Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Important Council Meeting Tonight

Another dunning reminder and call to citizen action

We open this morning's discussion by once again reminding our readers of tonight's city council meeting, wherein the council agenda includes consideration of the mayor's proposal to broadly amend the current zoning ordinance for Ogden's Historic 25th Street District:

6. Reports from the Planning Commission:
a. Height Limits on Buildings in the 25th Street Historic District. Proposed Ordinance 2008-43 amending the Ogden Municipal Code by amending subsection 15-34-3.A to revise the height limits on 25th Street Historic District. (Receive public input, adopt/not adopt ordinance – roll call vote)
We've had ample discussion of this proposal here on this blog. Readers who'd like to again review the issues surrounding the proposed municipal code amendment can find our previous articles assembled (in reverse chronological order) within our Windsor Hotel article collection.

It's also come to our attention within the past several days that the Windsor Hotel developers are in the midst of putting on a full court press to persuade the council that this new proposed ordinance has the support of the downtown business community. One of our sources close to city hall informs us that the administration has also been aggressively pressuring downtown business owners to support this proposal, even though it would have effects contrary to their personal interests. The council has already been subjected to a coordinated email and letter campaign by the ordinance proponents. The developers have also scheduled a special meeting this afternoon to organize a formal council presentation, wherein various proponents of the amended ordinance will divvy up their talking points.

Inasmuch as it's obvious that the ordinance amendment proponents intend to ambush the council tonight, and pack the commission chamber with their shills and stooges, we strongly urge all readers who oppose this re-zoning proposal to put tonight's council meeting on their calenders, and to make special efforts to be in attendance, pitchforks and torches in hand.

We've observed numerous incidences in the past where some council members have been swayed in their decisions on controversial ordinances by strong citizen turnouts. What a shame it would be, we believe, if the unique character of our Historic 25th Street District were to be forever compromised and diminished, because the steely-eyed lumpencitizens failed to show up in force.

Once again, we link our council contact information page, for those readers who still haven't contacted the council to express their views.

19 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Will ordinary citizens be permitted to speak on the matter before the Council takes its vote? Or will they be limited to speaking during the "Public Comments" section of the Council agenda, which normally comes after the Council has conducted most of its business for the night?

amy wicks said...

Curm,

The Council will accept public input before voting on the proposed ordinance.

Curmudgeon said...

Councilwoman Wicks:

Thank you. It has not always been so in the past, so I thought I should ask. Appreciate the quick reply.

Brett said...

Not only are the manager for Ogden, LLC, owners of the Windsor Hotel, and other property owners on 25th St. planning an outright ambush of the Council tonight, I've been told by a Council member that they received a letter in their packet from the manager that threatens that the hotel will be dropped in their laps again if they don't adopt the ordinance.

I hope the Council makes it clear to them that repayment of the $300,000. that has been loaned to Ogden, LLC to help them renovate and restore the hotel is due immediately upon their default. I say to the Council, be strong and courageous. You know what is right. Don't play this dirty political hostage game that Godfrey, his minions and FOMs have chosen to play. Show them that you are mature, intelligent, and ethical adults. I will be at the Council meeting.

peter said...

Definitely not all 25th Street property and business owners support this ordinance revision. I have heard that a couple have already spoken out against this at other public meetings, for good reasons. I hope they show up tonight and speak up, as well, since this ordinance actually does 25th Street owners a lot of good and has done so for years.

Moroni McConkie said...

Brett: Ambush the Council? That's right out of the old Lift Ogden playbook, innit?

ed j said...

my parents are multiple property owners on 25th. their properties are not for sale, they have never even discussed moving, yet they have actually had this new breed of realtor showing their property to prospective buyers. one day while my mom was there alone he came in and my mom said they weren't interested in selling and he said would you take 2 million bucks? when my mom said of course he said see, you are selling, now all we have to do is negotiate on the price. i really believe this realty group even has the city administration confused and bamboozled and right now the mayor should take hard stand.

Curmudgeon said...

Ah, the realtor's version of the probably apocryphal story of a conversation between Winston Churchill and a socialite:

Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?"

Socialite: "Why, yes, I would."

Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"

Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!"

Churchill: "Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we merely are haggling about the price."

wsu_alumni said...

Ew.

Debbie Dew said...

Moroni,

I don't know -- I'm not associated with those no-good trouble makers -- (if they hang labels on people, I guess I can, too.)

But, what would you call it when they have a strategy to have a large group attend the Council meeting and it is all planned to who is saying what to try to make the Council do their bidding even to threatening to drop the project?

Curmudgeon said...

debbie dew:

You ask "But, what would you call it when they have a strategy to have a large group attend the Council meeting and it is all planned to who is saying what to try to make the Council do their bidding even to threatening to drop the project?"

I call it planning, and, very often, effective lobbying. You don't want all your supporters saying the same thing over and over and over. That just bores the people you are lobbying, and eventually annoys them. You want each of them bringing another argument to the table, another piece of evidence in support of what you want, so it builds into an appeal that's difficult to deny. And "if we don't get what we're asking for, we'll drop the project" is, if they mean it, a perfectly reasonable thing to tell the Council. [Think of all the companies Utah recruits with tax breaks and grants that say without them, we won't come... or, if they're already here, without them, we won't stay.]

If they do threaten to walk, which I expect them to do, then the Council has to decide if keeping them in the game is worth the downside of whatever it is they're asking. [In this case, it isn't IMHO.]

What the supporters of the change have under way is a lobbying effort [much of which has already happened via contacting Council members directly], some of which will take place at the Council meeting.

Nothing wrong with that. It's what anyone wanting the Council to do something does. I've been part of similar lobbying campaigns, here and elsewhere. That you don't like what they're lobbying for [and I don't either] doesn't make their lobbying itself unethical. And supporters of waiving the height limit have as much right to make their case to the Council as do opponents of it.

stuck@work said...

If anyone attended tonight's meeting please report how the Council voted. Thanks,

Stuck at Work

Bill C. said...
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annie said...
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OgdenLover said...
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Monotreme said...
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Bill C. said...
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Bill C. said...
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RudiZink said...

Six comments moved to new thread

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