Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Changing Times: Plan Amendments, Wildcat Pride and Higher Ethics

Council Notes 9.6.06

By Dian Woodhouse

After the Pledge of Allegiance, the meeting opened with Councilman Stephenson reading a Joint Proclamation between the Council and Mayor deeming the week of September 15-23, 2006, as "Weber State University Homecoming Week." Founded in 1889, WSU has provided education in the professional, liberal, and technical areas, and has provided "exceptional teaching" and "extraordinary commitment" to its students. The University also, the proclamation went on, recognizes the uniqueness of the individual and fosters freedom of expression. The Proclamation was accepted by Dennis Miller.

Directly following this, there was the adoption of of Resolution 2006-21, approving the honorary designation of Harrison Boulevard from 36th Street to 46th Street as "Wildcat Way." Greg Montgomery presented the background research on this issue.

First, all the addresses will remain the same, and therefore Emergency Services, checked with as to how this would affect them, will not find this new name a problem. There is also another street called "Wildcat Lane," and this was also gone into and it was concluded that the similarity would not cause confusion. Mr. Montgomery also mentioned that some high schools in Ogden have streets named for them, and also mentioned Caesar Chavez Street. The motion to approve passed unanimously.

As there was a public hearing on this matter, several individuals spoke to the issue, all in favor. Dennis Miller, originally from Wisconsin, stated that in his hometown, the "city comes alive" during games in a very exciting and positive way. "We would feel more a part of the community," he said. Chris Bentley brought up the sign "Welcome to Ogden, Home of Weber State University," and mentioned that WSU was a "huge part of Ogden City." Peter Owen, the WSU Association President, informed us that this suggestion had come from the student association, which is all in favor of integrating the University community with the larger Ogden City one, and having us all join in in the pride felt for WSU, a statement echoed by Councilwoman Jeske.

The next order of business was was the vacation of the property at 23rd between Fillmore and Pierce by the city, and this was also a public hearing. Again, Mr. Montgomery presented for the Planning Commission.

Read the rest of Dian's article here.

The Salt Lake Tribune website also features this morning's Kristen Moulton story on this topic, and today's Scott Schwebke report is available for viewing via this link.

We'd like to thank Dian once again for providing yet another fact-filled installment in her exceptional City Council Notes series, and we invite our gentle readers to chime in with their own comments and observations.

Update 9/7/06 9:57 a.m. MT: For the sake of those readers who don't often visit our comments sections, we link this morning's Standard-Examiner story, in which Boss Godfrey mendaciously spins the issues regarding the Chapman planning commission rejection, contending, in pious seriousness, that the council's act of rejecting a militantly pro-gondolist political lackey from an important decision-making planning body on the eve of the presentation of the Godfrey/Peterson Landgrab Scheme somehow inserts "a new ideological standard" into the planning commission appointment process.

We also incorporate herein a link to a very succinct previously-linked essay, Ethics and Conflict of Interest, by ethicist Michael McDonald, which we believe sets forth in a nutshell the ethical standards that the council properly applied last Tuesday night.

We invite our readers to visit our below comments section, (where a robust discussion seems to be developing;) and accordingly urge our readers to offer their own comments, insight and analysis.


Anonymous said...

first chapman says I have to live here in ogden so I will make it the best it can be. then after being rejected he said I don't have to live here. I will move now, well which is it, you do or you don't, all I can say is that Dustin need to grow up and learn some real protical and addrss the council as honorable council instead of you guys. I would think that the Mayor would also look at some one that is more muture in their thinking and were a little more professional.

Anonymous said...

Ogden has more young people in the 25-44 demographic than the Utah average. The average age in Ogden is 32.76
Mr. Chapman should pay attention to 2000 census data before he starts whining about the lack of young people in Ogden.

Curmudgeon said...

As always, Dian, thank you for your full reporting. Far more detail than either Ogden's paper or the SL one can carry on a matter like this. And even when you went over ground they did, it is nice to have a third voice and view corroborating what the papers reported. Especially appreciated you reporting on the Council actions that didn't make either of the press reports.

We are all, again, in your debt. And Rudi's, for hosting your reports.

dian said...

Thanks, Curmudgeon. I had debated whether or not to cover that same ground but decided to in the end in the interest of giving a complete account.

Those zoning items---I will say again how impressed I was with our Council's willingness to work through all that. Those things take a tremendous amount of mental energy--to have something put in front of one and be entrusted with making the best possible decision on it, while at the same time trying to block any future catastrophes that might be caused by things no one had thought of.

One thing that I am wondering about is that when these zoning and annexation requests are on the agenda and put before the Council, the names of those who made the requests are never mentioned. These individuals are formally referred to as "the petitioner," or "the property owner." Any idea why this is?

Anyway, I am happy that people think that covering these other subjects, which certainly are not the hot items of the meeting, is worthwhile.

dan s. said...

On a somewhat related note, I'd like to remind everyone that today is an anniversary.

It was one year ago, at a City Council work session on September 6, 2005, that Mayor Godfrey and Chris Peterson promised to unveil the plans for the Malan's Basin resort in "approximately 60 days".

In fact, we ended up waiting over seven months before they unveiled anything at all. Then all we got was a photo with the proposed gondola alignment drawn in, a confirmation that the proposed ski area would be on the 180-acre slope above Malan's Basin, a speculation that the resort could hold 350 condominiums, and a lovely artist's sketch of a little Tyrolean village (far too small to include 350 condos) in Malan's Basin. Oh, and they mentioned a few other proposed elements such as a "construction tram" and a "package plant" sewage treatment facility.

We've still seen no actual site plans for any of this, and no documentation that any of it is technically or economically feasible. In fact, we still don't know whether Chris Peterson has even hired an engineer to look at the feasibility of any of it. He has, however, hired a lawyer.

Meanwhile, the streetcar proposal has been on hold for an entire year, while we wait and see whether maybe Peterson's proposed resort might justify our investing instead in an urban gondola to take tourists to it. Ironically, even as he's the one holding up the streetcar, our mayor complains that getting it funded and built would take too long.

I wonder how much longer we'll be waiting. Despite all the procedural steps (pre-development agreement, no-zoning zone, etc.) outlined in his recent letter to the city, Peterson has given himself no deadlines whatsoever. His lawyer said we might see some conceptual site plans and preliminary feasibility analyses by this fall, but he made no promises. He did predict that building the whole complex would take 10-20 years, so I guess that puts an upper limit on the time frame for coming up with realistic plans.

dian said...

Maybe I am being overly optimistic here, Dan, but I cannot imagine the Council I saw last night, concerned with the possible negative ramifications of zoning a small parcel R-4, discussing them, and then suggesting another, perhaps better and safer solution, blithely throwing caution to the winds and creating a No-zone zone.

I mean, they discussed such things as neighborhood stability, the future of the area, and ability to provide adequate emergency services. They did Not say, for instance--Oh, let's just let them do whatever they want to with it.

This minute scrutiny of issues is what many have felt lacking in the Peterson project, and if the Council holds true to last night's form, that project will be minutely scrutinized as well. Once there is something to scrutinize, that is.

Happy anniversary!

Tod Transit said...

Dan S.

I'm glad you brought the talk back to the real issue at hand. Everyone is so damn tired of the Gondola issue. Even LO people I have seen around have said they really don't care what happens. It's all gotten so tedious rehashing the mayor and CP's dream. Unfortunately our exhaustion works in the mayor's favor and the transit issue is THE issue. A Transit corridor would have the profoundest effect on our community. It would generate more jobs and positive central city development than anything Godfrey has done so far or plans to do. It is damnable that the source of any (actually, lack of) technical details is the guy who wants to build this dream. I am amazed that the city council has not called in a slew of experts to question them on Gondola and Ski Area operations, Golf Course reconfiguration, Transit Oriented Development, etc. They seem poised to make decisions that are as important as any ever made in this city and act as though the knowledge and facts will some how fall on their laps or be provided by more questions or comment from the citizenry. Granted they have hired a deal with Peterson, what about hiring a transit consultant or ordering their own feasibility studies. Who else will provide this key information so they can make their decisions with the best of knowledge at hand.

ozboy said...

Well Dan, if this gang that can't keep their story straight keeps screwing around for another year we will be home safe. That will put us right in the political season that is going to give us a new mayor and 4 new council members.

The closer we get to Nov 07 the less likely that Safsten, Wicks and Glasmann's replacement will get on this idiotic gondola scheme. That numb skull Stephenson will still be debating reality vs perception and will not pick up on the public's perception which will be kicking his dumb ass out of city hall. The other three will stay as far away from the Little Lord and the Son in Law as they possibly can. The LL will have no influence by then considering the rate he is losing his credibility.

If Peterson and the LL can't get any further down the road on this BS than they have in the last year, how could they ever hope to go through all the processes that would be necessary to complete the normal due dilligence for such a huge project in one more year?

So instead of hiring engineers and other experts on this sort of thing they have chosen to hire a shark lawyer so they can attempt to get the thing done withoug having to go through the normal process. That is exactly what their proposed change of process is all about, eliminate all the normal stuff and just have the city roll over and give it up! Who needs a grundle of engineers when you can hire one pettifogger to eliminate the requirements that make engineers necessary!

Who needs to mess with a bunch of complicated arithmetic when they can just merely co-opt the political system with a fancy lawyer?

One sad part for Ogden's transportation problems is that the trolly idea will be delayed yet another year.

Curmudgeon said...

Speaking of Glassman, the SE had an interesting editorial today [headed Serve When Elected] about his resignation from the Council to take a job with the City. It kind of got lost, I think, in all the news and discussion about the Planning Commission appointment vote.

The editorial takes Mr. Glassman to task for his resignation, and raises questions about the seemliness of two councilmen recently resigning their seats to take jobs with the city. It concludes, more or less, that both broke faith with the voters who put him in office by resigning in less than a year. The editorial makes, I think, some good points and is well worth the reading.

Serve when elected

zed said...

Speaking of the Godfreyites, I read the following. Seeing that I, like Curmudgeon apparently, don't know how to link stuff I decided to cut and paste it here.

Does this remind anyone of a certain group here in Emerald City?

"GROUPTHINK is a mode of thought whereby individuals intentionally conform to what they perceive to be the consensus of the group. Groupthink may cause the group (typically a committee or organization) to make bad or irrational decisions which each member might individually consider to be unwise.

Irving Janis, who did extensive work on the subject, defined it as:

A mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive in-group, when the members' strivings for unanimity override their motivation to realistically appraise alternative courses of action.

observers said...

Thank you, Dian, for an excellent job!!
We were a tad alarmed at amending the general plan of Lynn Community....we've had a recent precedent. Albeit small, still, it is a precedent. That only makes a larger bite easier to swallow.

We too would like to know who the petitioners are.
That Chris Bentley is a sharp young man. Polite, smart, and articulate. The city would be well served to ask him to volunteer on a committee or two.
Tod aand Dan, can't YOU bring up the trolley and the feasibility of getting that project going? Who else will??
Stephenson was off base last night about perception vs reality. The perception IS the reality.
If one perceived that Dustin Chapman is biased and the mayor's pet, that is because the REALITY trumps the perception.
We were embarrassed for Dustin that he castigated the Council after the vote. He showed his lack of manners, maturity and grace.
He either should have stayed in his seat or just gotten up and said 'thank you for considering me', and sat down.
And Godfrey!! What an evil little person. To say he was sorry that Dustin 'offered himself' up to the slaughter, so to speak. And who put the kid's name up? Who went into the Executive Session to see that the Council did his bidding? Shame on him. But he never feels shame, does he?
Who can tell us if the mayor attending the Council's exec session is ethical? Seems wrong to us. Dustin was so willing to serve Ogden, and now that he was rejected for the PC, he's pulling a Glasmann. Glasmann was so willing to 'serve in any capacity', but he decided that his service has a price tag...Dustin will just move out of Ogden. G'bye!
Dan and Tod...what's the next step in bringing the trolley back on track?
We'd like to compliment the Council for the thoughtful deliberations that took place last night. It was a pleasure to hear the questions asked of Mr. Montgomery and others. It was a pleasure to know that this Council thinks! We didn't see any rubber stamping here. Thank you, Council, for not being swayed by Godfrey's presence in your closed session and voting NO on Chapman.

zed said...

The piece is longer than what I pasted in above. Check the whole article out at Wikipedia - Group Think.

Proud Daddy said...

Godfrey is still as wicked as ever! It wasn't enough that he asked Dustin to apply for the PC, but who do you think made sure his face was plastered all over the place in the paper for several days?! He led the sacrificial lamb to the alter, probably thinking that he still had his rubber stamping Council of last year, or perhaps he thought that the present Council were thoughtful people who would not embarrass this young man who just wanted to serve Ogden. Then like the jackass that he is, he blames it on the Council. Is this deja vu or not? What an evil little man!

Thank goodness we have a Council who can see through his evil schemes (well, at least 5 of them can)!

It's meetings like this that I'm sure the Mayor doesn't want the general public to know how astute the Council is and what an ass he is. Kudos to the Council!!

below harrison said...

I normally don't post on blogs, but after reading today's SE article on the Mayor's reaction to the Council's vote, I must ask: Doesn't the Mayor ever learn? What is his problem? Will he ever grow up?

As for Chapman, who does he think he is? Could his comments after being turned down for the Planning Commission be any more irritating, unthoughtful and immature? The Council made the right decision as Chapman is clearly not qualified beyond his gondola bias, both in maturity and experience. No wonder why the Mayor selected and attempted to appoint Chapman for the Planning Commission, he's as petty and narrow-minded as himself.

It is unfortunate that routine city functions, such as appointing individuals to the Planning Commission, have become so politicized. Way to go Mayor. Keep up the good fight!

Curmudgeon said...

It seems that the question of whether Mayor Godfrey has learned much from the recent Council vote on his latest nominee to the Planning Commission has been answered. And the anwers seems to be "no." Front page piece this morning in the SE has Mayor Godfrey attacking the Council's decision yesterday. And, sadly, what have become the Mayor's trademarks when his wishes are denied are all there: Petulance, disembling, and charges of unreasonableness and irrationality against those who think differently than he does.

For example, Godfrey said it appears the City Council wants a new Planning Commission member who hasn’t expressed a public opinion on the Peterson proposal. That is nonsense. The Council, let us all remember, recently approved the Mayor's first nominee to the Planning Commission, a woman [name eludes me for the moment] who has expressed, publically, her support for the gondola proposal. Godfrey nominated, the Council... yes, this Council... approved her and she now sits on the Planning Commission.

Sadly, you won't find that fact mentioned in this morning's SE story. The reporter, who surely knows that information since he's been covering City government and in particular the Planning Commission appointments for some time, did not to include it in his account. He mentioned only Mr. Godfrey's other failed appointment, Mr. Prisby. Another example, I'm afraid, of "press release journalism" on the part of the SE.

The Mayor's front page snit-fit raises two other questions. He whines in the article that it will be nearly impossible to find someone who is completely neutral on the gondola and Petrson proposals, who has never expressed an option one way or the other. Probably so, but we know that the Council has not set that up as a standard. [Again, witness his first nomination, which was approved.] However, all three of the Mayor's nominations so far have been Lift Ogden supporters and signers of the Lift Ogden newspaper ad endorsing the gondola proposals. Is the mayor truly arguing that no where in Ogden are there qualified people who have expressed an opinion on the other side of the matter? That's what he seems to be suggesting. And that, again, is nonsense.

Second: the Mayor seems to have a very elevated view of his job. He is the Mayor of Ogden, not King of Ogden. He makes nominations, not royal appointments. He serves as Mayor in a city run by a Mayor/Council form of government in which mayoral nominations to city commissions are reviewed by the Council. The Council may, and should, exercise its best judgment on the wisdom of those nominations. The Council may, without violating the public trust or its responsibilities, reject a nominee because the members think he or she is the wrong person for the job at a particular moment, or because they think he or she is so close-minded on a key issue as to be unable to be object in office, or because they think he or she will not be able to work constructively with other commission members, or for a variety of other reasons, or any combination of the above. Exercising that kind of judgment is one of the responsibilities of Council members. Whether the Mayor of Ogden likes it or not.

I was pleased to see, from the story, that both Mr. Bob Geiger and Mr. Mike Vause [one a public spokesman for Lift Ogden and the other often a public spokesman for SmartGrowthOgden] agree that it is important, now, for the Mayor to nominate someone in whose objectivity and fairmindedness on the gondola/Peterson matters both sides can have confidence. They are, both of them, exactly right on that. I wish I thought the Mayor understood their point. Based on this morning's story, I'm not at all sure he does. [Note: this does not mean the nominee must have no opinion on the matter. It does mean the Council has to believe the nominee is open-minded enough to be swayed by evidence or information that may be brought forward, even to the point of changing his or her opinion on the project, should the evidence be compelling enough.]

Link to the SE story is here:

Godfrey: Rejection of nominee sets bad precedent

Tod Transit said...


I plan to be filling the councilmembers mailbox with as much data as I can accumulate. Unfortunately, I am not an expert or an engineer. My lack of credentials will likely have my letters relegated to comment status rather than expert analysis which will carry less weight. The volume of my accumulated analysis makes for quite lengthy letters. This deal cannot be analyzed in brief. This fact also works in favor of the PeteProposal. The real life analysis requires a long and strong attention span and an ability to digest such data in order to see through it all. I'll do my best.

Tod Transit said...

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RudiZink said...

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For the benefit of those who'd like to doll up their comments with a little fancy text formatting, and especially for those who frequently post raw html URLs, we've composed a basic, no-frills html cribsheet, which appears in the upper-right sidebar.

Entitled Comments HTML Primer, it provides everything any reader needs to know about posting links in our comments section.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Godfrey's statements were fairly factual to me... It is true what he said that the council has a new ideological standard for nominating people.

I think Bob Geiger's quote had an interesting point: How does the city council go about certifying that a person is neutral or swayable? To avoid perception problems, they have to find a person who hasn't expressed much of an opinion regarding the matter. Then...How does one go about certifying that a quiet person is also an objective or swayable person? Is it necessarily true that a person who hasn't expressed much of an opinion is any more objective than a person who has expressed an opinion? Can neutrality/objectivity be certified?

The new bar the Mayor is referring to may be his way of saying: "The council may be setting an unachieveable goal."

He didn't seem to pass judgement on the goal. I am sure he is aware that the pursuit of an unachieveable characteristic set for a planning commission nominee will soon be disgarded or somewhat compromised away in the effort to actually fill the vacant spot.

Practicality isn't something that you can avoid when your actually in the seat and actually have to fill vacancies and solve problems.

Sam I Am said...

I would have to say that publishing a pro-gondola blog meets the criteria of not being neutral on the subject. Yes, of course you will never be able to fully prove or certify anyone’s neutrality, but you can definitely choose someone who doesn’t publicly, and in a very evident way, support only one side of the argument. I think the council made the correct decision, as this whole issue is about perception. Yours, Geiger’s, and Godfrey’s point don’t seem very factual to me, as finding someone that hasn’t publicly supported or opposed the gondola should be very easy. Just open your eyes.

OgdenLover said...

I have a "dumb" question that has been nagging me for some time. Why do we have a Planning Commission?

Several of our City Planners made a presentation at the Mt. Ogden Neighborhood meeting a while back. These people are educated, trained Planers and are paid City of Ogden employees. They have background in what has worked/not worked in other cities and they are able to consider long-term consequences of proposed changes.

I'm somewhat confused as to why we then have a Planning Commission composed of appointed amateurs who make decisions/recommendations about important changes to City zoning and codes. Wouldn't it be better to have professionals doing this? Why can't our own City Planners be involved in what is currently the work of the Planning Commission? OK, some might say that as City Employees they would not be free of pressure from the Administration, but is that any different from the current situation?

If truly qualified people (based on education and experience in city planning) cannot be found, since the current Planning Commission already has two vacancies, why not just let it die a noble death on its own.

OgdenLover said...

While anyone can go to the Smart Growth Ogden website and see a list of supporters, has anyone noticed that a similar open listing is NOT found on the Lift Ogden site? Maybe once one has signed their petition it's available, but I don't want to go that far to find out.

see I told you so said...

Here we go again, the little whinny baby didn't get his way so I guess that all these council people are nothing more than cave people, you know {citizen agaist vertually everything}, well I would say that what the city council did was there job, to the best way it could and should be, and that is to provide a check and balance on the mayor.

that is why there is an advise and consent vote on the nomminee. we are seeing our government work properly and though the mayor is whining about it he should say that is how it is to work. good job cc members keep up the good work.
this is how to rein in on the little lord, that is to provide us with the check and balaces and not let the mayor just ram it do our throuts or the city councils. no more rubber stamps.

Now lets see what we can do on the county level with this election coming up in 8 weeks.

Will we be looking for checks and balances, accountibilty, respondsiblity, and do what is right with our government!

below harrison said...

Also, do not forget that the Mayor let go of somebody who was a very good addition to the Planning Commission, Shalae Larsen. She was young, articulate, knowledgeable of planning issues, and asked the right questions. The reason why she was not reappointed was because developers didn't like her, apparently because she asked too many questions (which is a key component of the planning commission's job!). Also, she was clearly not a supporter of the Gondola project, the Mayor and others knew it (although the Mayor won't admit to it). I hate to speculate, but I am sure that had a lot to do with her being let go.

As I allude in my earlier post, my problem with Dustin's appointment to the Planning Commission was not that he was biased in favor of the gondola, but that he is generally inexperienced when it comes to land use and planning issues. Although seemingly insignificant to some, the projects that the Planning Commission considers and the decisions they make are important. Good and proper planning decisions result in a better Ogden in the future. We need people on the commission who are qualified (and mature), even if they do show a bias one way or another pertaining to the gondola. I agree that finding somebody who doesn't feel one way or another for the gondola will be difficult if not impossible, but if you are going to appoint someone who is biased at least ensure that they are conscientious, knowledgeable and mature enough to ask questions and make proper decisions for all projects that are presented before the commission.

Although the Ogden City Code does not do a very good job spelling out what the Planning Commission’s purpose is or why it is important, there are several reasons for having one. They advise the Council, the Mayor (I guess), and planning staff on all matters relating to planning and they are to promote orderly growth/development within the city; all in a manner that is supposed to be objective, objective is the key word here. How objective would it be if the staff did all of the work of the commission? Staff provides technical assistance, they don’t make the decisions. If they were making recommendations and providing other advisory roles the Planning Commission is currently doing, the city would be sued by every developer within miles of the town. The staff currently makes recommendations to the PC based on their expertise, but let the PC decide. Ultimately, planning decisions should be made by the community members at large, through things like the General Plan (stakeholders from the community and the general public help decide what’s in that plan). Part of the PCs purpose is to make sure that those goals are met that are within the plan, so hopefully all PC members have a firm understanding of what the General Plan is. Planning Commission members are usually comprised of people with different backgrounds from different segments of the community, so that the city’s population and concerns will be adequately represented (Ogden’s Mayor is trying to undermine that here). The issue isn’t whether we need a PC, but how it is currently operating in our City. For one, the Mayor alone should not be making these appointments. There should be a better approach! Also, I think that there are many qualified people who could serve on the PC.

Anonymous said...

What is truly amazing is that the little liar says it all with a straight face!

ArmySarge said...

Can someone enlighten me as to why need to address a "transit corridor"? Do we actually have a transit problem or is this just pretend so we can be "doing something"??

NOTE: This is a serious question. I know it may seem "smart alecky" so some of you but it is a serious question..

dan s. said...


Thanks for the endorsement. I've been "bringing up" the trolley, over and over again, since I first learned of the recommendation in June of last year. (Yeah, I was there at the meeting where UTA and WFRC unveiled it.)

As I understand it, the normal procedure to move forward on the recommendation would be something like this: The Planning Commission would consider the proposal and make a recommendation on it. The City Council might also weigh in with a resolution or something, expressing a desire to move forward. Then the planning staff would draft any required amendments to the city's general plan and any affected community plans, incorporating the transit corridor. These amendments would need to be considered by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council, with public hearings in both cases, I believe. Meanwhile, the mayor and the Council would look for money in upcoming years' budgets to fund half of the cost of the needed Environmental Impact Statement. (The other half would be payed by UTA.) The EIS could cost anywhere from half a million to two million dollars, and the city's share would be half of that, probably over a two-year period. I've been told that in our case, BDO revenue would be a very appropriate source for this money. The EIS process would include further opportunities for public input, to choose between the streetcar and bus-rapid-transit alternatives and to nail down the recommended alignment and station locations. Once the EIS is complete, I suppose UTA and the City would make final decisions on the details and then UTA would take the lead in applying for federal funding for construction. UTA would also have to start saving up money for its own share of the funding. This could come more quickly if we give them a new source of revenue, as Salt Lake County is now trying to do through a bond. (It could also be done with a new sales tax, as we did for the FrontRunner several years ago.) But neither tax increase is actually necessary if we're willing to wait a few years longer. According to UTA, the system could be built in as little as 7 years if they get a new source of revenue, or 10-15 years if they don't.

So where are we now? The Planning Commission did make a recommendation on the proposal, but the mayor has said he wants them to reconsider their recommendation, presumably after he gets some new appointees approved. The Council has taken no action, and as far as I know, the city has done nothing to prepare for the needed plan amendments or to budget for the EIS. Unless the mayor has a change of heart, our best bet for the short term might be to ask the Council to pass a resolution directing city staff to get busy on these things.

Curmudgeon said...

Ogden Lover and Anon:

OL: Planning Commissions play an important role in city planning and urban development. BelowHarrison's summary of how and why they do that is, I think, a very good one.

Anon: I don't think the Council set up a litmus test --- "no opinion on the gondola" --- for appointment. As noted already, they did appoint the mayor's first nominee, who signed the Lift Ogden ad. In fact, if anyone has established a litmus test for appointment to the Planning Commission, it is the Mayor. He refused to reappoint a PC member who was a SmartGrowthOgden supporter. And all three of the Mayor's initial nominees for open seats were Lift Ogden supporters. The Mayor's litmus test for applicants seems to be this: if you've spoken in favor of the gondola, you're eligible. If you spoken aginst the idea, you're not. [He also renominated one member who has not, so far as I know, been outspoken on the gondola matter.]

You ask how the Council is to certify a candidate's "swayablity" [so to speak], meaning a candidate's willingness to have his or her views changed by evidence once on the PC [particularly important since virtually no specific details of the Peterson plans have yet been presented to the PC, the Council or anyone else that we know of, a year after Peterson raised the matter, and ten months after he promised to lay specifics before the public.] Well, I imagine the Council would satisfy itself on that point in the usual way: by interview, by looking at a candidate's past statements, and by drawing conclusions from all that.

I don't think it's necessary for a nominee to have stated no opinion. Nor does the Council, evidently, given its approval of the Mayor's first nominee. But it certainly seems reasonable to me that they might want nominees on this volitile issue who have taken a stand like this: "I think, from what I have seen so far, that the gondola plan is/is not a good idea for Ogden's future. But before I decide the matter finally, I want to know a great deal more than I do now about the plan's specifics, its probabilty of sucess and the probable consequences for Ogden residents of its approval/rejection. I'll want to know if there are alternative proposals we might consider, and how the proposal stacks up against them. As I said, right now, I like/don't like the proposal, but I'm a long way from having made up my mind and a long way from having all the information I need to finally do that."

That approach would fit a somone who generally thinks well of the gondola proposal as well as someone who generally thinks poorly of it. I do not believe that there are no qualified nominees in the city who could meet that standard. Apparently, the Mayor does.

Curmudgeon said...


I hope someone far more informed on transit matters than I am will reply. But for openers, I do know that long term transit planning is generally based on anticipated need, not present usage. Having Ogden streets jammed ten years down the road because of new population spurred by FrontRunner's arrival before acting is not a good idea. Doing studies on anticipated population growth, traffic growth, and transit needs generally provides the basis for planning things like the proposed streetcar development between downtown, WSU and McKay-Dee Hospital. Waiting until a problem planners see quite clearly coming actually arrives is generally not wise, and is always much more expensive in the end.

Another good example of this kind of anticipatory planning involves water resources. We've learned the hard way to plan decades ahead for water to serve growing populations. Can't wait until the toilets don't flush to worry about where it will come from. Same with power. And, I think, the same with urban public transit.

I hope someone better informed on transit matters than I am will answer as well.

Anonymous said...

Curm -

Statements like that don't necessarily mean that a person is actually objective. Depending on the inner intent of the person, it may just mean that the person is politically savvy and adept at passive aggressive opposition or support. This is a common tactic used in politics and has been witnessed many times in the debate on the Gondola.

In the end, its going to be tough to certify objectivity/neutrality/swayability.

mercy said...

When will this little king who is royalty in his own mind? Hear ye, Hear Ye, the king is about to be dethroned.

Curmudgeon said...


Granted, no guarantees. But what you seem to be saying [correct me if I'm wrong] is that the Council will have, really, no way to tell if a nominee is being completely honest with them or not. True enough, it will require the members to make judgements about that. But they do that all the time when they make appointments. And past performance is a reasonable thing to look at when making judgments like that. What was the nominee saying before he knew he was going to be nominated for the Commission? And so on.

To be specific, I think it became clear to the Council that, given Mr. Chapman's past performance [public statments, letters to the editor, blog postings and such like] that his claim that he could and would be impartial and open minded on this issue on the PC was not credible.

From my POV, this little dust-up is entirely of the Mayor's devising. The Chapman appoint was, I think, clearly an "in your face" appointment with respect to gondola doubters. It was a fight that he didn't have to provoke, it was a fight I am sure the Council didn't want to happen, it was a fight that needn't, with a little bit of tact on the part of the Mayor [and I would add "smarts" on his part as well] have happened at all.

ozboy said...

I looked up the "Group Think" deal and it seemed that they were defining the Godfreyites, and their sub cult the Gondolists, to a Tee!

I think the true test for the Planning commission seat, and the now empty Glasmann seat, would be some sort of test to see if they were prone to this mental disorder that has caused so much grief in Ogden, and the world.

As to the Little Lord ever "getting it" and doing the right thing, wellll, I will cover any bet for any amount that says it ainta ever gonna happen.

You just don't change the spots on a hyena, and there is no cure for sociopathy. IMHO the Little Lord Mayor is both.

Tod Transit said...


A Transit Corridor is more than a corridor along which a transit system runs. The mayor has also missed the point of transit when he shuffled aside the UTA recommendations in favor of a town gondola. A Transit Corridor allows rezoning along it's path to accomodate higher density which provides the necessary population along it's route to utilize the transit system. This increased density also encourages small businesses and thus a thriving street scene. 25th street is very cool but it is a caricature of a real small town street scene. What's missing is people living in the immediatly adjacent blocks, grocery purveyers and hardware. A Transit Corridor will bring those things and more. The current method in most growing cities is designing around automobiles which require ever wider boulevards, turning lanes, more parking, and there is still hella traffic. There is a better way... to live and to plan our cities. These observations of our modern autopia have been made since I was in grade school but cheap motor fuel has always made the autopia scheme the cheaper and more accesible model. Now that fuel is 3 bucks and will climb precipitously in the next couple of decades it is about time to get back to pedestrian living and a modern transit system. The trolleys or streetcars have been characterized as quaint or outdated by opponents. This is no more true than saying human bodies are quaint and outdated. I say this, meaning that no matter how modern our cities and transit system get, they must still move human bodies around safely. That means that until we get teleportation or some such science fiction transit method, streetcars are it. People cannot be moved around any more efficiently than that. Ogden is sorely lacking a real street scene where people live nearby and make it their center of activity. A Transit Corridor is what makes this happen. It does not happen on a 6-lane boulevard.

Anonymous said...


"I think, from what I have seen so far, that the gondola plan is/is not a good idea for Ogden's future. But before I decide the matter finally, I want to know a great deal more than I do now about the plan's specifics, its probabilty of sucess and the probable consequences for Ogden residents of its approval/rejection. I'll want to know if there are alternative proposals we might consider, and how the proposal stacks up against them. As I said, right now, I like/don't like the proposal, but I'm a long way from having made up my mind and a long way from having all the information I need to finally do that."

Looking at the Gondola opposition effort:
The quote above sounds a lot like something Mike Vause or Dan S. might publicly say. It has been the montra of the Smart Growth Ogden tactic. Does that mean that they, and other Smart Growth Ogden members who express this politically sensible are truly swayable? Is their sincerity ever in question?

Looking at it from the Gondola support effort:
There have been many who support the gondola very strongly but have kept to themselves for business or personal reasons. The Mayor could go get a person. Coach them to express the sentiments in the quote above, and simply fill the seat with a die hard supporter. Is their sincerity able to certified?

In the end, the actual achievement of neutrality/objectivity/and swayability will be difficult, if not impossible, to ensure.

For that reason, you never know what might occur in the practical sense to actually fill the city council seat or planning commission seat.

If the effort to pursue the perception of neutrality can be achieved only at the expense of taking action that is in the practical sense irrational or less rational than the alternatives, then who knows what criteria will necessarily be defaulted to to fill those positions. That is, unless a less rational solution is acceptable because perception is given a higher priority to results.

In the end however, perception isn't everything. It's way over rated in the long run, and the city council knows it deep down. Just look at the difficulty Smart Growth Ogden is having maintaining the belief among Ogdenites that they are just "asking questions" and working to get "people invovled." These expressions have become more than questionable over time as it is clear that Smart Growth doesn't like Lift Ogden's involvement and questions, and is biased in favor of a certain tone of questioning and a certain type of involvement---all of which consistently indicates that they are strong opposers to the Gondola/Malan's basin even though they talk in terms of the quote above.

Reality trumps mere efforts to create impressions in the long run; and, as we all seem to agree, there is a long way to go in considering the gondola and malan's resort.

Bill Glasmann was just one event in the process. Perception was trumped by reality for him. His perception, and the perception of many of his early supporters, was that the Mayor was a miserable crook that wasn't getting anything good done in Ogden. Reality proved otherwise for Bill, and he moved on because he couldn't honorably fulfill the expectations of his supporters to "oppose the mayor." There is no amount of discussion that Bill can give to sway those early supporters who hate the mayor. So, he just moved on listening to the dogs bark at his heels. (Or, maybe Bill is just an insincere man whose principles have a price tag on them.) Again...difficult to certify which is the truth, but also difficult to hide the truth in the long run for Bill. Time will tell which it will be.

The Dustin Champan issue too is just one event in a process that hasn't played itself out. Not selecting Dustin was one thing. Ensuring that the person who is actually appointed to the seat is actually a more neutral/objective/swayable person that Dustin is quite another thing.

We'll see how things go.

below harrison said...

The key piece of the transit issue for me is all about having options. The more options that are out there for people to get around efficiently, the better. While we do not have a pressing transit problem today in Ogden, there will be in the future. Also, the current system is definitely not the best, it can be improved on. Plus, look at how much transit ridership is up in Weber County, as gas prices continue to stay high and increase more and more people will be looking for better and sustainable forms of transportation. It's too bad all this Mayor/City has done recently is look at the gondola, because this is an opportune time to get on board with UTA (no pun intended) and work out solutions that will truly benefit us in the future.

dan s. said...


Others have already given excellent answers to your question about a transit corridor. In addition, be sure to take a look at the information posted in the transit section of the Smart Growth Ogden web site.

ArmySarge said...

Curm - You can not POSSIBLY be a Democrat - at least not of the present day liberal ilk. You are much, much too reasonable!!

observers said...


Thank you for your most erudite explanations! We are impresseed. We don't know who you are, but does anyone who is a current member of the PC...not Janith Wright, know you and would suggest you as a replacement on the PC??
Surely, there is one on the PC whom the mayor trusts and would then consider nominating you for the PC? We hope so.
A member of the PC doesn't have to be a zombie with a frontal lobotomy thereby rendering them incapable of an opinion! Good Lord, how nonsensical. The mayor should be supplied with names of persons who are thinkers and who are analytical. Persons who can look at facts, listen to others and make decisions based on the criteria. Persons who have life skills. Oh, and maturity...who can play nicely with others in the sandbox.
Now, what an insult to Ogden if such a person cannot be found in all the Godfrey kingdom! know what you are talking about. Light a fire under the Council to start the process. The planning staff is in place, the Council (sans Glasmann) is in get them on the ball.
Thank you again.

wally said...

The REALITY is that SGO has been asking questons and the LifoOgden mayor and supporters have NOT been answering.
You didn't need several paragraphs to muddle through that REALITY.
IMHO, Glasmann just wanted to be elected, for his ego??, and the PERCEPTION was that he would be a breath of fresh air on the Council.
The REALITY is that his breath was fetid, and he could be bought. THAT enhanced, in his little mind, the mayor's ego.

ArmySarge said...

In regard to the transit corridor:

Wayyyyy back when I was a mere child, Ogden was, as were other cities, THE center. It included all sorts of business - drug stores, gorcery stores, hardware stores, etc.. Everything was in town. I can understand why a city transit system could work. However, that is no longer the case - these business are now spread all over the place. That is why I have a hard time condoning the expenditure of millions of dollars for an INNER CITY TRANSIT SYSTEM, the Frontrunner (couldn't we think of a better name - I digress) notwithstanding.

Curmudgeon said...

NYTimes Says UpScale Homebuyers Want Trails Not Golf Courses

Interesting piece in today's NY Times that is not, perhaps, entirely un-related to Ogden matters. It reports changing demands by home buyers more interested in running and walking trails in wilderness within walking distance of their homes rather than golf courses. Here's a quote from the article:

Access to dirt trails — not just bicycle lanes or sidewalks — is a priority for so many runners like Mr. Adcock that housing developers are increasingly carving miles of paths through the wild to attract them. The trend is most pronounced in areas with acres of open land and sprawling new planned communities. But some crowded towns are finding ways to incorporate trails, hoping to lure the booming number of off-road runners and other trail users.

“For years, developers had been developing golf courses as though it were the only way to sell houses,” said Ed McMahon, the senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, a development research group in Washington. “But the vast majority of buyers do not play golf.”

[Note: I am going to attempt to imbed a link to the Times story. If it takes you instead to the homepage for the Great Alaska Annual Mullet Festival and Moose Stew Cook-off instead, I apologize in advance. Here goes....]

Here's the link [I hope]:

NY Times Story

ArmySarge said...

Damn Curm - Your link took me right to the story you mentioned - I WANTED to see the homepage for the moose stuff......;)

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the chewy reply. As for SGO, I'm afraid it is not nearly as monolithic an organization as you seem to think, and certainly it less so than Lift Ogden, so far as I can tell. Some who support SGO are former LO members who signed off when they realized the gondola would not link Ogden with Snow Basin, so they can hardly be classified as knee-jerk rock-ribbed opponents of an up-mountain gondola. Others, myself included, have been supporting Mr. Jorgensen's "Option B" plan, calling for the city to sell Mr. Peterson a small piece of land at the head of 36th Street --- five or six acres or so --- to house a base station for his Malan's Basin gondola and small allied commercial development. This will enable him [with his own or commercial financing] to develop his property in Malan's Basin while preserving for Ogden its irreplaceable bench parklands, and permit the streetcar development along Harrison that the Wasatch Regional Council recommended. There is already bus service every 15 minutes between the head of 36th Street and downtown. Seems like a reasonable and workable compromise to me [and I am a strong SGO supporter] and to a growing number of others I talked to. So it's a pretty varied group. I do note that the Mayor has, so far, rejected this compromise proposal, even as a basis for discussion. His public stance so far has been: what I want, all of it, no compromises.

As for "ask questions" and "get involved" and what SGO supporters really mean by that, two points. First, as [I like to flatter myself] a reasonable and open to sensible compromise kind of guy, I am curious about this. In light of the fact that we do not have Mr. Peterson's plans before us, except in a general sort of way, that so far as we know, no feasibility studies have been done on the various parts of the general proposal he's outlined, what other stance to you seems reasonable other than: ask questions? Part of what people like me in SGO [and I absolutely do not speak for all SGO members [neither I think does Mr. Vause or Mr. Schroder] find a little disturbing is the level of strong committment, I would say unquestioning committment, to the gondola/Peterson plan in advance of any of the particulars, of a detailed proposal, of the making public of any of the kind of feasibility or marketing studies that a private funder of major projects like this [a commercial bank, perhaps, or a pension fund] would insist upon up front.

Personally, I'd have no problem with a candiate for the PC whose position was, in fact "I like the idea, but there are a lot of questions that have to be asked and answered before I'll commit to it." It's all thse folks declaring "Lift Ogden!Yes!" before any of the details have been filled in, before any of the feasiblity studies have been done or made public, that I find odd.

Are there people absolutely opposed to any gondola proposals no matter what among SGO suppoters? Yes, there are. But does that include all SGO supporters? Absolutely not. Let me also point out that SGO as an organization took no stand on the Peterson suggestions until Mr. Peterson made it clear he was about to ask the Planning Commission and Coucil to act to enable his plans in advance of presenting a detailed proposal and the various feasiblity studies that should accompany. Then and only then did SGO, as an organization, take a stand on what he was suggesting. And the stand was that the Council should take no action until all the relevent quetions had been asked and answered so that it could make an informed judgement.

If I am limited to only two choices: (a) "Gondola/Peterson YES!" and (b) "the Council should take no action on this until it has enough hard information its advocates to make an intelligent and wise decision," then I'm going with B. Every time. This project or any other. Happily, I don't think I am limited to only two choices. I like, at the moment, as I said, the Jorgensen "Option B" proposal, and so do many other SGO supporters I talk to. There is a compromise on the table, and I hope we can start discussing it as an alternative, or a start on one. Can't happen, though, as long as "Gondola/Peterson As Is" is the Mayor's position.

Thanks again for the reply. I don't expect we'll end up agreeing on this, but I've enjoyed the exchange. I do agree, by the way, that many read more into Mr. Glassman's election than they should have.

below harrison said...

I assume a transit system today would be different than it was or would have been in the past, but that does not mean that we don't need it. I think it is logical to have a system that runs through our town and connects all of our major activity centers (the hospital, university, downtown & 25th street, BDO, etc.)and runs through our neighborhoods (to some extent) where residents could readily and easily take advantage of it.

saw it happen said...

Anon and Curm

If you knew Glasmann like lots of people around here do, you would know that his political philosophy is only as good as the last person he talked to. He is not a deep thinker by any stretch of the imagination, and his retention is highly limited. He was way over his head on the council and he understood very little of what went on around him. This was obvious to those of us who have attended a lot of council meetings and work sessions.

The mayor and his team recognized this almost immediately and set out to convert him, which they did in an amazingly short period of time. They played his ego like a fine violin as that is his main motivating feature and weakness. They stroked him, took him to lunch, invited him to insider meetings, asked his opinion, treated him like an intellectual equal to his face (while joking about him behind his back) and within weeks they had him eating out of their hands. It was a embarrassing to see, but that is what happened.

Unfortunately Glasmann did not have the firm convictions that he portrayed in the election. He really is just a candle in the wind when it comes to politics.

The truth is that he put out a very constant anti Godfrey message during the campaign, and a large majority of the voters agreed with that message and elected him based on it.

His resignation was both honorable and dishonorable. Honorable because he was not even coming close to doing what he promised to get elected, and dishonorable because he sold out for a city job. A job incidently that pays him a lot more than any other he has ever had.

dan s. said...


If we're content with letting all our retail centers and office buildings continue to migrate outward into the suburbs, then no, we don't need a better transit system for Ogden City. Many of us, though, would prefer to bring some of that commercial activity back to downtown and nearby neighborhoods. A streetcar system can help do that. It won't put an end to suburban sprawl, but it will make living and doing business in the city a more viable option. I think of it this way: A streetcar system will draw many of us downtown for our work/shopping/dining/entertainment, when we otherwise might have jumped in our cars and headed to Riverdale. It allows a high-density downtown area to flourish without the need for more parking lots. It would be our smaller version of TRAX, which is now ridden by 55,000 people every day.

Another thing to consider: traffic congestion in Weber County is going to get a lot worse over the next couple of decades. Some people will continue to put up with it, but an increasing number are going to want to get out of the suburbs and live in urban neighborhoods where, if there's good transit, you can get around without driving a car.

If you're concerned about the expense, remember that building and maintaining roads is also very expensive. I don't have statistics handy, but governments at all levels spend far more on roads than on transit. As a transit advocate, all I'm asking is to shift the balance a little, spend a slightly larger portion of Ogden's share on transit rather than roads.

Tod Transit said...


It is the cheap fuel that built the highway infrastructure that allowed everyone to live everywhere but in town and put all the businesses out there. Well the fuel ain't so cheap anymore and gettin more expensive every week, month, year... Is it smart to allow the big box retailers to lead and direct the shape of our development. Building a transit system and corridor in Ogden will encourage those same businesses to scale down enough to place themselves in the inner city. Most big box retailers have ongoing experiments in select urban centers, these are likely in preparation for the post autopia world. Our city can join a select few who have taken the bold step into the new urban model that includes transit and TOD. People crave downtown street scene activity. Hardware stores, cafes, small theatres, corner groceries will soon appear along a well planned Transit Corridor saving you the trip to Riverdale or Harrisville for many items and enjoying interacting with people pedding and peddling their way to sustainable lifestyles while the rest of suburbia fill their tanks to the tune of 100 dollar bills. I'll take the transit investment anyday over continuing in blindness investing in more freeways, wider boulevards, larger parking lots that will one day sit rather empty when fossil fuels get scarce enough not to piss away running to the local MalMart for a TV dinner.

sharon said...

Has anyone tried going south on Harrison between noon and one or late afternoon? IM POSS IBLE. Try going north up the dugway onto Harrison when classes are starting in the morning. Same situation.
Unless Peterson's gondola is going to go DOWN Harrison along the dugway to a huge parking lot by the RR tracks and pick up all those students and deposit them in there at noon and in the afternoon, what good is it as transit to WSU from 23rd and Wall?
Going a snail's pace either way on Harrison to WSU, why would anyone want to bypass the school, creep up to the 'intermodal hub' (ugly name) just to glide along at 11 miles an hour back to WSU?
Only an imbecile could think that this is a viable option for transporting students.
How about WSU looking into utilizing the old Olympic parking lot in So Weber? Past the 84 turnoff and going south up the hill on 89??
Then a few shuttle buses could transport students to WSU without tying up traffic on Harrison in the morning,noon and afternoon. Buses are faster than a gondola, hold more people and guess what? Buses are here and now!
A lot could be set aside for students coming from the north to catch buses...thus alleviating the traffic jams on Harrison, 4200 S and 36th Street.

Another subject: I firmly believe that we could see a resurgence of shops downtown..and a trolley system would encourage that. Studies prove that is what has happened in other cities like Ogden.
People like walking downtown. We need a grocery store in the downtown area...within walking distance for the folks. I don't think Ogden has a shoe repair shop. There are many stores that are needed. We need a big bookstore (not a 2nd hand shop) downtown. I can envision outdoor dining (in season), and an inviting atmosphere with flower pots lining the streets, pretty Christmas decorations up and down Wa Blvd would help.
I think I saw somewhere that awnings are not to be on storefronts downtown. Too bad. I think awnings all along WA Blvd would add continuity, charm and a bit of nostalgia.
The most important thing to bring people back downtown is SECURITY. TEAR DOWN THAT PARKING MALL....(Oh, Ronnie, where are you now?)
what an eyesore. No one ever felt, or was safe in there. I know, I know, about one and one half million dollars has been poured into its 'security'. Other than city employees who may HAVE to park there, I don't know anyone else who will want to. Get rid of it.
Bring back the horse patrol...children will once again look upon policemen as 'friends' and have cops walking downtown, and even cops on bikes. Our policemen will foster good will, bring a sense of security to shoppers, and a greater respect for our policemen will be engendered.
I'm redundant on this point. But, some police I've talked with agree with me.

Curmudgeon said...


What is "the dugway"?

Sheesh said...

yah I was like accosted like seven times at that parking building by hoodlum teenagers and vampires!

ArmySarge said...

I SURRENDER!!!!!! ;)

ArmySarge said...

In regard to the remaining portion of the mall parking terrace: I am sure you all remember the walkway between the mall and the old ZCMI. At one time, negotiations were held between Ogden City and the County. The county agreed to take down the walk way in return for Ogden City dedicating 300 (or so) parking spots for use by the Convention Center. Does anyone know if this was finalized?

Anonymous said...

Tearing down the parking structure would be the dumbest thing the city could do right now. Where are the following patrons and residents going to park?
Earnshaw (sp?)condominium,
Movie Theater,
Apartments (SE corner)
Future Bldg on(NW corner)
Wells Fargo Building
Rec. Center,
6-story apartment (by Epis.Church)
Not one of these developments has sufficient parking adjacent to them. Why on earth would we tear down the one building that offers parking? The parking structure never had more security problems than any other locale on Ogden. Stop perpetuating the myth. Yes, we do need to make people feel safe. What is the city doing to make people feel safe in the parking structure? That is the real issue--not tearing it down.

building is going to be connected to the parking structure--where will those people park? The Rec Center, Theaters, 6-story apartment building by Episcopal Church, restaurants, visitors to the are dependent on the parking structure--where will those people park? When the northwest corner lot gets developed, where will those people park? The 6-story apartment structure going in next to the Episcopal church is going to need parking---where will they park? Where will the people park using the restaurants on the old mall site? If they park on the street, where is everyone else going to park? , The agreement was finalized for the parking spaces. I don't think the word "dedicated" was used. I think it was more like the phrase, "make available." But, I am not positive.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so that's why you're supposed to review your entry before hitting the "enter" key!

ARCritic said...

I think the dugway is the Weber River valley between Layton and South Ogden. Where 89 goes down and then back up it is called the 'dugway'.

Not sure why but I have heard it called that a lot.

Curmudgeon said...


OK. Thanks. I've driven that long slope down to the Interstate exchange where the morning canyon winds rock the van, and up the other side to the Hill AFB exit off 89, but never heard it called "the dugway." Interesting. Now of course, being the nerd that I am, I'm going to have to bug colleagues about why it's called the dugway. Thanks again.

Tod Transit said...

"duqway" refers to a roadway or also railroadway that is dug-in to the earth instead of built up with material. It can refer to a tunnel but mostly refers to terraced road grades.

bet most never think of "highway" referring to the fact that the roadway is "higher" than the surrounding terrain allowing positive drainage.

Nearly all roadways are highways built-up of graded material but occasionally road builders must dig-in to the hillside where a road may be crowded by a river or other natural obstacle. The "dugway" of So. Weber/Uintah may refer to both the section of Hwy 89 dug into the south facing slope as it descends into Uintah, and the railroad grade that is dug into the south facing wall of Weber Canyon. I had never heard those terms but it provides some historic sense to the development of that area.

Tod Transit said...

Dugway \Dug"way`\, n.
A way or road dug through a hill, or sunk below the surface
of the land. [U.S.]

Almost forgot the reference

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks. Other than Dugway Proving Grounds, the term is new to me. Always nice to pick up a new word. Will find a way to work it into convesations with old colleagues at conventions, so I can do my "you mean you don't know what that means? I thought everybody knew that" routine....
Thanks again.

dan s. said...

There's an interesting article in this morning's Standard-Examiner about officials in Bountiful reviewing their zoning restrictions on hillside development. There, as in Ogden, it seems that no development is permitted on slopes steeper than 30%. Meanwhile, here in Ogden, our Planning Commission is now being asked to review these restrictions, and one individual is asking that all zoning restrictions be removed from the land that he proposes to develop.

ozboy said...


There is a grundle of folks around these parts that have always called that stretch of road "the Dugway".

If you're going live in this strange and foreign land of Zion you should at least attempt to learn our language dontcha know!

Like I said before, this aint Flatbush.

'Preciate ya.

Tod Transit said...

Another Dugway in So Utah

Curmudgeon said...


Thanks for the pointer. Going to look now.

sharon said...

Geez....who knew 'dugway' could elict such a flurry of questions? The dugway is the road going downhill toward SLC or up the hill from Uinta/So Weber that has the concrete wall dividing it. OFF the dugway to the South (I guess that's South, just look to your left if going uphill!) is the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and all the stores and restaurants that sprang up around it!

Anyway, I think parking at the Olympic Parking Lot...and even expanding it would alleviate a lot of the traffic caused by WSU's students going and coming.

Southsider said...


Don't know if I'd characterize all those stores as springing up around the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. I shop that area a lot, and I don't think the Wal-Mart grocery is much of a magnet. Maybe it was intended to be, but it's not much of a draw.

ted said...

Danged if that way wernt dug right thar in the side o that mountain

ARCritic said...

Looks like Riverdale is going to be sued for denying a development on a hillside below the Davis/Weber canal about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile south east of where the canal broke back in '99. Seemed like a fairly obvious place not to allow building but the developer didn't think so and his geotech engineer actally claimed that the way they proposed to build (by building on top of the hillside rather than into it) would make the hillside even more stable. We are now looking at revising our hillside development ordinance to attempt to increase our margins of safety.

It would be great if we could get together with other cities and the county to come up with something standard that says if the grade is greater than X% you must provide this great assurance that your development won't one day slide down the hill.

Utah Peaknik said...

Sharon, most of the olympic parking lot in South Weber is now being overrun with weeds. The only portion that is still used as a park-and-ride lot for bus 55 is the portion between the frontage road and the 89 offramp.

If WSU were to run a shuttle service from the lot in S. Weber, the lot wouldn't have to be expanded, they'd just have to repave the portion (about 80%, look on Google Earth) that they let go to pot.

If Ogden gets a streetcar, I think that it should go south on Wall from the intermodal hub, and then east on 25th Street all the way up to Monroe, and south on Monroe until 30th Street, and then east on 30th to Harrison, and south on Harrison to the northermnmost entrance to campus on Harrison Blvd. Then it could go south along Dixon Dr. (the street between campus and Harrison) until 41st Street, and then turn south onto Harrison, with the end of the line being McKayDee Hospital.

As for stops, the first would be midway between Wall and Washington on 25th, then by the senior center on 25th and Madison, then at 29th and Monroe, and then 30th and Harrison, and then 35th and Harrison, then right in front of the pond on campus, and then the hospital.

But back to the park and ride lot in South Weber. The 55 already goes by there, making it kind of a moot point to run a shuttle from there to campus. If anything, there needs to be more runs of the 55. Depending on the time of day, if you just miss the 55 to go back down to Davis County, you have to wait another hour for the next bus. Not cool.

Curmudgeon said...


I don't know, Ar....sounds like you are raising questions about the wisdom of allowing uncontrolled construction on steeply sloped land. According to Ogden's Precious Leader, that makes you a "naysayer" at the very least, and probably some kind of anti-progress, anti-capitalist tree hugger too. I don't think The Precious Leader would follow someone beyond the city lines in the evening to get the goods on 'em, but maybe you'd better check your rearview mirror now and then just to be sure.

sharon said...

The Wal-Mart Market was the only thing there...and THEN the other stores, restaurants, etc. came...and at a fast clip too. Wouldn't that happen downtown? A grocery store is sorely needed there.

ozboy said...

Utah Peaknik

So if 80% of that big ol parking lot in Uinta has gone to pot, why don't they just sell the pot and finance the goondolas so's we don't have to get screwed out of our open space and park land?

I mean common, the Little Lord is quite the dope so why shouldn't he pay for this scam by selling some?

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