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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Huntsville Resident Killed In Early Morning Crash

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Bob Burton, a long-time resident of East Huntsville.

Bob was traveling west down Ogden Canyon when he was hit head on by a suicidal driver heading eastbound.

Click below for more:
Head-on collision kills one in Ogden Canyon

We will dedicate the comment section below to any memories you had of Bob or any condolences you have for Bob's wife, Colleen, and family.


Guest post by Teri Busick and Laurel Kirkham

We have visited the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) website to gather information regarding Residential Treatment Centers . NATSAP is an organization that the representing agent of the Green Valley Academy is a member.

Their database of facilities consists of the following categories:

Boarding School
Small Residential
Outdoor Therapeutic Program
Residential Treatment Center
Specialty Psychiatric and Behavioral Hospital
Transitional Living Program
Young Adult Program

Search criteria contains the above and can be further identified according to ages and genders by state. For the purpose of this research we used the following criteria: All facilities and Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) for ages 12-18 for all genders.

There are currently 149 all type facilities in the United States. Of these, Utah has 46.
There are currently 77 Residential Treatment Centers in the United States. Of these, Utah has 36.

In the western United States the breakdown looks like:


New Mexico

The Green Valley Academy has indicated that Ogden Valley suits their needs because of the many recreational opportunities that exist here. We have a large number of these facilities in this state. Is Utah the only state in the west, or the country for that matter, that provides recreational opportunities? Are we the recreational capitol of the country, or are we the residential treatment facility capitol? Is the bigger issue our state/ local laws and regulations or lack there of?

Do we have a disdain for state regulation, or has the state legislature failed to notice the large number of these types of facilities? Has the legislature willingly punted on this issue to force the counties and small city and town planning departments to deal with this issue?

Ogden Valley is but one area of Weber County. Are we to assume that there is no other place in Weber County with the proper zoning and necessary infrastructure to accommodate the size of this business? Are the petitioners demanding only this area because they can? One of the few areas in Weber County that has neither a water nor sewer system.

On Tuesday night, we believe we witnessed a political and procedural mugging of the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. Neighbors had received written communication to attend this meeting to provide their comments and viewpoints. When one business has more money or has a loud and aggressive attorney, and threatens a lawsuit, was the governing body able to provide due process? We don’t think it is just about one planner, the local planning commission, or local conduct. We think we have a bigger problem. The Green Valley issue has been simmering for months. Our planning chief and local/state representatives need to step up.

UPDATE:  1/30/11 @6:30 pm 

Now is a good time to provide a complete overview and timeline of all articles pertaining to The Green Valley Academy Residential Treatment Facility that have appeared on our Forum.

Peruse this Treasure Trove of Goodies, complete with Newspaper articles and Letters to the editor by clicking below:

Full Ogden Valley Forum Residential Treatment Facility / Green Valley Academy (GVA) Article Collection

Friday, January 28, 2011

Letter to Planning Commissioners Regarding Helipad

Guest Post by Lee Schussman

Jan 25, 2011.
Comments sent to the Ogden Valley Township Planning Commissioners

I am opposed to the CUP for the private Eden Heliport in its current form.
I have had first hand experiences with helicopter safety issues, noise issues, and business issues here in Ogden Valley; and I would like to comment on these three concerns.  Please consider the following:

Item #1: Safety Concerns

The Weber County staff report indicates that safety issues remained a concern at the end of the discussion of this CUP last February.  The applicants have addressed the safety problems of the fuel truck, but I have a sincere concern about the safety of the location of the landing zone itself.

In 1993, during a flight very similar to those planned in the current CUP, the crash of a Diamond Peaks helicopter near Powder Mountain killed    click here for more

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Details will be forthcoming as faithful readers chime in on the meeting, but our informants tell us the Design Review for the proposed Green Valley Academy was approved this evening.  The vote was 5-2.

As for the Red Moose Lodge Heliport, it was tabled pending further review.

We hear the meeting was lengthy and heated.  The floor is now open for those in attendance to spill the beans!

Important Ogden Valley Planning Meeting Tonight

Green Valley Academy and Red Moose Lodge Heliport on the agenda

Ogden Valley Planning Commission Meeting
January 25, 2011 @ 5:00 PM
Weber County Commission Chambers, Weber Center,
2380 Washington Blvd., Ogden UT
Click Here for Agenda and Details

Tonight is the night.  Remember to "SPEAK UP FOR WHAT YOU WANT, OR TAKE WHAT YOU GET!"

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Full Court Press Starts Now

In preparation for one of the most important Ogden Valley Planning Commission meetings in the last year, we will bring to the forefront several important comments from Valley-ites regarding two hot topics that will be acted on Tuesday night:
  • The Green Valley Academy
  • Heliport at Red Moose Lodge
In an effort to be fair and balanced, we will include both comments, both Pro and Con.  Unfortunately, we have received no "Pro" comments about the Green Valley Academy, so this is an open invitation for the directors to send us their spiel.

We have shortened some of the longer posts for space considerations,  so click on the "click here for more" link to read the rest of each post. 

Click here to view the newest posts, then scroll down, read the posts and most importantly, don't let the cat get your tongues.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lack of Water for Fire Fighting a Definite Concern

Guest Post by Lisa Hecht
I am sure this has been addressed but.........
In the Standard Examiner articles about the fire around the corner from the Green Valley Academy proposed site, it stated that the fire department had problems as they had to tank water in to extinguish the fire.  The article in The Standard Examiner Sunday, January 23, 2011 in Top of Utah (B), page 1 stated:  Firefighters were challenged by the lack of a nearby water supply.  They were forced to shuttle thousands of gallons of water from about a mile away, the nearest available fire hydrant, Black said.  The fire was being fought from 6 p.m. until after 10 p.m.  
Is there any documentation to show that a hydrant is going in and that if it is in fact there, will there be adequate water available to provide protection?
Just wondering.  Lots of open fields there.

In Favor of Heliport

Guest Post by B. Smith

I moved to the valley 6 years ago and own a home that is along the flight path on the way to the Red Moose Lodge. I also personally know both Ron Rueben (Red Moose Lodge) and Craig Olson (Diamond Peaks). I also own my own business in the valley and have worked with hundreds of local businesses in Ogden Valley and Ogden. I have also flown with Diamond Peaks as a photographer. I have a strong understanding of how this business runs and the impact that it will have on our community.

I think the helipad location and application is a good idea and a valuable resource for our community. I strongly support it and I think you should too.  Click here for more

We Don't Want Heliport

Guest Post by Sandra Tuck

WE chose to live in the valley over 40yrs. ago because we did not like the noise of the highways railroad and most of all the Air planes etc.

Now a rich person wants to cater to a few rich skiers and tourists to take away our peace and quiet.
It is time to say enough is enough.

Go play at Deer Valley and Park City.   They like annoying noise and people.

High Drama At the Neigborhood Meeting When "Stranger" speaks out

Guest Post by Greg Anderson

It was high drama last night when, after an hour of discussion, someone in the crowd stood up to dispute the claims that the students in Oakley have, on occasion, “escaped” and caused trouble in the community. It was quickly revealed that the “stranger” was, in fact, the wife of one of the founders of the proposed Green Valley Academy. This person then told us, without being specific, that a lot of what was said at the meeting wasn’t true.

I can already hear the words I expect to hear at the planning commission meeting on Tuesday. It will sound something like this: “My wife went to a meeting last week and the neighbors were telling all kinds of lies about who we are and what we do.” Since we in Ogden Valley don’t know Click here for more

A Readers Research of Other Schools Associated With Jared Balmer

Guest Post by Fred

I just want to make it clear that I was the one that brought up students leaving the school and stealing a horse that was eventually returned. This as brought to light after corresponding with one of the alumni from Oakley School after GVA's first petition. I can provide the student's name if they want to continue to raise objections.

I did a lot of research on Jared Balmer and his long time, and current partner, Kimball DeLaMare. Their combined history was eye opening. If you search child advocacy groups, you will see that some of their former schools have been accused of being abusive.  Click here for more

Is The Green Valley Academy A School?

Guest Post by Greg Anderson

My name really is Greg Anderson. I live in Ogden Valley. It is my conviction that the Green Valley Academy goes beyond being a "school" and is primarily a residential treatment facility which, because of the number of residents, exceeds what is allowed under current laws regarding the proposed location. It CANNOT exist in the AV-3 zone unless the law defining acceptable uses of the AV-3 zone is changed.

Meanwhile, there are some involved in this process who Click here for more

Friday, January 21, 2011

House Fire Tonight

Submitted by Greg Anderson

As residents of Ogden Valley our hearts go out to the Brunker family this evening. Their house on Hwy 39 burned down tonight. The people living in the house were able to evacuate safely but the house appears to be a complete loss. Seven fire stations were involved in fighting this fire.

Ogden Valley Protection Fund

Guest Post by Teri Busick

For those who might not be aware, several citizens have if you will "lawyered up" in regards to the Green Valley Academy.  Without going into specifics about certain areas of great concern, these friends and neighbors were willing to spend the money needed to protect the valley from what they feel are over reaching proposals as they pertain to the Ogden Valley Master plan.   If you too are concerned about the Green Valley Academy  proposal, then please help.  An Ogden Valley Protection fund has been established at Zions Bank.  Any donations you make will be greatly appreciated and will go to fees generated for legal representation.   Full disclosure:  I am not involved in this fund and did not participate in the hiring of a lawyer.  But I am concerned and believe that donating is a small part we can all do.

Additionally, it is imperative that everyone go to the planning meeting on Tuesday, January 25th.  It will be a long meeting, and The Green Valley Academy is near the end of the docket. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Green Valley Academy Neighborhood Meeting Tonight - It's time to contact the Planning Commission - NOW

Reminder:  Emergency Public Meeting tonight @ the Ogden Valley Library in Huntsville @ 7 PM

The process that is unfolding with the Green Valley Academy's latest proposal is eerily familiar and almost mirrors the events we followed last June.  We have compiled a treasure trove of articles that have been posted on the Forum regarding the proposed "Residential Treatment Facility" (or whatever they are calling it this week).

We have organized them chronologically and have tried to point out important links that are included within each post.  We would highly recommend that neighbors and advocates alike, search through our archive, review the plans for the Green Valley Academy and contact the planning commissioners ASAP - time is of the essence.

Full Ogden Valley Forum Residential Treatment Facility / Green Valley Academy (GVA) Article Collection

Within this treasure trove, pay particular attention to the guest post by Mike Bulloch, director of the Green Valley Academy.  In response to a guest post by resident Laurel Kirkham, Mr. Bulloch writes, 

The proposed property is on 18 acres and is surrounded (to the north, south, and west) by many open acres, not to mention the undeveloped land of the nearby Monastery. The closest homes mentioned are to the east with acreage bordering neighboring properties.  We are not a program attempting to squeeze itself into “the middle” of a high density area (like other programs which currently exist throughout Weber County). Furthermore, the academy will preserve a large portion of land from becoming sub-divided in the future, which will promote the rural atmosphere.
Emails and letters to the planning commission need to be submitted ASAP -  today.  In the past, we have seen cases where the planning commissioners have not received letters because the letters were not included in their packets.  We suggest you hand deliver or email your letter, then follow up with a phone call to verify that in fact your letter will be given to all of the commissioners prior to the Tuesday meeting.

Snail mail:
Ogden Valley Planning Commission, Attn Sherrie Sillitoe,
2380 Washington Blvd, Suite 240, Ogden, UT 84401

Sherri Sillito 801-399-8791

Be sure to include a note asking Ms. Sillitoe to forward your information to ALL of  the Planning commissioners prior to the January 25, 2010 planning meeting.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hot Off The Press - The Agenda For The Ogden Valley Planning Meeting Has Been Posted

The infamous agenda we have all been waiting for is now posted on the Weber County Web Site.  Thanks to the efforts of one of our savvy readers, we will include the links below:

Ogden Valley Planning Commission (OVPC) Meeting Agenda - January 25, 2011 @ 5PM

The Packet that each of the OVPC members receive is available here
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the attachments link. It is large at over 18 MB in size.

We will point out a couple of highlights:
2-4. CUP 2011-01 Consideration and action on a request for approval of a temporary park and ride lot in Eden to provide shuttle service to Powder Mountain Ski Resort located at approximately 2628 N Highway 162 (Powder Mountain Resort Management LLC)

* Old Business

3-2. CUP 2010-04 Consideration and action on a request for a Conditional Use Permit for a private heliport located at the Red Moose Lodge in Eden (Red Moose Lodge, Applicant; Ron Rueben, Agent)

* New Business

3-3. ZO 2010-15 Consideration and action on a recommendation to the County Commission on a request to amend the Weber County Zoning Ordinance by adding certain ancillary uses, under the overall term of “Agri-tourism,” to the list of Conditional Uses found in Chapter 5B; Agricultural Valley-3 (AV-3) Zone (Patricia Dickens, Kelly Creek Farm, Applicant)

3-5. DR 2010-09 Consideration and action on a request for Design Review approval of the Green Valley Academy a private Educational Institution located at approximately 9091 E 100 S on 8 acres (Green Valley Academy, Applicant; Jared Balmer, Agent)
As "ND" pointed out, "little late on that park and ride for Pow Mow....its been going all winter...and the vendor hut has been there too...but not in use yet..."  However, our ever faithful informant, Ron Gleason, reminds us that "the Pow Mow park ride is on a conditional use permit that ran for 1 year. They are asking for an extension."

Any bets on what time this meeting will adjourn?  Be sure to bring some snacks, an empty bladder and a chair cushion because you may be sitting for a very, very long time.

Property Tax Delinquency and Duration

This has certainly been a pet peeve of the Forum and the Standard jumped on the bandwagon today with this Jesus Lopez Jr. article: 
From the article:
Although the number of delinquent payers is improving, however, the county is seeing a different trend -- people being delinquent for a longer time.
"We are seeing more people that are more delinquent than they were," said Weber County Treasurer John B. Bond.

The article goes on to state:
The overall number of delinquent taxpayers is also relatively low. On average, less than 10 percent of all properties in Davis and Weber counties are delinquent. In good times, however, the number is usually closer to 5 percent.
Yet the dollar amount averages in the millions.
In Weber County, about $11.8 million in taxes were delinquent for 2009. In Davis County, it was about $13.1 million for 2009.
The year before, 2008, saw the highest number of delinquencies in the area.
"That also falls in line with the significant financial challenge that hit at that time," Bond said.
Weber had about $11.4 million in delinquencies in 2008, which was a jump from about $8.3 million the previous year. Davis County more than doubled in 2007 with $15.7 million compared with $7.6 million in 2006.
Of those delinquent, the highest dollar amounts belong to business and real estate developers. The average number of delinquencies is about the same between homeowners and businesses.

Hmmm, are we the only ones confused here?
  • In Weber County the delinquencies have increased from $7.8 million in 2006 to over $11 million in 2010.
  • Additionally, "...on average, less than 10 percent of all properties in Davis and Weber counties are delinquent. In good times, however, the number is usually closer to 5 percent."
  • The total for delinquencies is near the high for the last five years, and there are twice as many delinquent properties than in good times.
  • "Of those delinquent, the highest dollar amounts belong to business and real estate developers. The average number of delinquencies is about the same between homeowners and businesses."
Yet, the county continued to allow these same delinquent developers to get further in the hole for years by allowing them to create more subdivisions and get more approvals while the rest of us faithfully paid our taxes.

Emergency Public/Neighborhood Meeting January 20, 2011


Saturday, January 15, 2011

More on the Green Valley Academy - upcoming meetings -- UPDATED

As expected, following the Green Valley Academy's (GVA) last minute request to have their petition tabled last July, they are now back with new plans.

The new plan has been carefully crafted.  The petitioners waited five months, found a different parcel located in the AV-3 zone, filed a design for review with the county planning office right before the holidays on December 23rd, and have changed the type of facility from a "Residential  Treatment Facility" to a "School," since a school is permitted in the AV-3 zone.

While rumors have been mentioned in recent weeks, no one knew for sure until the Ogden Valley News published this article in their January 15th issue.

Ogden Valley Planning News - Eden Heliport and Resident Treatment Center on January 25 agenda

Neighbors of the Treatment facility (we will call it what it is) have been busy organizing and will be holding another meeting on:

Thursday, January 20, 2011
Weber County Library - Ogden Valley Branch in Huntsville
7:00 PM

The proposal will go before the Ogden Planning Commission:

January 25, 2011
5:00 PM
Weber County Commission Chambers
2380 Washington Blvd.
Ogden, UT

During the last citizen's meeting, these documents were disseminated:

Letter from Weber County Engineer's office to WC Planning Dept. regarding the GVA development

Site plan of the proposed site drawn by a resident who viewed the plans at the Planning Department

Now is not the time to be complacent.  This is an Ogden Valley issue, not just an issue for the neighbors of this facility.   Once the camel gets his nose in the tent, there will certainly be more similar facilities to come.

Will the next one be next to you?

UPDATE 1/15/2011 @ 7:15 PM:

Teri reminds us:
Letters and emails are helpful.

Correspondence should be addressed to the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. Do not send to the Weber County Commissioners.

The addresses are:

Snail mail: Ogden Valley Planning Commission, Attn Sherrie Sillitoe,
2380 Washington Blvd, Suite 240, Ogden, UT 84401


Eden Heliport Back on the Agenda

The request for a private heliport at the Red Moose Lodge is once again on the agenda for the Ogden Valley Planning Commission on January 25, 2011.

Once again, we first heard about this from all star reporter Shanna Francis of the Ogden Valley News.

Here is Shanna's article:

Ogden Valley Planning News - Eden Heliport and Residential Treatment Center on January 25 Agenda

The proposal will go before the Ogden Planning Commission:

January 25, 2011
5:00 PM
Weber County Commission Chambers
2380 Washington Blvd.
Ogden, UT

This meeting is guaranteed to be action packed and lengthy. Arrive early to get a good seat.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Green Valley Academy - Round II

Guest Post by Teri Busick

Through conversations with some residents and the Weber County Planner, Ben Hadfield, this is my understanding about this proposal (round two).

The original proposal for the Green Valley Academy was a treatment facility on 1300 South, currently zoned FV3. This zone did not allow for this type of facility and the petitioners were attempting a zoning change. Eventually, after much debate and many heated exchanges, the petitioner withdrew his proposal. The petitioners learned and now are proposing this facility be located at 9091 E 100 S, zoned AV3. This zone allows for this type of facility straight up. Not even a conditional use is required. The petitioners submitted their proposal on the 23rd of December and as no zoning change was being requested, this process in regards to the planning department, appears to me to be rather simplistic and straight forward with little or no time allowed for concerns as it relates to the neighbors and other citizens. As it stands today, there are a few issues relating to UDOT and the health department. If these entities sign off on this proposal, it will be presented to Ogden Valley Planning Commission on the 25th of January. This will not require a trip to the Weber County Commissioners according to Mr Hadfield.

I think it is imperative that certain conditions be met. I believe that we should be extremely concerned about the waste water retention pond, and how it affects ground water. I would think that the health department or the division of water rights would required some sort of ground water monitoring system be in place. What kind of septic system is going to be required. Is it big enough. Are protection zones applied. I learned today that there is some confusion as to the size of the school. I have heard 100 students, I have heard 36 students. If this proposal is approved, can student numbers be increased at their discretion?

It is not lost on me that if these people get this approved and purchase this land, then they too have property rights. But it is amazing to me that although I monitor the Weber County website continually, unless I go there in person, I will never be up on current events. It is disturbing because this was such a contentious proposal the first time, and again we find ourselves under the gun.

Everybody has some knowledge or some expertise. Once again, it is time for all hands on deck. It was in my neighborhood last time. It's not this time, but this still feels wrong.

Teri Busick

Ogden Valley Science School Update

Guest Post By Cole Schlack

Happy new year,

I hope everyone had a great 2010, we are busy planning for the 2011 season. We had a great first season of summer camp.   I was lucky enough to get out with the kids a few times and I was so surprised to see the changes from the start of the summer to the end.  I witnessed many changes as students learned that the outdoors and hiking can be fun and you don’t need indoor time. We made it through the entire summer with only one half day of indoor activity due to a thunderstorm.   I want to thank all the parents, volunteers, sponsors, and teachers and staff.  A big thank you goes out to Ogden Nature Center for their wonderful support.
 For 2011 we will continue with our vision of “no child left inside” addressing the growing trend of children stagnation .  We are working to complete the process for approval of the IRS non-profit 501c3 status.  To do this we need to put together a full board of directors.   I would like to put an invitation out to all of you,  if you have any interest in helping us grow bigger and better.  The positions require a commitment of 10-20hrs per month and a dedication to our vision.   Anyone interested should write a letter of interest detailing your strengths and why you are interested in helping this cause. 

Even if you are not able to serve on the board we have may volunteer and sponsorship opportunities available.

Update Summer 2011

We will be changing the summer schedule around this year  to enable us to expand from k-6 to k-12.  To create something exciting for the older students we will  be adding an outdoor leadership program for grade 7-12.  Watch our website for updates

Please let me know if you have any interest in the board positions or if you have any comments /suggestions for 2011.

Cole Schlack

Ogden Valley Science School
PO Box 1120
Eden, Ut 84310

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Urgent Notice: Meeting Tonight regarding The Green Valley Academy and their latest plans -- UPDATED

As was mentioned in the January 15, 2011 issue of the Ogden Valley News, The Green Valley Academy is once again petitioning to have their "Residential Treatment Facility" in Ogden Valley - more specifically, East Huntsville.

We will provide more details in coming days, but concerned neighbors, friends of concerned neighbors and those who are concerned that their neighborhood may be the next targeted location for a similar facility are meeting tonight.

Here are the details:

Ogden Valley Library - Huntsville

January 13, 2011

7:00 PM

Be there to become informed of the latest plan for the Green Valley Academy and to support your neighbors.

Facts so far:
  • 9091 S 100 E
  • 100 Students, plus necessary staff
  • 40 parking stalls
  • 8 acre parcel
  • Retention pond will flood home directly  west.
  • Night sky ordinance.
  • And more 
UPDATE 1/14/2011 @ 6:00 PM

We were just forwarded this information from someone who visited the Ogden Valley Planning office today and reviewed the plans.

The planner showed plans that were new as of yesterday (1/13/01)

It calls for:

Two Buildings - about 6,000 ft. sq.
44 parking stalls
Plans for 36 students/20 staff
4,000 gallon septic storage tank
Private well

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Another Ogden Valley Planning Commission Has Some Baggage

    This is one of two articles today, and we have provided updates to previous posts, so be sure to scroll down for more riveting Ogden Valley news.

    The Weber County Commissioners may need to amend their procedure for selecting and appointing Planning Commissioners as it seems as though controversy has surrounded a few of their appointees in recent years.

    First, many will remember the purported conflict of interest issue surrounding Ogden Valley Planning Commissioner Jamie Lythgoe and her involvement with Powder Mountain.  More specifically, the involvement of her family.

    More recently, Huntsville resident Tryge Simpson just happened to be appointed to serve on the planning commission while a rezone proposal was being petitioned for the Green Valley Academy, a "Residential Treatment Facility."  As luck would have it, Mr. Simpson's home was the site being proposed for the facility, and the property was under a real estate purchase contract with the principals of the proposed Green Valley Academy.  Ultimately, Laura Warburton was selected to replace Tryge Simpson.

    And now, thanks to All Star investigative reporter Shanna Francis of the Ogden Valley News, significant issues surrounding Long time Ogden Valley Planning Commissioner Jim Banks have been uncovered.

    First, in the 1/1/11 issue of the Ogden Valley News (OVN) we find that Jim Banks was one of nine to receive a Presidential Pardon from President Barack Obama.

    Liberty Man Recieves Presidential Pardon

    Apparently Banks was charged with illegal possession of government property and was sentenced to two years probation in 1972.

    Francis concluded her article with this:

    A Presidential Pardon can be granted to individuals who have been convicted of a felony.  When a person is convicted, as Banks was in 1972, they lose their civil liberties - the right to vote, serve on a jury, own a firearm.  This is termed a civil disability.  A pardon restores those rights.

     Also in the 1/1/11 issue of the OVN, another compelling discovery is detailed:

    Property Taxes Not Collected on Home Occupied by Ogden Valley Planning Commissioner

    This is where the story gets interesting.  We will attempt to paraphrase the situation but suggest that you read the above article in its entirety to fully understand.

    Jim Banks sold his home and surrounding property in 2006 to developer Jeff Bell.  22.2 acres total.  Bell received approval from the County for a cluster subdivision, but the plan called for open space for the property encompassing the Banks home.  The Banks home was to be demolished and $583,000 was to be held in an escrow account to ensure that all improvements to the subdivision would be completed.

    Ultimately, the bank that held the escrow filed for bankruptcy protection and the FDIC has taken over and will not release the funds for demolition.  As far as the County Assessors office and the County recorders office are concerned, the home and lot do not exist - thus the Banks' pay no taxes on a non-existent property.

    Perhaps the Commissioners need to do a simple background check of their applicants for the Planning commission.  While everyone deserves a second chance and 1972 was a long time ago, should one who cannot vote or serve on a jury be able to serve on a planning commission?  Probably not.

    Snowbasin Rezone Unanimously Approved

    The Weber County Commission Unanimously approved Snowbasin's extensive rezone request.  Freshman Commissioner Kerry Gibson approved his first big project during the Tuesday meeting.  Read the entire story from the Standard Examiner here: 

    Snowbasin rezone unanimously approved

    We will include the article in its entirety below:
    OGDEN -- Weber County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a rezoning request initiated by Snowbasin Resort Company.
    The resort asked to rezone approximately 3,808 acres in Weber County at Snowbasin from forest valley land to the Ogden Valley Destination and Recreation Resort zone, which would allow the land to be developed for homes, condos, hotels and golf courses.
    The unanimous decision by commissioners to approve the rezone request came several months after the initial request was presented in a public hearing in October 2010.
    At the end of that meeting, commissioners asked the planning staff to prepare an ordinance and zoning development agreement, which passed during Tuesday's regular commission meeting.
    In the request, Snowbasin Resort Company said it will limit resort developments to about 20 percent (755 acres) of the overall project area and avoid construction in sensitive lands.
    It also will help protect wildlife by designing the resort in cluster development and compact areas, leaving just more than 3,000 acres of the overall project area as open space.
    Weber County Planner Scott Mendoza said during the meeting that a reinvestment fee covenant will also be put into effect. That means Snowbasin will add a 1 percent fee to all initial sales of residential properties -- including lots, homes and condos -- that will be put into an account used to fund recreational amenities in the development.
    "It will commit or obligate each person to reserve 1 percent of the purchase price," he said. "Then those funds are directed to benefit the community as a whole, like to use funds to possibly construct a park."
    Commissioners asked few questions and expressed few concerns during Tuesday's meeting, and all three commissioners voted to grant the request.
    "I think what we have come up with is good for everyone and should work," Commissioner Craig Dearden said after the request was approved.
    The development plan also covers 8,000 acres in Morgan County, making the entire project nearly 12,000 acres.
    It is estimated it could take at least 50 years to develop the project, and building will depend on market demand.

    Snowbasin has become the darling of the commission, which wasn't all that big of a feat following the Powder Mountain Town fiasco.  While Snowbasin is the big player in town wielding the big guns and will ultimately get any concessions they ask for,  Snowbasin chose to at least make an honest attempt to work with the County officials and residents within the framework of the ordinances.   That's kind of how government is supposed to work.

    What say our Ogden Valley Faithful?

    Saturday, January 08, 2011

    Cease and Desist Order for Ogden Canyon Wall

    Our friends at the Ogden Valley Forum did an exemplary job of investigative reporting in their January 1, 2011 issue.

    In the first in a series of hot topics from this issue we read:

    Cease-and-Desist Letters Fail to Stop Work on Eyesore in Ogden Canyon

    From the article,
    The wall was built without the required permits from the Weber County Planning Office.  According to (Iris) Hennon, two "Cease-and-desist letters" were delivered - one to the contractor, and the other to the Perry Family Foundation; the first letter went to the contractor on December 7 and the second on December 14 to representatives of the Peery Family Foundation who live across the river behind the newly constructed was.  The letters failed to stop the work on the fence, which has almost been completed - despite the cease-and-desist orders.
    Surveyors have been seen near the site in recent weeks but as recently as this afternoon work was continuing on the unpermitted eyesore.

    Will this be another case of the County Commissioners slapping the hands of the Peery family in a classic 'ask for forgiveness rather than permission' case?

    Our bet is yes.

    Thursday, January 06, 2011

    Ogden Valley Forum Now On Facebook!

    It's true, click the link on the left sidebar to "Like" the Ogden Valley Forum!

    Lost Dishwasher

    One of our humble Huntsville readers sent us this interesting photo. 

    The sign is written upon the side of a New dishwasher box and these signs are placed near Huntsville.

    What say ye Ogden Valley?  Have you seen this appliance?

    UPDATE 1/12/11:  The Ogden Valley News ran a cover story about the missing dishwasher.
    The owner stated, "The Dishwasher was inside a trailer.  The latch on the trailer door broke, and when we went around the corner, the door must have opened and the dishwasher slid out.  The dishwasher is an expensive, stainless steel Bosch.  A couple of people called and said they had seen it in the road, and had pushed it off to the side.  By the time we returned home, found that it was missing, and went looking for it, it was gone."