said our resort ordinance was one of the best he has seen.

Snowbasin is transferring development rights from land they own at Port Ramp for increased density at Snowbasin.

Richard Sorensen

showtime said...

Watch the video and enlarge it to full screen, then watch the look on the faces of the Pronia folks when Drew Johnson asks them to withdraw the town. It is priceless. First a smirk from the big fella, then a more serious scowl. The others around try to remain emotionless.

Captain Kidd said...

I am hopeful that we see some very sharp lawyers pick up the gauntlet against Weber County. This is a great opportunity to keep the County in lawsuits regarding their inconsistent and arbitrary deviation on the thee acre development rule in the General Plan.

Of course this is not the first time that these Commissioners talked out of both sides of their mouths regarding Ogden Valley.

Blog Meister said...


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good faith said...

If Pronaia had used TDRs to gain over 1400 units, it would have cost them over $35 million. That's assuming that one TDR would cost $25,000. Probably a low amount. So, the Commissioners gave Pronaia a gift of $35 million. Not a bad return. And, wow, they are going to donate, what was it--about $1.5 million over, say, 20 years??? Is that what they mean by good faith?