Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are They Serious? Are We? - Updated

City Council Work Session: 8/8/06

By Dian Woodhouse

I have attended almost four hours of various City Council functions this evening. I am better off than those actually serving on it, however, since they attended at least five. I will therefore start with the Peterson proposal, which occurred in a Council Work session after the regular meeting, because that, in my opinion, is a new, important, and momentous occurrence. Other momentous occurrences will come later.

The purpose of this Work Session was to impart information about the proposed project to the Council. Bill Cook began by welcoming us all, more chairs were brought to the work session room, and we were informed that there would be no public comment. He then introduced Chris Peterson and his attorney, Tom Ellison from Stowe Reeves Law Firm.

Chris Peterson began by stating that, as he had begun this project and talked to people he respected, two strategies became clear. The one was to take the traditional path of development, involving creating a proposal and presenting it. The second was the view that members of the public would appreciate the opportunity to be included while the project was still a concept. He chose the second.

During his talks with members of the community, he was "encouraged about how much people care about their community," and also by the good ideas that were generated as to how to make the project better. Some of what people wanted was: continued urban access to the mountains, more stops for the gondola, parking lots around these stops, and an assurance that the housing development would indeed lead to the building of the resort. In a meeting with the Ogden Trails Network, for instance, he was asked if he could put a trailhead at a higher elevation. The concerns regarding WSU were---"Help us with our parking problem." Also a land shortage for expansion--could land be worked into the deal for the property Peterson wants, and also that WSU could benefit by having a "campus life." Also, a "link" from the land WSU owns by the Dee Events Center to main campus would be favorable for them.

But Peterson was not there tonight to talk about how these things could be accomplished. Instead, he and Tom Ellison were there to talk about how to put something together that works best for everybody. He introduced Mr. Ellison, who would discuss the process, and ended by stating that "Tarzan never let go of the last vine until he had hold of the next vine," and the forthcoming process discussion would be along those lines.

Read the the rest of the article.

But they want us to show them that we're serious, by doing the things outlined above. Are we? Are they???)

Update 8/9/06 2:22 p.m. MT: We have just now received from Dian her report on the events at last night's council meeting, which preceded the above-described "work session."

Among other things, Boss Godfrey (with a completely straight face) apparently once again publicly reitered his denial of the existence of any ticket "quota" system, notwithstanding the admitted existence of a written policy requiring all police officers to write a fixed number of tickets in order to qualify, at least in part, for merit pay increases. How this oft-repeated statement squares with a common definition of the word "quota" leaves us feeling frankly mystified. Then again, many of we lumpentownsfolk simply don't have the "Godfrey Vision," we guess. As we have recently come to understand, normal definitions and conventions common to the "outside world" simply do not apply in our strange inverted universe known as MattGodfreyWorld.

Read Dian's Council Meeting Notes: 8/8/06 here.

38 comments:

ozboy said...

Well, after these many long months of anxiously waiting for the Peterson pipe dream proposal we finally have it!

The room was packed with shinning faces sitting on the edges of their chairs waiting for the great mystery to be revealed. The whole town has been strung out anxiously waiting to hear exactly what it is Peterson is proposing. Me included.

Two long boring hot hours later we all had the answer, or should I say non answer.

Bottom line it was the biggest crock of mealy mouthed bull shit I have heard since the 4 hour long tedious tear-athon deliverd up by Enid Green in her long ago mia culpa about Fat Joe ripping her daddy off for several million to buy a seat for his pumpkin in the US Congress.

Bottom line here is what the son in law's high priced hired mouth piece told our glassy eyed city council that he was willing to do for them and us.

First of all the city must jump through our collective asses to satisfy HIS process plan. We must spend our tax payer dollars to change our city's long time proceedures to accomodate the grand scale of his design (which hasn't been designed yet)

We must do our own engineering analysis, at great public expense, to see if our infastructure will be able to support HIS grand schemes.

We must spend untold hours of city employee time and effort, as well as huge chunks of our city council and planning commission time to come up with major changes in the way things have been done around Ogden for years.

Ogden must go where no Utah city has gone before and adopt rules and ordinances that will approve everything he wants to do - before he tells us exactly what the hell he wants to do. Meanwhile they aint going to do squat about such silly things as feasibility studies, geological studies, or any other pesky stuff developers are usually required to do. Apparently only the poor and under represented developers should do such "little" project crap like that.

Apparently most of this city hoop jumping and big dough spending has to be done BEFORE Peterson shows us any of his cards. Ogden has to dance to his tune and spend all this public cash and time and effort before he proves to us that he can even finance any of this deal.

Ogden has to jump through these hoops BEFORE he tells us what he is even going to offer for the golf course and public park land.

They wouldn't let the conversation get any where close to the most asked question in the whole sorry affair - How much you offering for the damn golf course!

In his rambling preamble that great public benafactor Peterson told us about all the various and diverse groups that he has consulted with in town. He implied that vitually every one was in favor, but many had very valid and interesting concerns that he was just sure could all be resolved so every "stake holder and person involved" would be satisfied.

What he didn't tell us, or even hint at, is the enormous number of normal sane citizens of Ogden that don't want anything to do with this god awful boondoggle.

What he didn't tell us is how the ultimate goal is to get the poor tax payers of Ogden to take the initial and crushing role as high risk venture capitalist where we will take all the risk and if the damn thing works he will own it and make all the money.

A couple of telling little details did inadvertantly slip from the lips of the high priced mouth piece - the whole ill advised scheme will take 10 to 20 years to build!

I think their grand plan is to get Ogden and its much abused tax payers to keep biting off little chunks of this balogna sandwich until we have spent so much money and energy on it that we can't turn back. Sorta like dangling the bait in front of the suckers face, getting them to nibble, then take the bait, then set the bait, then real em in wether we want to go or not.

These two are slick, like used car hustler slick. They used some of the very same tactics that dude in white buck shoes down at Willie's fine used cars used to! You remember that guy, he built the modern style million buck house at the top of 29th with his stolen money before they carted him off for a vacation at the point of the mountain.

Our council members seemed pretty numbed by this high brow but tedious presentation, as was every one in the room except Patterson who didn't listen to a word of any of it. He apparently had bigger fish to fry on his little blackberry device that he didn't take his eyes or fingers off from during the whole boring assed deal. I think he might have been exchanging little luv notes with his main squeeze, or maybe one of his auxilary honeys. He had that sorta smile a guy gets when he's thinkin about sweet delights.

Coucilman Glasmann asked some pretty pertinent questions, most of which just got him shined on. When he got close to the heart of the matter - like "how much you offering and where is the cash coming from?", you know your basic real estate questions, he got some mumbo jumbo non answers in return. I think they call that diversion or something like that.

Councilman Stephens was also on the job with some penetrating questions that got the old lawyerly shuffle from Chriss' fancy mouth piece.

Dorrene and Wicks also joined in with some smart questions that resulted in more dumbo non-answers.

The real shock of the evening was the normally uncouncious councilman, and devoted Godfreyite, Stevenson coming awake and also chiming in with some very bright and articulate questions. He was sitting right next to the Little Lord and I actually got concerned with his health. If dirty looks from the Gondola Man could kill we'd all be going to Brandon's funeral tomorrow.

So all in all our council members did themselves right proud tonight - for all the good it did them. All they got for their efforts was some clarification on some minor points, a whole lotta lawyerly double talk from the hired Pettifogger, and a big pile of pie in the sky from the lips that kissed the billionaire's daughter.

When I got home my poor hungry dogs looked at me for some good excuse of what important stuff kept me so long. I couldn't come up with a damn thing. I had just wasted a bunch of my time and theirs.

This comment moved by administrator from previous article comments thread

RudiZink said...

Curmudgeon said...

OzBoy:

While your account was couched in... well, could we say slightly partisan terms?... thank you for it. I was wondering what the pitch was going to be. Appreciate the update.

In general, I think you hit the key point right on the money: the city is to spend a great deal of money up front pre-development, and is to assume nearly all the risk of this pie in the sky venture. And all of the city's spending, or much of it, will come before the details of Peterson's proposal... or at this point, his oft hinted at but as yet unproduced proposal... are revealed.

Very interesting that his development time line is ten to twenty years. I recall Little Matty Godfrey over a year ago explaining that the trolley alternative would be no help for Ogden because it would take ten years to come on line. And poor ol' Ogden, poor ol' downward spiral Ogden, needed help right NOW, by God. Now it turns out the Peterson proposal will take, by his own admission, up to two decades to complete.

So the question naturally arises, who is going to ride the downtown gondola [which even the mayor now concedes is not a mass transit system for Ogden] he thinks can be up and running in two years? Where will they ride it to? And why, if the Malan's Basin Resort is ten to twenty years off?

God, Ozboy, I hope your take on the Council's reaction was right.

[Wow. This is a switch. You being more optimistic about the Council than me. ]

However, in light of your report, I would like to suggest that Ogden City adopt a new official city anthem:

" Hey, people, what's that sound? Everybody look what's goin' down...."

This comment moved by administrator from previous article comments thread

The Lovely Jennifer said...

"... there's a man with a gondola over there; looks like we got to be ware; ..."

Curmudgeon said...

Dian:

As always, thank you.

Disturbing that you report that portions of the Council seem eager to proceed with this razzle dazzle "act before you think" proposal.

Monotreme said...

"Battle lines being drawn / Godfrey's Right, and everybody's wrong."

Southsider said...

Let's not get "buffalo'd".

Sorry, I couldn't resist after those lyrics!

ogdenrules said...

A note to anons: Thanks to those of you using pseudonyms- to those that aren't, please do so. Choosing "Anonymous" makes the dialogue seem schizophrenic.

OgdenLover said...

Scott Schwebke's article in today's SE looked like it was taken directly from the text of Peterson's lawyer's statement ot the Council.

Come on, Scott, I know it was a busy newsday, but asking for a translation from legalese to English would be helpful.

dan s. said...

Good morning, wcforum. I see that Dian had more stamina than I and stayed up late last night to write her summary of the presentation. Here are a few of my thoughts after sleeping (not particularly well) on the whole thing.

As Dian said, Ellison (the lawyer) described a proposed five-step process to the Council.

He said that the first step would consist of figuring out what processes and decisions would be required to approve this project. This was pretty vague and he didn't spend much time on it. Based on the recent news report, I had expected the first step to be some sort of pre-development agreement, but this wasn't mentioned at all. I don't know if they've abandoned that idea, or if they merely didn't want to draw attention to it in a public meeting. So my first big question is, what action (if any) is the Council being asked to take now? (I still have the LO chorus, "take the next step!" echoing in my ears.)

The second proposed step would be for the city to create a new zone that would later be applied to this project, but could (said Ellison) be applied to other mixed-use projects as well. It sounds like this zone would specify no meaningful limits on what could be built, but would instead only specify procedures for developers to follow; requirements would then be negotiated on a case-by-case basis through "development agreements". Ellison said that this is the "cutting edge" in zoning procedures for big resort projects--made it sound like Ogden has been a little old-fashioned up until now with its traditional "small parcel zoning".

Now I could be wrong, but it sure sounds like this new zone would put developers, rather than the City Council or the public, in the driver's seat. As long as a developer follows the right procedures, it could be almost impossible for the Council to say no to a proposed project--the Council could only ask for minor changes and hope the developer agrees. Even under existing zoning, cities live in constant fear of being sued by developers if they say no to a project; it sounds like this zone would greatly expand the range of possible projects to which the Council couldn't say no.

The new zone would even get rid of all overlay zone requirements. In the foothills, this would mean no prohibitions against building on steep slopes or near faults, no minimum lot sizes or revegetation requirements to prevent excessive runoff, etc. (For details, click here and look at Title 15, chapter 27.)

In response to the Council's questions, Ellison was quite clear that they want this new zone in place (in the city's ordinances--but not yet applied to the property in question) before they present any conceptual plans or feasibility studies on the Peterson project. His excuse was that until they know what their requirements are, they won't know how to start drafting the development agreement. But this is ridiculous. Peterson and the mayor have made numerous allusions to feasibility studies that have already taken place, or that are in progress. The Council should demand to see the results of these studies now, before investing any resources to create a new zone to accommodate Peterson.

Ellison also tried to claim that this new zone would be good for other potential projects as well, so it would be worthwhile even if the Peterson project doesn't go forward. But upon questioning, the only example he could offer was potential "mixed use villages" at busy intersections within the city--and I don't see why these can't be accommodated much more simply through a "mixed use village" zone or the equivalent. It seems absurd to create a single zone that can accommodate both a sprawling golf course subdivision and a high-density mixed use village. And I sure don't see why you would abolish overlay zone requirements in an urban mixed-use village.

Ellison said they're asking the city to move pretty quickly in creating this new zone.

The remaining three proposed steps are pretty much as Dian has described. Step 3 is when we'd finally see some feasibility studies and conceptual plans, and the Council would be asked to make all the decisions necessary to enable the project (annexing the property Peterson already owns, amending the general plan's open space requirements, applying the new zone to the property). Steps 4 and 5 are basically dotting i's and crossing t's; they seem to give Peterson plenty of chances to back out, but not the city.

Some other tidbits:

Ellison was introduced as Utah's most experienced attorney in dealing with developments such as this. Yet he admitted that this project is more complex than any he's ever done before, due to the purchase of real estate from the city, not to mention the joint venture in owning and operating the urban gondola.

Ellison did indeed mention a 10-20 year time frame for project construction. He said the first phase probably would include the mountain gondola and ski area, but no condominiums or other lodging in Malan's Basin.

According to Ellison, a draft development agreement could be produced as soon as this fall. (But I don't see how the accompanying feasibility studies could be completed so quickly, unless they're either very superficial or already underway.)

It sounds like the city would have to fully commit to the project, though not actually close on the land sale, before we know whether the WSU property is for sale.

Peterson would not be able (or required) to produce proof of financial backing until the very last step.

Detailed geotechnical work on particular home sites wouldn't be done until they're ready to build on those sites--long after the project as a whole is approved.

If I heard correctly, at one point Councilman Glasmann called Ellison by his first name, Tom.

At the end of the session, Bill Cook stated that in the next few weeks the Council will publish a great deal of information including what they've learned from discussions with other affected parties, and a list of approximately 200 questions that have been raised (take that, Smart Growth Ogden!).

chief's severance package? said...

Chief’s severance package?

Anyone who serves in the Godfrey administration and does what is wrong especially after being directed to do so? When they get caught? Godfrey just throws them under the buss. So whoever is part of his administration will be well paid, but they’ll have to take the fall. Just like, Pierce, Reid, and now Chief Greiner. So how much of a severance package is Chief Greiner going to get?

sharon said...

Ozboy is right on.

It was such doublespeak that even Chris looked baffled at times. "Huh, whutchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis??"

The ONLY concrete proposals were that our General Plan, ordinances and zoning would have to be changed.

All this before THEY would proceed with any 'next step'.

Stephens asked about 'certain studies', and Chris's erudite reply was,' well a lot of people want to know about how to handle wheelchairs (on the gondola)'....Stephens said in a strong dismissive voice, "I wasn't talking abut THAT, I'm talking about water, sewer , engineeering...." That Chris is as bright as a b'dy candle.

When Doug pressed about geological studies, etc, the mouthpiece said that the city would take care of those studies!!!

"OUR ENGINEERS WILL DO THAT," offerred your thrifty mayor.

Ozboy nailed it. WE do everything...they show nothing.

Dorrene also said that she had talked to the geotech people and they 'told me that land Peterson wants to build on is on the Wasatch Fault with little lines running off it. And, WSU won't build there for that reason."

She said she was concerned about slides during an earthquake.

"Our interests are mutual," purred the Cheshire Cat as he eyed the plate of salmon he 'envisions' Godfrey serving up.

Stephens: "At what point would this project be unacceptable?". Ellison: "Can't answer that."

The whole thing is 'unacceptable.'
Ellison did say to Jeske over the fault lines...'YOU do the advance work.'

Jeske: "Everything is contingent on other things (happening)...are you going to ask us to sell the golf course if Weber State doesn't sell their land?" Also:

I love how dorrene cuts to the bottom line.

Jeske: "Everything at once or build houses, then golf course, gondola, resort in phases?"

Ellison: "I don't know...several years for construction, several phases, (will) be in the agreement."

The real bottom line here is that they want the Council to AMEND THE GENERAL PLAN, CHANGE ORDINANCES AND ZONING PECULIAR TO THEIR DREEEEAM, AND WE TAXPAYERS FOOT THE MASSIVE BILL FOR THE STUDIES.

Some of the studies mentioned seemed to confuse the great mouthpiece.

For a guy whose expertise, as Peterson breathlessly told the assembled, is several years on the SL Planning Commission, and being the atty on some residential and a resort project...he had no answers or concrete plans. What he did have was high falutin' double talk and lots of 'envisioning'.

He did NOT want to be pinned down. Ever diaper a wiggly baby in the old days using pins? You got it.

How many times have we heard the boy mayor tout this fantasy as the 'savior of dead ol' Ogden'?

Curt and sons Geiger were there. Wonder how Curt felt when it was finally confirmed that this tourist trap gondola ain't happenin' next year? Oh geez, will his employer order him back to CO whence American Descente came?

Of COURSE the gondola nor any of this pipedream is happening for a lonnnnng time, if ever!

It's past time for the biz wizard mayor to start bringing in real businesses for down to earth folks.

Start filling up the retail space at the Junction with all thos 'bidnezzes' that he promised us were waiting with pens poised to sign on the dotted line.

Remember how we had to be bonded for the rec center...'build it, they will come.' Well, Ellison let it slip that he 'envisions' WE will be bonded!!!

WHO and WHERE are those businesses, Mayor? Just like Ellison, Godfrey made vague promises back then and painted the landscape for the drooling sycophants. Two of a kind.

Used to think that upon his mayorly demise, Godfrey would be Peterson's sidekick, but now I think Ellison may just want to keep him around the water cooler and the reception desk to schmooze the uninitiated in the wiles of fast-talking snake oil salesmen.

It's a boondoggle alright. Have that observation in my notes.

Appreciate the questions from the Council. Safsten and Garcia were not there.

OgdenLover said...

So let me get this right. Ogden is supposed to waive restrictions on building on now-legally unbuildable lots and well as consideration of drainage, runnoff, requirements so
Chris can build his condos.

Then, when they wash down the hillside will the City will be at fault (and open to lawsuits) for permitting them to be built? (That was rhetorical, BTW.)

sharon said...

For Curm from the other thread:

You have it right.

The Council amends the gen'l plan...for Ellison and Peterson and the old'rubber stamp' council which approved everything Godfrey set in front of them, DID indeed gut ordinances and gave THEIR power to the king!

That's why I keep begging this council to get their heads together and REamend those ordinances so that they act as the legislatvie body they're supposed to be!

One of the city attorneys told Dorrene and I last night that this is a simple thing to do!

So do it already. Frackenfritz!!!!!

Anonymous said...

You all left out one important point that Council Member Wicks ask. What entity will the city be dealing with? Ellison's answer was something like "I don't know but most likely an LLC".
So the city is fully committed and the developer will use a limited liability company that he can walk away from when the going gets tough or after he's taken the major upside profit out of the development and leaves Ogden City to try and connect the remaining pieces to salvage what ever they can from the deal.

sharon said...

Exactly, ANON.

I had that in my notes, and overlooked it. Thanx.

The telling part of that answer is the first part: "I don't know."

Sounds like you were there also.

Slimy, slippery slope. (off our mntside)

minus1 iq said...

Ogden already has a reputation in the rest of Utah and probably the whole country for not knowing what day it is.

The whole City Council looks insane and very very stupid to even keep talking to this guy much less to continue having meetings with him.

Tell Chris Peterson to look for some other suckers.

It is also evident that he has not investigated the financial condition of Ogden.

Ogden's balance sheet doesn't qualify for any more debt and certainly not for the millions involved here.

sharon said...

And neither does Peterson. He's been asked to disclose his solvency before. Ignored.

The financial obligations of Peterson, et al were not to be discussed til the END of the 'PLAN'.

Let us pray that this council does their due diligence and just like Nancy Reagan...."just say NO!"

momb said...

So Peterson brings a lawyer ( from law office Stoel Rives: self-promotion at http://www.stoel.com/showrelease.aspx?Show=775) to the meeting rather than people armed with engineering plans and geological information about how he CAN build on the mountain.

The lawyer, when asked about geo issues said "they're not knowledgeable of site conditions." I heard him say that like he was brushing away a fly.

Great, they have a legal team but no geo defense. Because building on these slopes are not defensible?

By the way, check the $12 million homes the legal team helped to facilitate at Deer Crest. Something that will fit right into Ogden. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2497639974092543328

I have this fear that Stoel Rives eats mid-size city councils for breafast. It seems like a steamroller heading for us.

sharon said...

Momb

Unable to access those links.

I can detect a con when I hear it, but I'm not computer savvy like youse guys.

How do I view those sites?

momb said...

Sharon, I don't know much more about computer than you. I just copied the web addresses and pasted them in my original post. You could just try a web search and see what you come up with. That was my tactic.

Here are a couple of others about their association with Big Money or Big Interests. I haven't found, yet, where they are helping the little people.

The Oregonian: Wilshire's Law Firm Faces Suit
JEFF MANNING 09/01/01

Stoel Rives LLP, Oregon's largest and most prestigious law firm, is the latest Portland powerbroker to become mired in a scandal involving Portland investment manager Capital Consultants.

Two groups of the money manager's former clients each filed a lawsuit Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleging that Stoel Rives played an integral role in allegedly fraudulent business transactions dating back to 1994. The deals cost Capital Consultants' clients more than $350 million. The case has spawned a flurry of lawsuits as former clients attempt to recover their money.

Stoel Rives for years represented Portland entrepreneur Andrew Wiederhorn and his Wilshire family of finance companies. Also named as a defendant in the nearly identical lawsuits was Mark Peterman, the former Stoel Rives partner in charge of the Wilshire business. Peterman represented the former Wilshire Credit Corp. in the years that it borrowed and then failed to repay $160 million to Capital Consultants.

"Using their high degree of legal expertise and experience, Stoel Rives assisted those individuals and companies in perpetrating one of the largest pension fund losses in U.S. history," alleges the lawsuits, one filed by private clients and the other by a group of 33 union trust funds. (see site for the rest of the article)

NEW FORESTRY PICKS TIED TO TIMBER

Gov. Kulongoski in late January made three appointments to the State Board of Forestry without any input or consultation with Oregon's environmental community. Each of the appointees, confirmed by the Senate over protests from environmentalists, have strong ties to the timber industry, according to Jed Jorgensen of the Oregon Conservation Network.
The appointees to the board are Barbara Craig, a professional forester, and natural resources attorney with the Stoel Rives law firm in Portland; Stephen Hobbs, an OSU forestry professor and research dean; and Jennifer Phillippi, forest land owner and business manager of Rough & Ready Lumber and Perpetua Forests Company. (see site for the rest of the article)

dian said...

Momb, great research! Thanks. Interesting to see Stoel Rives is large Oregon home-of-the-Portland- Aerial-Tram-firm.

Nice work.

Curmudgeon said...

Southsider...

Ah, the good 'ol days of rock...

trailuser said...

Maybe Mr. Ellison should consider hiking the property that would be impacted by the proposed development. Then he may understand why silly issues like slope angles, landslide and fault zones are concerns.

Just a thought.

sharon said...

Momb

Thank you.

Godfrey and Ellison...trams, gondolas, just keeping it all in the family, eh?

It was interesting that Godfrey and Ellison didn't have the secret handshake...acted as if they'd never met.

zhpe sbput CorruptGate, WeaselGate,
Inegritygate, Greinerdiditgate, Skulkerman, TheTailgate Man.

Historical Perspective said...

Let’s recap for the sake of perspective:

Ogden has a declining economy and subsequent lack of funding to support local government and public services. After evaluating our resources and assets, a faction of local businesses and special interest parties decide to revive the comatose gondola scheme. The idea is to lure tourists to Ogden where they can have the unique experience of riding a charming network of gondolas from the city center to Snowbasin, a truly world-class Olympic venue. The attraction opens interest in Ogden and exposes outsiders to other natural attractions, not to mention the value of WSU. As an added benefit, the gondola system would provide additional transportation benefits. WSU, which has struggled with parking issues for years, would now get some relief as students could commute via gondola. On the surface, this seems like a pretty nice plan to me with a comfortable ROI.

Now fast forward… It’s been a couple years since this idea has been resurrected and as Lando Calrissian said, “This deal just keeps getting worse and worse all the time.” The gondola won’t go to Snowbasin, but a low elevation, West-facing, non-existent resort, with steep grades and limited space. The area is extremely prone to slides, fires, and the plagues of Egypt for all we know. From what I understand, the only way in or out is gondola, so there will be no access roads for construction, emergencies, etc. Oh yes, and the gondola will consist of one line over scenic poverty-stricken homes to the Mt. Ogden golf course (I won’t even address its fate here). From there, it will go to WSU (when hell freezes over because there’s no way WSU or the state of Utah Dept of Ed. gives away that land) until it reaches its final resting place. We’ve lost the attraction of Snowbasin, we’ve lost the convenience of a strategic transportation alternative, we’ve lost the appeal of a gondola system, and ultimately we’ve lost the economic infusion this plan was designed to spur. It’s doing something for the sake of doing something with no benefit to the economy, the community, WSU, or anyone other than Chris P. and company.

Thanks Chris, Matt, the Chamber, and of coarse, Lift Ogden. It was a good effort, but it didn’t work like we wanted, and at this point, no thank you. City Council, that’s all you need to say, “Thanks but no thanks.”

Curmudgeon said...

Historical Perspective:

From your lips [or keyboard] to the Council's ears....

sharon said...

Historical Perspective,

Too good to leave here.

Please send that to the SE so the masses can read it.

I know a lot of the LO's tune in here from time to time, but they are slow learners, apparently.

Send it to the paper...Trib also, so the townsfolk get the real picture.

dian said...

There is a letter from Chris Peterson to the Mayor outlining the process he wishes Ogden City to follow for his project. It is very long, but I will type in a few excerpts here:

In developing our Approval Process proposal, we have considered certain Major Policy Decisions, each of which must ultimately be finalized in order to approve the Projects. Our Approval Process proposal is made with the assumption that each of the following Major Policy Decisions will ultimately be approved at an appropriate time in the Approval Process, subject to conditions appropriate to protect the interests of the City:

...The City Council will be asked to amend the Zoning Ordinance to create a new "Planned Community Development Zone" to authorize and regulate the development and construction of the Projects. The PCD zone would ber a flexible zone, allowing Developer to propose a conceptual plan consisting of the proposed configuration of the Projects, the proposed uses and densities, (etc.)...

...The City Council will be asked to authorize the use of development agreements to regulate the Projects within the PCD zone. The development agreement would become the essential regulatory tool of the city...

...The City Council will be asked to annex the lands necessary for the Projects that are not yet within the City's boundaries and to amend such planning documents as may be necessary...

...The City Council will be asked to amend the General Plan and any applicable neighborhood or other planning documents to contemplate and be consistent with the Projects and to contemplate the creation of a new PCD zone and the creation of development agreement authority...

...The City Council will be asked to vacate public rights in and sell the existing Mr. Ogden golf course land and to vacate any public rights that may exist in certain trails on private development lands...

...The City Council will be asked to use its budget authority to authorize the funding for the Cross-Town Gondola Project.

The City Council will ultimately be asked to proceed with the following final Project Approvals as a package and not as separate, isolated Approvals: (1) approval of the annexation of any land; (2) approval of the general plan amendments related to the Projects as distinguished from general plan changes necessary to make ordinance changes; (3) approval of the development agreement authorizing and vesting the Projects;and (4) approval of the sale of the existing golf course and the vacation of any public trail rights across development property...

sharon said...

And, Dian, where in the letter did Peterson tell what HE is going to do? Did he say that in return, the Developer will provide feasibility, geotechnical, environamental impact studies?

Did he say HE will order and pay for all engineering and other studies??

Did he say that he, Developer, will 'show us the money', investors, banking institution(s, contractors, etc?

Did he offer ANYTHING from himself?

Thought not.

dian said...

Sharon,

Here's something:

...In addition to contemporaneous and mutually conditioned Approvals, we specifically propose that the closing of the sale of the golf course be conditioned on the Developer's provision of financing, bonding and/or other financial assurances sufficient to assure the completion of replacement golf, replacement and expanded public trails as ultimately approved by the City and Developer and certain other key features of Projects that are mutually agreed to be essential in the first phase of construction. We believe that the approach outlined in this point 7 will protect the respective interests of City and Developer.

There is a project list--there are seven different ones.

There are also paragraphs dealing with the actions of "City and Developer," but these deal mainly with negotiating this approval process.

Since they want the development agreement to be the "regulatory tool" for the project, it looks like the things you mentioned would have to be contained in that agreement.

And they want to start that process now.

...We propose for the City's condisderation the following approach to address the Major Policy Decisions and the anticipated Approval Processes:

A. Initial Phase. During the initial phase, City and Developer will (i) identify any additional Major Policy Decisions, (ii) identify all applicable Approvals and Approval Processes, (iii) obtain City Council input on the Major Policy Decisions, and (iv) reach final understandings regarding the Approval Process framework to be followed. City and Developer will enter into a Pre-Development Agreement that will reflect the results of this phase and describe the anticipated obligations of the parties in the subsequent phases outlined in the final Approval Process framework. Developer proposes that this phase be completed by August 4, 2006.


The date on the letter is July 21, 2006.

dan s. said...

Dian,

That last paragraph you quoted is really quite remarkable. Peterson sends a letter to the mayor dated July 21, requesting that a pre-development agreement be approved by August 4. His lawyer then makes a presentation to the City Council on August 8 that outlines most of what's in the letter, but doesn't even mention a pre-development agreement. I hope someone will explain whether they're still proposing a pre-development agreement or not, and if so, what it would say and when and how it would be approved or rejected by the city.

sharon said...

Or did your mayor sign a Pre PRE Development agreement by Aug 4?

Kinda like the severance pkg he had with Reid?

Just to show he shares the same vision, dontcha know.

Maybe I did miss the secret handshake.

realtor on deck said...

There is one overriding fact here, referencing Dian's take on the Peterson letter to Mayor Godfrey, and that is "subject to conditions appropriate to protect the interests of the city." This is a very boiler-plate phrase that is used by either principal in a real estate transaction, a catch-all term that is most often used to protect the interest of the Seller. It covers all, the amendments, the testing, the financing, the usage, the roles of each party, the time, et al. With that phrase in the contract, or Development Agreement, the interests of Ogden City will be protected, which is something we all want. It provides for various tests, etc. to proceed, feasibility studies to be preformed, and will be a sensible and reasonable road map to determine the feasability of this project.

abner said...

On whose nickel, Mr Realtor?

R O D said...

Most often, the developer's nickle, Abner old boy. There are times, however, when the Seller might need to spend a few dollars, er, ah, nickles, to bring his property up to buildable standards.

The real world scares alot of you people, doesn't it? There's something sinister around every corner, it seems.

R O D said...

Much concern about TESTS. Testing will occur, in their proper sequence. One can't perform a test until one knows exactly what is going where and how that effects the land parcel. And the testing is most generally the final term of the Development Agreement to be addressed....why, you ask....because they cost money, lots of money, and the princiapls have to figure out what party is responsible for what test. These "tests & evaluations" are a "condition" that if the findings come back satifactorily, the project can proceed.

Nothing clandestined here because no tests have been conducted. Like I mentioned, all of the other ducks must be put into a row prior to the testing. This is really boiler plate stuff here that everyone is getting so worked up over. Testing happens as part of something called a "transaction process," and all aspects of that process have their time, place, financial responsibilities, etc. outlined. Satisfactorily completed terms and conditions MUST take place before ANY building permit is issued for ANY proposed project. Let's not get ahead of ourselves over these testing worries. Instead, let the process proceed and we'll see how things shake out.

sharon said...

Hmmmmm...let's see...you are a realtor...many 'investment bankers, realtors, construction types' were at some open meetings I attended when old CP and Godfrey were schmoozing the crowd.

At one of them, Ed Allen had everyone stand up and introduce themelves and tell 'a little about yourself'.
That's when I heard who was pushing for a place at the table for a big slice of the pie.

You identify yourself as a realtor. Are you licking your lips over the big slice of 350-400 homes on the hillside pie?

It appears that the ones so avidly pushing the Peterson Plan are those who have a financial interest to reap.

The rest of the people who aren't trying to make bucks off the Plan are taking their time and looking at every aspect. At least the aspects that we can actually get a look at.

Godfrey and Peterson don't want to reveal too much because 'people will just twist the answers'.

Yeah, right.

Reassuring, you bet.

R O D said...

Well Sharon, I'm just sharing some facts about process, not aligning myself with a bunch of houses that haven't even run the process yet. No conspiracy here; just thought the readers would like to know the sequence of steps that developments go through before approval.

Maybe if you followed along, you'd quite with all of these foolish conspiracy theories and accusations that everyone is out to make a buck and is therefore a "bad guy." Boring stuff, actually. Your needle is stuck in the groove.

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