Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Amending The Way We Amend The General Plan

Council Notes 9/19/06

By Dian Woodhouse

A minor panic of sorts transpired this afternoon when someone revealed that tonight's agenda dealt with amending the way we amend the General Plan. This amendment seems, however, to be all for the best, as you will see.

The first item of note was a proposed Resolution (2006-25) honoring the 75th anniversary of El Monte Golf Course. The first round of golf was played there in September of 1931, and for twenty years, El Monte was the only golf course in what is called "the Top of Utah." El Monte's clubhouse is on the Historic Register, and the view to the east is over cottonwood trees that are over 100 years old.

Todd Brenkman, who accepted a copy of the framed resolution, is restoring the Clubhouse and collecting memorabilia. Saying that the restoration had been a fantastic opportunity for him, he thanked Ogden City, the City Council, and George Binford for helping make this possible.

The resolution passed unanimously.

The next order of business was approval of the minutes. There were quite a few of these tonight, and after amending those reviewed by Councilwoman Jeske who had some grammatical and typing corrections, all were approved.

Next came a Common Consent item, which I will reproduce here:

"Budget Opening. Proposed Ordinance 2006-58 amending the budget and CIP Plan for Ogden City for the fiscal year July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007, by increasing the anticipated revenues and transfers for gross increases of $396,141.00 from sources as detailed in the body of this ordinance; and increasing the appropriations for a gross increase of $396,141.00 as detailed in the body of this ordinance."

After a moment for public input, of which there was none, a public hearing on this matter was set for October 3, 2006.

The next item was a Planning Commission Report, and this was the one concerning the change to amending the general plan. From Greg Montgomery's presentation, and in a short post-meeting chat with Councilwoman Wicks, it was revealed that part of this ordinance had to do simply with making the municipal code conform with the Utah Code, which we have already been following. " put into writing with our zoning ordinance the current procedure which is State Law," Mr. Montgomery said. The information from Councilwoman Wicks was that State Law, as it now stands, does not require that a City Council hold public hearings regarding amendments to the General Plan, only that the Planning Commission hold them. This ordinance (2006-59,) also requires the City Council to hold public hearings regarding plan amendments.

The ordinance was unanimously adopted.

Next was a public hearing, Fillmore Street Vacation, Proposed Ordinance 2006-60. Dealing with the same type of issue as the one last week, this also had to do with the fact that the streets were originally platted to be 99' wide. As this width is not necessary, the city will vacate "16.5 feet along the west side of Fillmore Avenue between Swan Street and 23rd Street; quit claiming the property within the vacated portion of said Street to the abutting property owners as their interest may appear, etc."

Mr. Montgomery here made a public apology to the petitioner. Evidently, this petition was ready to go in June of this year and then, for reasons unknown, did not. Evidently, other petitions filed later were then dealt with ahead of it, and Mr. Montgomery stated that, although they had tried to find out and track down why this had occurred, they were unable to, and did apologize to the petitioner for the delay.

The next order was New Business. There was none. Nor were there any Public Comments. Nor Administrative nor Staff Comments. Two Council Members, Councilman Stephens and Councilwoman Jeske, again complimented El Monte golf course.

The meeting then adjourned.

After adjournment, it was informally revealed that tomorrow night's Special Meeting for interviewing applicants for the vacant Council Seat will be more involved than I, at least, had previously thought. Applicants will answer the four questions and have four minutes to do so--this we knew. But then, the Council will go directly into Closed Executive Session and discuss the applicants they have just seen. After deliberating there, they will then re-enter the Council Chambers and vote on the five individuals from which they will pick the replacement.

So we'll know who they are by tomorrow night.

Update 9/20/06 9:26 a.m. MT: We'd like to direct our readers' attention this morning to a new feature which we've added to our upper-left sidebar. Within the capsule labeled "Local Government Toolkit" you'll find a new "Dian's Council Notes" link, which connects to an archive page containing a complete compilation of Dian's highly-detailed and excellent City Council Notes Series. We'll also continue to add all future articles, so long as we're fortunate enough to have her contributing here.

We invite everyone to explore her accumulated work-product. It's a quite remarkable body of of articles. We believe our readers will find it to be a very useful resource.

We'd like to thank Dian once again for her generous contributions to our community. She does this all without any pecuniary compensation whatsoever, we'll add. There can be no doubt as to Dian's dedication to her native home town.


Curmudgeon said...


You ought to talk to the SE... actually, the SE ought to talk to you... about your doing a periodic column for them on Council meetings. It might be called: "The Morning After" by Dian [last name] and it would appear the morning after Ogden City Council meetings. Being a column, you would not be strictly limited to straight reporting [though that makes up the bulk of the reports you post] and you could offer the same occasional comments about the proceedings that you do, occasionally, here.

The SE policy of reporting the morning after only on what was in its judgement the most important action of the Council means [to me] that there is a need in the SE for the kind of fuller reporting you do here.

Besides, I like the idea of you doing a column called "The Morning After...." Since previous Council meetings have sometimes left Ogden with a serious hangover, the title seems particularly apt. [grin]

ted said...

Yeh Dian, maybe we can even have a morning after pill for the citizens after the mayor and the council have their way with us!

The Standard idea is great. It will give them a chance to screw over you like they did your mother during those years she wrote those great Ogden History pieces for them!

Anonymous said...

Did you notice how many of the potential City Council members actually attended the meeting?

Curmudgeon said...


A good and interesting question.
Do you know the answer?

Anonymous said...

I don't.

sweaty betty said...

The answer is zero, none, nada.

Curt Geiger and the nay saying trouble maker from Farmington were the only ones there other than the obligatory cop and the two guys from the golf course that got the award. Oh there was one bald guy hanging around also.

The little prince made his grand entry late. The trouble maker from Farmington left early when it became obvious that there would be nothing happening to keep him awake.

Anonymous said...

The bald guy is a candidate for the open city council seat.

sharon said...

Who's the 'troublemaker from Farmington'? Coloful.

Dian...most excellent report. Question regarding tonight's procedure: When the Council returns to will they vote on the five? Will they discuss the 39 in front of the public...or have the 5 names already to vote on? What were you told?
Does the public have an opportunity to say anything before the voting?
Thank you again for your excellent service to those of who can read.

Will the 80 yr old associate minister whom Godfrey has nominated for the PC be up for a vote also?

dian said...

Interesting that there are enough of these Council articles to put in the sidebar! I started doing them at first about specific issues so that we the public could get a somewhat clearer picture of what was going on with these specific things. But it soon became apparent that there were many things going on that we the public didn't have a clue about, all the time, (like committee reports, for instance,) which I found interesting and thought deserved mention. So I kept on with it.

Am happy that it is appreciated.

"The Morning After---" great title! Don't know if the readership for something like these articles I do would be large enough to make it worth a conventional newspaper's while. There could be a space problem, too, especially at those times when there are two or three very hot issues and then also other agenda items, not controversial, but that in my opinion are equally important and deserve equal time, but also would exceed newspaper word limits if included.

It was surprising to me how few attended the Council Meeting last night, but since tonight seems to be shaping up to be of great public interest, maybe people decided to choose one to attend. Council Chambers, as we all know, has a visibility problem because of the pillars in the middle of the room, and sometimes one misses people, but there were a lot of empty seats.

Insofar as tonight goes, here is what I know and don't know.

Applicants will be given four questions upon arriving. They will have four minutes to answer these. The order in which applicants will do this has been prearranged.

Will other applicants be in chambers at the same time the questions are being answered? Don't know.

After all applicants have answered the questions, the Council will enter Closed Executive Session to discuss the applicants they have just seen.

Will there be a chance for public comment? Don't know. Since this is termed a "Special Meeting," the rules governing normal City Council agenda do not apply. I assume this would be the Chair's decision as to whether or not to allow this, unless there is Special Meeting protocol that spells it out.

My impression is that in the Closed Session, the Council will narrow the roughly thirty-nine applicants down to five. They will then reappear in Council Chambers and move to consider those five as the final applicants for the position.

If all goes well. However, it is possible that they could decide to table this narrowing down, deciding Not to decide at this time.

I do not think that the Planning Commission nominee will be included in this, but again, I don't know. In my experience, when a Special Meeting is called, it is called for a Special Purpose, and other items are not discussed in it. Not having the original call for this meeting, I don't know if any business other than the applicants is scheduled.

I suppose we'll find out.

Anonymous said...

With regards to amending the ordinance to our general plan to conform to the state, I think we should have left it the way it was which allowed for public input. General speaking the state sets a minimum requirement but not the maximum standard. I don't think we were required to conform, we think we can have a more restrictive ordinance than the state if we want. This may play to the advantage of developers that want to ensure that they are not challenged at the CC level by residents. I think, we as residents had more input and safe gaurds with regards to any attempt to change our general plan than we will now have after the change.

ozboy said...


Will Burt Parks be there to ask the contestants the questions?

Will the contestants also be judged on formal evening attire and swim suits?

Will there also be a talent section?

And most of all will Burt sing to the winner for a walk around the chamber and on to the dias?

Oh, and how about a Tiera and a sash?

dian said...


I was told that our Ogden City ordinance just passed Did mandate that the City Council hold public hearings. Of course, to make sure, we would need to see a copy of it.


I don't think any of that will happen. Nothing said about applicants being prepared to tapdance and sing a selection from their favorite musical, either.

Anonymous said...

It is bring your own tiera night at the council.

"Happy Hour" from 4:00 to 5:00

ARCritic said...

I think that the change in the state law was that there HAD to be a public hearing in the Planning Commission. Most of the Public Hearings in land use law are now required to be in the planning commission. This was a change from before where a public hearing was required to be in the City Council meeting. I don't think either before or now a restriction exists that the other body CAN'T have a public hearing. Most municipalities will do the minimum required so this means a public hearing in the PC and not in the CC.

The idea was that by the time the issue gets to the CC it has been in the works for months if not years and any public input at that time was really a little late in the game and was too often public clamor which if suceeded to would be grounds for a lawsuit by those requesting the change or politically costly if (and most often) ignored.

Ozboy, you would be suprised how much dress (appearence) is judged.

Also unlikely the Standard would be willing to devote that much space to that kind of article. They need more revenue inches not article inches. The lack of local reporting is fairly directly related to their lack of ad revenue. I would expect there is some fairly direct relationship between the two.

Good luck Dian, though if you are chosen we will most likely lose a wonderful source of information cause it becomes much more difficult to detail that kind of information when you are listening to make desisions.

sharon said...

I was a little confused too over whether or not 'public comments' would be allowed in CC meetings now that the Municipal Code complies with the State Statute.

We have so little opportunity to have public comments before any issue that comes to the Council for vote, that I hate to see this removed. The Chair is very stingy about allowing Public Comments til after the voting..which really helps, eh?

I've been mildly pleased that Schwebke is identifying Peterson as a 'potential' developer, but I was very disappointed in the article today. It was supposed to be about Mary Hall's remarks...she spoke for 90 minutes !! ferpetesake, and Schwebke managed to tell only a couple things she brought up. The rest of the rather short article was the same dreary propaganda in the files on LO and Peterson. I'm sure Scott has all that memorized by now and needn't refer to the file.
How unfair! Three days of gondola b.s. and then to 'share' Mary's talk with the same old nonsense we've all just been reading for three days!
I'm sure the SE could do a better job of informing the uninformed public on this important issue. Especially since they'll all get a tax notice one day...surprise!!!
Not only did Godfrey get three days of space for the scheme, but he also utilized the utility bill mailing for another 'show' at Union Station. He'll get away with this because he also includes the streetcar idea.
But, WHO will speak at a 'manned station' about the streetcar?
Godfrey makes opening remarks...will the streetcar authority also speak to the assemblage from the podium?

Anonymous said...

Will Godfrey be in on the secred meeting of the council to decide who is next?

My bet is with the guy a week or so ago that thinks the Mayor has the appointment wired already.

sharon said...

I hope Jesse will not allow Godfrey in for the interviews! He did allow Godfrey to be there when they interviewed Chapman!
Write your council, NOW

Anonymous said...

LOL, I believe it is an open meeting and Godfrey has the right to be there as much as anyone. He doesn't have a vote though if that is what you are concerned with.

Anonymous said...

To Arcritic,

The point is, that the planning commission is a politically appointed position in this city and the city council is a publicly appointed commission.

In these days and times within Ogden, where would you like your last word on the matter to be.

I choose the city Council.

P.S. City Council Members, think about this comment when the next amendment to the GP comes before you, please. Don't slowly give away the powers of your position or those that may follow after you.

On Harrison said...

So I went to the Smart Growth Ogden presentation last night at the library. That one lady in the blue sweater and glasses would NOT stop talking. In the slideshow presentation, it listed places that would be within two blocks of a possible streetcar station. One of them was called the Hispanic district. By this I believe the presentation was refering to the possible redevelopment of 24th and Monroe into a Hispanic shopping center as was earlier proposed. Then the same annoying lady raised her hand and said how offended she was that SGO used the term "Hispanic district." Even if the presentation wasn't referring to the possible redevelopment project on 24th and Monroe, anyone with eyes knows that yes, that area is predominantly Hispanic. I don't think the term "Hispanic district" was meant to be derogatory in any way.

Oh, but I forget how rampant political correctness is in our society...

Curmudgeon said...

Interesting question raised in Deseret News editorial this morning. The editorial deals with the costs to various communities of the heavily publically financed Sandy Salt Lake Real soccer stadium complex It discusses a variety of matters, but arrives finally at what the DN editors apparently consider a fundamental question about the development. Here is that question:

"People countywide ought to show up [at an upcoming public meeting on the stadium project] and ask why the team can't find more private funds for an investment that is supposed to be so profitable."

Hmmmm.... a massive development project that is touted as can't fail and a money-generator that will make everyone involved rich and happy, but that can't find private investors to pay for it. Thank heavens nothing like that could ever happen here in down to earth practical Ogden.

sharon said...

yeah...and the DN says people 'ought to show up at the public meeting'. Do YOU and the other posters here show up at the CC meetings and take the podium?

Curmudgeon said...


I have, Sharon. I have.

Do I every week? No.

But it seems to me that the question raised by the DN editorial is not one that it should take a parade of worried taxpayers to ask. It is so fundamental and basic a question, seems to me city officials --- yes, even the Mayor --- and planning commission members and Council members and planning staff, everyone in fact, should be asking up front, and often. If Mr. Peterson's Malan's Basin development plans are so promising, and so certain of succeeding, why can't he seem to find private or commercial investment capital sufficient to let him go forward without requiring the city to sell him its largest park for resale to upscale vacation villa seekers first?

sharon said...

Exactly! Why aren't all those allegedly seving the public's interest ASKING questions? Is it because some know the answers and they ain't good?

Don't know if you were in attendance last night, but David Smith scared the pants off some of our 'sevants' because he is a questioner first rate.

I don't take the podium every week either...tho some may disagree. Heck, I'm not even THERE every week!!

You, of the astute mind, what do you think of us voting next week?

bonnie lee said...


It ainta gonna happen.

The council will not "share" its power with the people. The council will not bend to the will of the people - except by pandering to them during elections, and most of all there would be no practical way to insure that those that "voted" in your proposal were actually registered voters from Ogden. In addition none of it would pass muster with the election laws, so it would only be advisory anyway. And hey, we all know the council hasn't shown much interest in listening to the people's advice, as shown by the way they handle the so called "public comments" part of the council meetings.

Curmudgeon said...


By "voting," I presume you mean this, which you posted up on the other thread, right? "What I'd like to see is a public invitation to the meeting where all comers will be given a ballot. After listening to the 5 expound again...WE get to vote! Turn in the votes, and the Council listen to the people. That's as close as we'll get to actually voting on this replacement, for which seat we voted in the first place.

Sorry, but I don't think it's workable. Two reasons. First, however much we may not like it, it's not how the ordinances provide for selection of temporary replacement for the bailing out on the voters Glassman. It's the Councils responsibility.

Secondly, it would, if adopted [which it has no chance of being] move selection to the very small group that might show up at the meeting to "vote". They would represent not "the people" [as you suggest] but only "the people who showed up." I know, I know, elections are decided by the people who show up too, but it's a much broader electorate. The six council members all stood for election and were chosen by voters, so in this instance I think their decisions are a better excercise of public authority than the votes of the audience at a council meeting.

I don't know, exactly, what the time table and procedure will be, but it would be wise, I think, for the council to conduct some part of the interviews at a public session [are they planning this?], and to leave some time between the end of that session [a day at least] for public comment before making a final choice.

I know Mr. Glassman's cutting and running on his public responsibilities has put the Council in a tough spot and they have to act fairly quickly. But there ought to be some time allowed for comment by such of the public as wants to comment [via email, phone call or hand delivered letter to council members, any way at all, really] following a public interview session.

And it would, again, be wise for the Council to make available well before decision day the original application letters of the Fab Five, and transcripts of their answers to the four mini-interview questions. Whoever they appoint will have and excercise the same powers as each elected Council member, and so some process for public input first ought to be provided.

As I noted, Glassman left the Council with a real mess on its hands, and the procedure they've followed so far seems a reasonable one to me. Maybe best possible under the circumstances.

ARCritic said...

Curm said: If Mr. Peterson's Malan's Basin development plans are so promising, and so certain of succeeding, why can't he seem to find private or commercial investment capital sufficient to let him go forward without requiring the city to sell him its largest park for resale to upscale vacation villa seekers first?

Exactly, the urban gondola is to be paid for by the profits from the sale of the golf course and other open land. But the viability of the mountain gondola and Malan Basin resort is not tied to the exsistance of the urban gondola. Some would like you to believe it is but it really isn't.

Plan B is a viable alternative except that the gondola/resort plan is so risky no one is willing to invest in it.

Anonymous said...

"Exactly, the urban gondola is to be paid for by the profits from the sale of the golf course and other open land. But the viability of the mountain gondola and Malan Basin resort is not tied to the exsistance of the urban gondola. Some would like you to believe it is but it really isn't."

Not sure this is correct. First of all, it is the sale of the golf course and other undeveloped residentially-zoned land. And my understanding is that the resort is tied to the profit made by the development of those lands.

If the land is not available, then the resort is not feasible.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

sharon said...

Okay, I agree that 'it ainta gonna happen' also.

But, people ARE calling and emailing with comments on the Five, not sure they are all FAB.

We should all email Garcia and ask (demand?) a comments time at the end of the Five answering questions. And yes, Curm, unless changed, the questioning will be public just like last nite. After the Council goes into their Closed meeting they will return, announce the new member and he/she will be administered the oath of office.

So, allowing US to have some input AFTER hearing the Fives' answers SHOULD carry some weight with the Council.

I ain't smokin' nuthin', but I can dream, eh?

Will we see the Chambers filled with interested citizens? I hope so!

I'm worried about some of the Five already. Who knows what the remaining days will turn up as people who really aassociate with the Five come forth to tell what they actually know?

I think the Council could have and should have done a better job in selecting the candidates.
But, I think those that seem to rule that body, made sure they don't have competition.
They're in for a big someone posted, they were looking at their campaign competitors last nite!!
And, there are several who need to run for the Council, and win!

Curmudgeon said...


Does anyone know if the Fab Five's letters of application have been made available by the Council on line? Seems at a minimum, they ought to be, and well before interview day. The only thing that bothers me about the apparent process is that they will go into exec session immediately following the next round of interviews to pick a member. A more prudent process would have been to complete the interviews on one day, go into decision session on the next, to permit, again, some post - interview public input.

Look, such input probably would not make much difference. Nevertheless it is important to arrange time for it. It matters. However few may avail themselves of the opportunity, however little weight the comments might carry with the Council members, it matters that those who might wish to offer informed comment have the chance to do so. That means the Council should make what information it has on the five readily available and should have built a day in between the next interviews and the selection.

sharon said...

I heartily agree! Have you emailed the Council with your suggestions?

It ShOULD matter to them what WE think and say! If you attended last nite, you heard almost all say that the responsibility of a CC member is to LISTEN TO AND SERVE THE PUBLIC!!!

So, am sure the current 6 said the same things at one time. It may have been David Smith who mentioned the oath each took to do just that, besides being stewards of the monies, etc.

Anyway, Curm...please share your thoughtful comments with the Council.

Anonymous said...

To Anon,

There is no way that there would be enough money made on developing the housing project to build the Malan Basin development, let alone pay for the urban gondola if the city would admit the gondola's true cost to build.

Curmudgeon said...


Minor correction. Money made on developing the Mt. Ogden parklands housing project is, in the Peterson/Godfrey plan, would not fund construction of the downtown leg of the gondola. That is to be funded by the sale price the city gets for selling the land to Mr. Peterson. Plus the promise of millions more to be donated to its construction by as-yet unamed private interests.

Whether the money the city gets from the sale of the land [and we have no idea yet how much that might be], plus the "contributions" of the un-named private interests will be enough to build the downtown gondola is, as you note, a very good question. Though unanswerable at this point since we have no firm construction price, only estimates [as low as $20 million from the Mayor, source unknown, and as high as $45 million from UDOT], no idea how much Mr. Peterson would be willing to pay the city for the land involved, and no idea how much these mysterious un-named private interests would be willing to pony up. At this point, the Mayor and Mr. Peterson's claims on this particular point seem to consist largely of smoke and mirrors, or, at best, wishin' and hopin' and dreamin'.

ozboy said...

"Wishin' and hopin' and dreamin'

I think I am beginning to get a clue as to who Curmudgeon really is. Let me guess - is it that famous contry and western song writing pal of the big time Hollywood Producer Pal of our very own wanna be Fiorello LaGuardia?

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