Monday, August 04, 2008

Powder Mountain Update: Last Chance for the Lumpencitizens to Speak Up?

A call for our Weber County Commission to "choose the right"

This morning's Standard-Examiner finally gets around to reporting what regular Weber County Forum readers already knew: The Powderville town incorporation petition and related business is on calender tomorrow morning for Weber County Commission approval (or rejection.) Here's the word from this morning's Brooke Nelson story:
OGDEN — Requests to approve a resolution granting a petition to incorporate Powder Mountain as a town and appoint its mayor and council are on Tuesday’s Weber County Commission meeting agenda.
It's been nearly a month since the matter was last on the commission agenda for public hearing; and it now appears that the Commissioners believe they've received sufficient citizen input to make a decision in this important matter:
An overview of the ski resort’s latest proposal was presented then, and the full document has been available the past few weeks on the county Web site,
Commissioner Jan Zogmaister said the commission has received some community feedback since the proposal was posted.
“Several people have organized their thoughts, but there are no new concerns that had not already been brought up at the public hearing,” she said, adding she’s received a variety of facts, statistics and maps from the public.
None of the e-mails she personally received about the posted plan was in support of the proposal, Zogmaister said. Powder Mountain officials will attend Tuesday’s meeting, said Powder Mountain spokeswoman Lisa Davis.
“Along this process, we’ve gotten a lot of good feedback from across the board,” she said. “We’re really impressed with the community involvement on this issue as a whole.”[Emphasis added].
Although we're not privy to all the citizen input the Commission has received, some of it has been made publicly available; so we'll present the following online links for our readers' review:

Powder Mountain Update: Open Letter to the Weber County Commission;
Comments on Powder Mountain Draft Development Agreement;
May v. Town of Mountain Village U.S. Tenth Circuit Court Opinion;
Steve Clarke analysis of Powderville's Development agreement Part I;
Steve Clarke analysis of Powderville's Development agreement Part II.
It's in this connection that we urge those readers who haven't yet submitted their own input to do so now. And for the convenience of those who haven't yet chimed in on the subject we link the County Commissioners' contact information below.

• Ken A. Bischoff - Email - (801) 399-8406
• Craig L. Dearden - Email - (801) 399-8406
• Jan M. Zogmaister - Email - (801) 399-8406
For our readers' further information, we've already submitted our own input, urging the Commission to reject the developer's petition outright. We believe this course of action is well within the Commission's legal discretion.

We urge our gentle readers to likewise join us in this.

Fearful of possible litigation, our state legislature took the cowards' way out during the last legislative session, refusing to fashion appropriate retroactive remedial legislation, thereby depriving prospective Powderville residents of fundamental voting rights, even as they otherwise prospectively cured the clearly faulty legislation which caused this problem in the first place. It's our hope that our County Commissioners will not follow suit; but that they they will instead "choose the right," conform to their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution, and send a message to the developer that they will not stand for the exploitation of their own constituents by means of a flawed legal loophole. Litigation is inevitable for the county in any event, in our opinion; and we therefore ask: Why should our County Commission find itself on the wrong side of it?

We've reached a most critical juncture, gentle readers. Speak up now... or forever hold your peace.

The floor is open for your ever-savvy reader comments.


Curmudgeon said...

It will be interesting to see what happens tonight. Here's what I think should happen [but I doubt it will]. The all-Republican Weber County Commission should reject the incorporation application with a statement along these lines:

Unfortunately, the Utah Legislature was asleep at the switch when it passed a law permitting developers to incorporate their developments as municipalities without so much as holding a vote of the residents of the area they want to incorporate, and without giving residents of the new municipality any say in the selection of the town's first government. But the fact that the legislators failed to do their jobs, and surrendered carelessly a fundamental liberty of their constituents, the right of representation, does not mean we are required to fail to do ours.

Sometimes, the responsibilities of office require those entrusted with the public good to simply say of a proposal: "No. This is wrong. We won't do it."

This is one of those times.

And so, to the proposal to incorporate a new town at Powder Mountain, without the approval of a majority of voters who will make up the residents of the proposed town, and without providing them the fundamental right of representation in selecting town officials, should a majority of them vote to incorporate as a municipality, we say this:

No. This is wrong. We will not do it. Petition denied.

Not holding my breath. I am so very rarely pleasantly surprised by all-Republican panels. But it would be nice to be surprised this time.

dan s. said...


I hope you've expressed that sentiment (minus the partisan jabs) directly to the commissioners.

Larry Zini said...

curmudgeon, the Weber County Commission meeting is tomorrow morning at 10 AM, not tonight. We hope the commissioners do the right thing and deny the petition too, as HB466 denies the Powderville citizens their due process in choosing to be a part of this town or not. Hope you can make tomorrow's meeting.

Tiny Britches

Skeets said...

A small point on today's Standard Examiner article by Brooke Nelson. The Powder Mountain rezone request was NEVER denied! The Ogden Valley Planning Commission recommended APPROVAL of the rezone with several conditions to the Weber County Commission. When Powder Mountain realized what those conditions were, they panicked and filed the incorporation papers without a single hearing before the Weber County Commission. It should be stated that Powder Mountain could have developed this ski area without any rezone if they were willing to accept the existing zoning. They got greedy and wanted more and then more and they may get much more than they bargained for! I like so many others can't wait for a lawsuit to come over this. To see these Commissioners and legal counsul testify under oath about the obvious conflict of interest that was at the heart of this whole fiasco will be wonderful.

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