Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Heads Up! Changes Proposed to Ogden City & Community Plans

Council Notes 10.24.06

By Dian Woodhouse

The Ogden City Council convened a few minutes late tonight after returning from a Field Trip. One noticed a distinct look of aliveness about them as they entered the Chambers, indicating perhaps that they might want to get out a bit more. This Field Trip was taken for the purpose of inspecting several locations in Ogden City at which, later in the meeting, the zoning requirements were proposed to be changed.

There was one correction of previous minutes, by Councilman Safsten. The minutes he reviewed were of a Work Session on September 7th and a Special Meeting of September 20th. In one of these, reference was made to the 21st Street pond, and Councilman Safsten took exception to the use of the words, "square feet," stating that the words used should refer to "the long term level of the pond." The square footage figure was 4,268. I confess myself baffled by this distinction, and interested persons should probably get copies of these minutes to further understand this change.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee was up for Sunset Review this evening, and the report included a veritable laundry list of all the things this committee is involved in. Some were: clean-up plans, working with schools, identifying potential park facilities, giving input on playground equipment, trail systems, lending help to kayak park, Lindquist field, etc., very active in passing RAMP tax, development and review of appropriations, involvement with Pioneer Days Rodeo, Christmas Village, and economic development insofar as drawing companies to Ogden. The wish of the committee chair was that the committee be "used more effectively" by the city, that it be involved in even preliminary discussions involving land use and business relocation to Ogden, for example. "I want to offer us up as a resource," the Chair stated.

Councilwoman Jeske requested that the committee put forward a list as to what its skills and resources are, and the Chair agreed to do this

Councilman Stephens asked the Chair to outline the Committee's goals and objectives. The Chair listed three: completion of the trail system, continuing the process concerning a shared athletic complex, and getting more people involved in programs. "Athletics are a great way to bring a community together," he said.

Councilman Safsten asked about a part of the Committee's written report that referred to "more study in consolidating parks," and wanted to know what that meant. The response was that our parks made us below the national average in open space. They are small, not huge tracts like Salt Lake, for instance, has. The Chair went on to say that this consolidation of parks idea was difficult in that the people who lived around these small parks were quite attached to them. (This made one wonder what is in store here, but the discussion went no further.)

Councilman Stephens asked what the Committee was doing with Youth Programs, and the answer was that they were starting by working with the schools. Councilwoman Jeske thanked the Chair for the work the Committee does, and mentioned the editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune regarding the need for open space, stating that Ogden's open space was one of its finest assets.

The motion to approve the extension of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee passed unanimously.

The next order of business was a group of Common Consent Items that all had to do with changing the zoning in certain areas and setting a public input hearing to address that. This motion to set the public hearing for all of these on November 7th was approved unanimously, and the areas being considered for this rezoning are:

578 East, 24th Street. Reclassify from Central Business District Zone (CBD) to Multiple Family Residential Zone East Central (R-3EC)

475 East 30th Street. Amend the T.O. Smith Community Plan to zone these properties Multiple Family Residential (R-3)

451 to 475 East 30th Street. Amend the zoning map of Ogden City to change this property, currently classified as Regional Commercial Zone (CP-3) and Single Family Residential Zone (R-1-6,) to Multiple Family Residential Zone (CP-3)

750 North Washing Boulevard. Is currently P-I, proposed change is C-3.

Southeast Corner of 34th Street and Ogden Avenue. Provision of zoning options of Regional Commercial Zone/Conditional Overlay Zone (C-3/C-O). Property is now classified as Single Family Residential Zone (R-1.) In order to accomplish this, both the Zoning Map of Ogden City and the Ogden City General Plan will need to be amended.

(If after reading the above, you have become extremely fascinated with zoning and can't get enough of it, the Ogden City Website has a good page on it, especially the FAQ part, which lists all the letters and numbers and what they mean.)

Next were Administrative Reports, of which there was one, presented by John Arrington. This was a proposed amendment to Ordinance 2006-67, which is the 2007-2011 Capital Improvement Plan, to add two more projects. These projects were approved in the budget session but were not assigned budget numbers, and so this amendment is necessary to add them to the project list, Mr. Arrington said. The two new projects are: the Kayak Park, and the establishment of Glasmann Park.

The motion to approve this ordinance passed unanimously.

At this point in the meeting, a Troop of Boy Scouts filed in. Chair Garcia promptly moved the agenda, or backed up the agenda, recognized them, and asked them to come up to the podium one by one and state their name, address, and badge they were working on. "Thirty years from now, you will have this in the minutes of this meeting," Chairman Garcia said.

The scouts did as he requested. There were ten of them from Troop 18. Most were working on the citizenship badge. After they had all introduced themselves, Council woman Jeske addressed them.

"I'm going to challenge you to get that Eagle Award," she said, adding that the award was a real plus in getting ahead in life as well as in scouting. "I hope I'll see you all at that Eagle Dinner," she told them. "Congratulations, and keep up the good work."

There were no Administrative Comments, and the only Council Comments were from Councilman Safsten, who addressed the recent editorial in the Standard Examiner regarding the fact that Ogden City has the "dubious distinction" of a very high tax rate. Councilman Safsten went on to say that there were two ways to approach this problem--lower the taxes, and increase the tax base. Since he had been on the Council, it had consistently tried to do both.

Lowering the taxes is easy, the Councilman said, because "all that takes is a vote." Increasing the tax base is more difficult because, "You are dependent on third parties--outside investors to come in and invest in the city."

There was then a motion to adjourn to Closed Executive Session to discuss pending litigation, and for the purpose of discussing the purchase, sale, exchange, or lease of real property, etc.

The Council would then reconvene as the RDA in a Work Session to discuss the mall parking structure and plaza, and board business.

After this RDA Work Session, the Council would then reconvene to hold a City Council Work Session to discuss Council Business.

Long night for them, for sure.

Editorial comments: I have two more suggestions for increasing the tax base in Ogden City, in addition to the much touted one of having to attract outside investors. Perhaps the city could be a bit more supportive of local businesses and local investors, giving them the same consideration, perks, and "special deals" commonly heretofore reserved for those outside the community who appear to have large financial resources. Secondly, consider cutting the fat in the local governmental structure, which, along with the tax rate, is one of the largest in the State of Utah.

The Public Safety Advisory Committee, I recall, also requested at its review to be more involved with the City, making one wonder if these Advisory Committees are indeed an untapped resource.

Anyone who knows what's in store for the proposed rezoning areas should chime in and tell us more, I think.

And where is Glasmann park to be? Anyone know?


althepal said...

They're naming a park afer Bill Glasmann?????

resident said...

If you drive to the hospitals south east corner of parking you will see glassman park kind of behind Ligori's i think.

Curmudgeon said...

I posted this on a lower thread, but since Riley Q has conviently raised Council Woman Jeske's name, perhaps posting it here as well would not be amiss.

Time to Suggest Changes to Council Rules

Just learned from Ms. Jeske that the Council will submit and discuss any proposed changes in its rules this Thursday at its work session. So if you have suggestions about how the Council's rules might be changed to good effect, this would be the time to contact Council members to let them know.

I'm suggesting that they change the rules for public comment at Council meetings to provide for public comment before the Council acts on a meeting's agenda items. As it is now, public comment comes only after the Council has acted, meaning the public gets a chance only to comment on what the Council has already done, and no chance to comment in hopes of affecting the Council's actions.

Yes, I know, it probably won't matter a hill of beans most times whether the public comment period is before or after the Council acts each week. But appearances matter, and the Council should at least embrace the possibility that what someone says to the Council might make a difference in what the Council does. And for that, public comments should be enabled before the Council votes on an item, not after.

maybe this will help said...

The Glasmann Nature Park is at 4401 Harrison where the funds will be spent.

This was the old Glasmann horse pasture for years and years.

This is not the Bill Glasmann ex-councilman's park but he is part of the extended family who used to own the Standard Examiner.

There is to be a new Glasmann Park farther down in Shadow Valley that the School District is considering buyin and building a school which no one in the area wants.

creest said...

the park in shadow valley has nothing to do with the name glassman it was donated by the brownings.

dian said...

Thanks for the info on Glasmann Park. It is now on the Capital Improvements list--the phrasing used in the presentation was "the establishment of Glasmann park," so it seems to be a new undertaking.

In case you hadn't noticed, for those of you interested in Council Norms and changes therein, Rudi has posted a link at the top of the blog on the left sidebar that says, "Council Manual." This is a PDF, so you can download the whole thing to your computer and even print it off to get a whole one just like the Council members have. And then look at it and propose changes accordingly.

I am wondering about a proposed change to "Reconsideration," which currently states that anyone who voted on the prevailing side of an issue can bring that issue up for reconsideration either at the same meeting or at the next one. To me, that doesn't seem to be enough time, but since there are other ways to change decisions, I don't know if changing that is necessary.

To be honest, I would be in favor of having the Ogden City Council adopt Robert's Rules of Order for its proceedings. Although there's somewhat of a learning curve involved, it's not that different from what they're doing now, and I think it's a good system.

There are other things in the Norms, too, like reimbursements, etc.

Thanks for posting the link to them, Rudi.

Dave from the Depot said...

The council was so happy to get rid of
the ever so dumb and phony Glasmann that
they named a park after him!

Just about the best thing they have done
this year.

OgdenLover said...

"...The response was that our parks made us below the national average in open space. They are small, not huge tracts like Salt Lake, for instance, has...."

I realize I may be jumping from apples to oranges, but it follows that we should sell off 60+ acres of our city Gold Course and parklands?

ned said...

Godfrey and Peterson are conspiring on a hell of a lot more than 60+ acres of our public lands.

dian said...


I was intrigued by this "national average for municipal open space" remark, and am trying to research it. Found an article in the Las Vegas Sun from 2002 that states:

The praise comes despite the fact that Southern Nevada governments still lag behind the national average of providing five acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents.

Now this was 2002. Don't know if this has changed, but thought it was worth mentioning.

max said...

Any idiot who has spent the bulk of his life working at "the depot," like "dave from the depot" has, has ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM to call anyone else dumb.

Glassman sure must have gotten to you, dude.

sharon said...

SGO sponsored a very informative and well done presentation by Mary Hall at the library tonite.

It was well attended, with some folks standing. She graciously answered questions and knew her subject.

Many people snickered at the claims of the mayor and the gondola supporters.

Overwhelmingly, it appeared to me, attendees were against the gondola and intrigued and receptive to a streetcar transit system.

Curmudgeon said...


Excellent news. SGO got some good folks in it. And they do know their stuff I think.

Utah Peaknik said...

Parkland is very important, but it's a matter of quality, not quanity. You can take an urban neighborhood with problems, raze an entire block of buildings for a park, and it won't necessarily make the neighborhood better. You have to ask: Do enough people or will enough people use a particular park? Is the surrounding neighborhood lively enough and does it feel safe enough that many people would use the park? You can have a wide open green space, but is it aesthetically pleasing? Does it have a nice focal point like a monument or fountain? Jane Jacobs talks about all of this in her monumental work, "The Death and Life of Great American Cities."

Given what I just wrote, it always bugs me when people say that certain cities don't have enough open space, when in reality those cities do have enough open space. Cities and their parklands are just planned poorly, that's all.

Curmudgeon said...

Utah Peaknik:

Right. Though I don't see how selling off the largest public parkspace in Ogden to a subdivision developer will improve matters in Ogden.

One thing I've noticed is the relatively few areas within Ogden
where families can picnic comfortably. [With tables, shade, etc close
by.] A scattering of sites along the River Parkway. The odd table by a
baseball field here and there. A table or so in Marquard Park. Not
much. I was glad to see from Dian's report that the City is acting to
improve those opportunities along the River Parkway. I'd like to see
more tables, sites in and around Mt. Ogden Park as well. [And no, not
necessarily group sites for large gatherings and family reunions and
such like, though those are good too, but picnic areas for familes,
couples, etc. in nice spots.]

But in general, you are right: it's how the open space is
used, what it is available for, how people want to use those
spaces and whether the city is able to identify how people want to use
the space, and is willing to make the space work that way for them.
Always keeping in mind that variety of use is another key concept to
keep to the fore in park planning.

Be nice to have a real discussion in Ogden, on the Planning Commission
and with the Council on Ogden Parks and Open Space and how to set good
policies for them, instead of having to go over, endlessly, the
Mayor's pie in the sky gondola pipe dream and the Peterson real estate
speculation based on the sale of Ogden's biggest park.

Ah, someday maybe. Soon, I hope.

"Been Around the Block a Few Times" said...

The so-called park in Shadow Valley is called Browning Park because as "Creest" said the land was donated by the Brownings for a park. A number of years ago the land known as Mt. Ogden Park and Mt. Ogden Golf Course was donated to Ogden City with the stipulation that it was to remain open space and used as a park. Of course, this agreement does not exist according to Greg Montgomery, Ogden City Planner. I wonder what happened to it? Funny how things disappear in the City when they don't conform to Godfrey's plans, like this paperwork and the Sweet's Candy Bldg.

Ned, I understand the Mt. Ogden Golf Course is about 170 acres, so it is a great deal more than 60 acres. Interesting to note that Malan's Basin is only about 180 acres, not much larger than the golf course. Can you imagine squeezing a resort lodge with condos, facilities for the people who work there, a maintenance facility, a fire station, a security facility, a huge water tank and a self-contained sewer system into an area not much larger than the Mt. Ogden Golf Course? Another point to make here, is all those things are necessary for the resort to meet required safety, EPA safety measures, makes it cost prohibitive to construct.

My stand is: Let Chris Peterson build his resort and his mountain gondola first, and let's see if it will survive before we tear up our streets and our water and sewer pipes to install those hugemongous support poles for the gondola. I don't understand why the Mayor and Chris Peterson can't see that this is the logical approach to this project of theirs. If they did that, I don't think that they would have near the opposition that they are facing now.

Tonight at the Library some guy said that Chris Peterson is paying for his whole project. Mary Hall was quick to point out that the people of Ogden would pay for it with the sale of our golf course and the open space around it. That isn't the only things that the residents have and will pay for. The Mayor has already spent $60,000. as was reported to Councilwoman Amy Wicks, but was not completely all expenses. Also, when Peterson and his attorney met with the City Council, they proposed that the City pay for one of the feasibility studies! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? To me that is a big clue that Chris Peterson isn't a real nor professional developer and that Ogden residents will be the ones paying for this whole stupid scheme, along with the maintenance of the urban gondola -- just like we're stuck with paying for the wreck center when the Mayor told us that the taxpayers wouldn't have to pay for it. With his past record, who can believe or trust him?!

Curmudgeon said...

Been around the block:

I agree completely with your stand on Peterson: let him develop Malan's Basin with his own money, or money he raises from investors who think the project will succeed.

However, I think you got your facts wrong on two points. First, the "donation" of Mt. Ogden Park lands to the city. In fact, they were not donated. The land was sold to the city, and there were no restrictions on its future use involved in the sale. I too had heard, often, that the land had been donated for use as a public park, but the matter was researched, the relevent deeds and transfer documents hunted up. It wasn't donated, it was sold. On this point, Mr. Montgomery is correct.

Second: when Councilwoman Wicks finally extracted a reply from a reluctant Mayor to her question about how much he had spent so far promoting the gondola scheme, that answer said I believe $6,000 not $60,000. Granted, Ms. Wicks, and others, promptly pointed out other administrative spending to promote the gondola scheme adding up to thousands more that Mayor Godfrey had, somehow, managed to overlook and not include in his reply to the Councilwoman. But I don't think Ms. Wicks established that he'd spent $60,000 on the scheme to date. If I'm wrong about this and you can point me to a source, I'd be glad to be corrected.

Tod Transit said...

The success of Telluride, Co. and Kellogg, ID gondolas, among others, that connect a town to a mountain resort would seem to guarantee the success of the Foothill to Malan's connection after Peterson develops his resort. Of course, the aforementioned gondolas were built AFTER the resort had many years of proven traffic. These facts support the position that Peterson should just get on with his mountain development and let the rest follow as demand and traffic determines the need. He and the mayor have saddled the whole project with the town gondola and golf course sale package. Any astute businessman knows the sanity of developing something of this magnitude in stages. That these guys are attempting to bite off such a huge chunk in one pass speaks to the inexperience of both the mayor and Peterson. Their greenhorn status has them too insecure to take things in steps for fear of losing the opportunity to capatilize on the broadest set of development plans.

sharon said...

There are lots of smallish neighborhood parks in Winnipeg, and possibly other cities in Canada.

The parks have a swimming pool for the kids, and in winter they are skating rinks. The fire depts also 'flood' the ball parks so that people have a larger skating rink!

How feasible would it be for Lidquist Field to be turned into a skating rink in winter? FREE to the citizens.

A town's peacefulness is enhanced by 'neighborhood' parks where families can picnic, and play, or one is welcome to read and relax.

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