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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.

14 comments:

Newcomer said...

I'm new to the area so ignore what I have to say based on that, if you'd like. I moved here with my family to avoid the busyness and air pollution of the wasatch front and love it here so far. I try to stay on top of what goes on in the valley and hope to spend the rest of my life here.

I've seen a lot of ridiculous comments on the forum (much like any Internet forum I suppose) and I certainly understand the concern of many people over this treatment center. There have been some very levelheaded and reasonable objections to it and I am glad when I read those. However I also see some extremely misguided/paranoid over the top comments as well that make me shudder to think that these folks too may be my neighbors. So a few questions come to mind:
What would be an acceptable location and/or size for such a facility?? I am certain that there have been positive results from such institutions in the past or they wouldn't be expanding to new locations, nor would there be people willing to pay the tuition. The ogden valley has much to offer, which is why most of us live here and are cautious about future change and development, but is there really no place here for such a development?

Are there really no benefits at all to those of us who live and love it here? I've seen countless reasons posted not to allow it here, but are there no benefits at all? Is unemployment in the valley not a problem for instance? Would this offer less driving for some folks who'd love to work in the valley, rather than commute to where they can find a job or use their skills?

Isn't growth here inevitable? If it is, we should be making efforts to encourage the type of growth we can live with. Is the zoning currently setup in such a way that it is predictable about what can and can't be next-door? If so, and this violates that expectation, then it would seem that should be the sole focus of our efforts to prevent this development. If not then it would seem that zoning ordinances should be changed to allow/disallow acceptable uses. If current zoning allows a school but doesn't specify very clearly what a school is, then that should be changed, for instance.

I understand the zoning issues and potentially underhanded change in the stated type of institution. I understand that there are major fears about the type of people this would bring into our neighborhood, but is there a middle ground or a better location that is a better fit? (I'm certain there is, but am just now getting to know the valley). I guess I fear that the community effort is being made to disallow something that is legal but misplaced rather than finding precisely where something like this actually belongs.

In a nutshell, how will the response differ when it is an old folks home for you or your grandma? Obviously they are different but in many ways they're similar against which many of the same arguments could be leveled (but obviously not all)

cowboy said...

Newcomer,
I think the best location for this treatment facility is right next to your house!
Hopefully when one of these half-bakes breaks out they will not rape your children or your livestock.

Referee said...

Thanks to "Cowboy" for jumping right in there and making it clear to "Newcomer" that at least one of his new neighbors is indeed misguided/paranoid and over the top.

Banjo Bob said...

Has anyone considered that this may be the first of many such facilities? This is fertile ground for stuff like that with a County commission with members that don't live up here and could not care less about the feelings of Valley residents.

Teri said...

To newcomer:

I believe there have been numerous alternative locations suggested during the course of the two proposals. Several have recommended to the OVPC that this treatment center should be placed in a commercial zone, as it is a commercial enterprise. Several more suggested that with the Green Valley wanting numerous recreational activities, Powder Mountain would be an excellent location. Additionally it was pointed out that there were places for family members to stay, and restaurants to accommodate.

Have some comments been over the top? Maybe. Have some posters presented themselves as concerned neighbors, but seem to be part of the petitioners' group? Maybe.

If you believe that things could be more constructive, then I for one welcome you to do the research and provide your findings and comments at the OVPC meeting tomorrow night at 5pm. I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

full metal jacket said...

Referee,
If you think that valley residents should not be concerned or can predict what these "troubled youth" are capable of upon escape, than you either live in a dream world or you are a petitioner.

SundanceKid said...

Newcomer...remember that you labeled yourself as a newcomer and you probably dont have the deep seeded family roots of the people who have lived in this valley and their families since it's beginning. Although we realize that change is enevitable and new homes will be built. We will refer back to the "master plan" and will do all efforts to keep the valley the valley. You stated yourself your moved here to get away from the "busyness" and "air pollution." However if you dont realize allowing continued over development of the valley will change it completly then you are being a little naive. And newcomers will pack up and leave here to escape the same things you were trying to escape from in the last community you left. And the residents who have been here from the beginning still will be only left with all the over development the "NewComers" thought were such great ideas.
Also as a resident that lives next door to the proposed site and the nieghbors surrounding. You should do a little research on the major issues water, sewer, traffic etc. And just a bit of advice for all if you ever have anything proposed next to your property and you have concerns the only person who can voice those concerns is you. Their is nobody looking out for your best interests. And unless you do all the research that myself and nieghbors have done you won't know exactly how it will impact you. Nonone will just offer this up front. Really dissapointing when you get all the information and just how much it will impact vital things most important water. And there will still be some that post about how we are being "extremely misguided/paranoid over the top" I would say the same makes me shudder to think that your my neighbor.

SundanceKid said...

Oh and one more thing. Before anyone comments I stongly urge you to research the water concerns and the proposal itself and you will find alarming information. Remember knowledge is power and being uneducated on the subject is no excuse for ignorance.

Newcomer said...

@cowboy
Thanks for proving one of my points :)

@Teri
Yeah, I thought I'd seen some comments about a commercial zone and it really does seem like the bets fit for a commercial enterprise. Does the county have publicly available zoning maps with nice color coding (it's not something I considered when making the move) though in hindsight would have been a smart thing to check on! I totally agree with you on the location at Powder mountain (though if I'm not mistaken there's not much for accommodations or restaurants up there). From my cursory understanding of the area, "downtown" eden seems like about the only real commercial "center" though there's other commercial zones I'd assume (Chevron, etc.) I really wish I had more suggestions but as many people have pointed out, since it's not in my back yard (this time) I'm thinking (and commenting) more about the future... ie, when this current proposal hopefully is shot down... I really don't think that zone is a good fit for it, and I'm glad to see that as a primary reason to reject it (IE, the comment from Greg Anderson on the front page is spot on, in my mostly uninformed opinion).

@full metal jacket
Again, thanks!

@SundanceKid
Yes, and I assume the "master plan" is divided up based on the current zoning and it's restrictions as well? That's exactly my point of where the focus should be. And of course I realize that overdevelopment WILL destroy the appeal of the place. I'm not saying BUILD BUILD BUILD, I'm saying that if zoning allows such a facility in the Valley, then a) there's not a lot that can be done to stop that and b) the focus should be on what the zoning allows or doesn't allow. I think it's pretty clear that this proposal doesn't fit the current zoning (and water, sewer, traffic hopefully are extensions of the current zoning in place). I am certain you've done the research and you were not one of those people who I was saying was "over the top" or paranoid, you have made very legitimate points about it's unsuitability (beyond the zoning which I still think is the best reason NOT to have it there!) Let me repeat that, I'm NOT saying YOU are misguided or paranoid. My point was that if this proposal goes down, are they going to give up? I doubt it... I think there is probably a reasonable place for it in the Valley, that takes into account zoning, traffic, sewer, water, etc. It seems shortsighted of them to try to shoehorn it into what appears to be such a bad fit, unless the commissioners (or whoever ultimately make the call) really aren't looking out for the residents' interests! I said "There have been some very levelheaded and reasonable objections to it and I am glad when I read those" and you sound like a fantastic neighbor to have (and I mean that sincerely). I believe I saw your comments about the water situation elsewhere on here and I'd hope that's helpful in swaying any decisionmakers to say no to it.

Red Boots said...

Newcomer,
We have chosen to live in Huntsville for the opportunities it provides to live a rural lifestyle. You will find all kinds of people attracted to this lifestyle-with a diversity of incomes, vocations, and philosophies. You will see these people raising everything from alfalfa to alpacas. The bridge that forms the connection among us is our love for the land and our willingness to take care of it.

This rehabilitation facility for troubled youth will make no such connection to the land and rural lifestyle we live. The treatment for these troubled youth appears to have no connection to equine theraphy, land stewardship or farming.

This type of facility could be placed in a commercial area in a large city and meet the rehabilitation goals.

Ron Gleason said...

@newcomer You can find an interactive map that shows zoning at http://www.co.weber.ut.us/planning_commission/map/

use the selection boxes on the left and tools at the top of the screen.

And yes the zoning ordinances need to be reviewed and revised as the objectives do not match the permitted or conditional permitted uses. You will to take on the project and get the wheels rolling?

Newcomer said...

@Red Boots
That's perfectly respectable and I can agree with everything you've said (though I don't know enough about the GVA to say whether their treatment plans makes use of the land and animals, but I'll take your word for it that it doesn't). But the point I was trying to make is that while yes, that's what you and hopefully others say about the area, but that's apparently not what the zoning says (as Ron Gleason agreed).

And if you're in Huntsville Town, the county doesn't make those kinds of decisions for you, but the Town does (or such is my understanding?). It would seem that if the county continues to make poor zoning or conditional use decisions for an area and those decisions continue to anger and go against the will of those county residents, the wise thing to do would be to incorporate so that the citizens can control the fate zoning decisions, rather than the county. Am I missing something there? Does Weber County make the development and zoning decisions for Incorporated Huntsville Town?

@Ron Gleason
Thanks for the link! I had found the much older plot map system which didn't seem to indicate zoning and wasn't very browseable. This is excellent. And do I want to take on the project? Are you kidding me? No Way! I'll gladly participate but I don't claim to know what "the valley" wants (nor do I think that there is one desire of "the valley" which is why planning for development is so difficult).


It's unfortunate that it seems that those people making decisions about (the unincorporated) valley communities aren't looking out for those citizens, but Weber County is a large area and population-wise we're certainly a minority. If a development comes in and complies with all existing zoning ordinances, is there anything that can be done to stop it? (Again, I think the GVA doesn't at all fit current zoning for that area based on other comments made, but I'm talking about their next choice). The purpose of zoning should be to give landowners a predictable way of knowing what can and can't be done with their land and the land around them, it's obviously unfair to both citizens and developers to bend those rules (which from comments on here has already happened with Powder mountain?). If that was affecting me directly (I'm sure it will affect me in the long run) I'd be looking at how to bring those decisions back to the locals and out of the hands of people not looking out for my best interest.

Ron Gleason said...

@newcomer I agree that the AV-3 zone states a permitted use is a school. I do not agree that what is being proposed is a school nor do I agree that the permitted uses defined for an AV-3 zone support the intent and purpose of the zone.

Your final paragraph nails the issue(s) faced by the valley. We all have to be involved to figure how to get everything in sync. We cannot wait till NIMBY affects each and everyone of us

Newcomer said...

@Ron
Right, I was saying that the zoning very likely allows it SOMEWHERE in the valley (ie, commercial), NOT in AV-3 specifically. I agree AV-3 wouldn't seem to allow it at all (unless they convince those in charge that it's really a school... ). It would seem all that would allow is classrooms and a daytime use, not living accommodations. I sincerely hope the zoning isn't so open ended and if it is that it's very obvious that this is not what was meant by a school!