Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Helicopters Landing Around the Mt. Ogden Course: Wake up City Council

Time to put a few hard queries to the Godfrey administration

By Disgusted

Helicopters are still flying into Malan's Basin; but now they are landing. It looks like on the golf course or Ogden City property just east of the golf course.

They couldn't be doing that without city knowledge. Wake up city council. Start questioning the administration as to what is going on.

There's a council meeting tonight. Contact your council members and demand some honest answers:
Council Contact Information
Comments, anyone?

31 comments:

Al said...

Disgusted-

Godfrey is out of town on a European junket- and his right hand man Patterson who fills in at Council meetings in Godfrey's absence does not have the best reputation for being honest.

From the 11/22/08 Standard Examiner:
Mayor Matthew Godfrey will visit five European cities next month to inspect streetcar systems as part of a junket funded by corporate sponsors and others.
The trip, from Dec. 9 to 16, will include stops in Vienna, Austria; Munich, Germany; Zurich, Switzerland; and the French cities of Nice and Bordeaux.
Godfrey said he will take his wife, Monica, and will pay her way.
Thirteen people have been invited to participate in the trip that will cost $3,500 to $4,000 per person, said Natalie Gochnor, chief operating officer for the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce.
The trip will be paid for by corporate sponsors, the state and federal government, and Utah Transit Authority, she said.

Rafiki said...

I was on my lunch walk today when I noticed the "limited tree clearing" from Malan's basin to Strongs Canyon, which was noted on this site a couple days ago.

The new snow made the (cut) line pretty obvious. It is visiable probably from about anywhere, and is a horizontal line on the peak directly south of Malan's Peak.

Don't worry though this looks real natural. Trees usually fall in a straight line.

Al said...

Rafiki-

I don't know if a 30 foot wide path would be called "limited".

outpeaking said...

The copters are dropping men off above the golf course and chainsaws can be heard. Hiked into Malan's Basin on Dec. 9 out of curiosity and followed the clear-cut path all the way into Strong's Canyon. It is 30' feet wide and follows a fairly gentle grade south all the way from the top of the waterfall around into Strong's and then continues most of the way out before ending on the south slope a short distance from the canyon entrance. No idea who's doing the work or what they're doing, but a significant amount of work has been done.

fireman joe said...

Only had time for a quick look ( I was driving), but from 30th and Harrison it sure looks like a road from Malan's Basin south coming down around Weber State.

disgusted said...

fireman joe
i noticed the same thing today with the blanket of snows its pretty obvious.
the clearing or road or trail starts just west of the water fall and traverses to the south into strongs canyon. it then winds along the mountain slope in strongs canyon and stops short of weber state about two thirds of the way down the north slope of strongs canyon. at that point it seems to come to an end - or at least to this point in time.

i dont know at what point the property is no longer private and then becomes forest service but it sure looks to me to be beyond what i thought was private land. does anyone know what the forest service property begins or ends up there.

ozboy said...

Perhaps Peterson will be paving this cleared area with yellow bricks. This after all is an integral part of the story of Oz!

disgusted said...

i think the road will clear the way for peterson to ask the city to annex his property into the city.
heaven help us all if the city does it.

dan s. said...

I hiked the southern portion of the cleared route on Saturday. I'm working on a map and will send it to Rudi when it's finished.

As "disgusted" says, the cleared route gradually descends toward the city along the south side of Strong's Canyon. It comes to an abrupt end right at the National Forest boundary at an elevation of 6200 feet, half a mile east of the Ogden City limit. From that point a flagged route continues westward into National Forest land for another quarter mile at the same grade (about 10%), but no trees have been cut in the National Forest. The flagged route emerges from the trees onto a grassy slope overlooking WSU at about 6040 feet elevation. If the flagging continues beyond that point, I didn't find it.

Much of this route is on a very steep side-slope, typically well over 50% grade and nearly 100% in a couple spots. No earth has been moved, so the route can hardly be called a "road" at this point.

There was additional flagging closer to the trail in Strong's Canyon, at and above elevation 6050 feet or so. The trail ends at about 6350 feet, and the clearing crosses the creek at 6600 feet. Again, I'm working on a map that will make all this easier to visualize.

fireman joe said...

Dan-Doesn't that fit the typical act before we think M.O.?

disgusted said...

dan
does this look like the clearing for a road or a utility corridor.
i.e. sewer and water.

Al said...

Does the flagged route emerge anywhere near the property that WSU is considering passing on to Ogden City? Just wondering.

dan s. said...

fireman: Sorry, I don't understand your question.

disgusted: I'm no expert on road construction or utility corridors. But it seems to me that for utilities there would be no need to follow such a circuitous route at such a gentle grade--you could come down more directly.

Al: I didn't see any flagging within a quarter mile of the upper boundary of the WSU land. And I don't know what property the city is allegedly going to acquire from WSU, but if it's adjacent to the existing golf course, that would have to be still farther down the hill.

Oldguy said...

Obviously, conjecture is what we feed on in Ogden and while there are many possibilites to reflect on, one thing is for sure, Mount Ogden golf course, WSU discussions, work on Peterson's property and who knows what else should be considered bad news for the citizens of Ogden. And before you say it Curm, while we don't know the details yet - if we wait for definition we'll be in big trouble. Of course, keep em guessing is classic Godfrey - case in point, the Junction.

I guess what I'm trying to say is do we really need to be hit in the head with a 2x4 to realize the it's time for the slumbering giant - initials are SGO to wake up and get with it. It is indeed unfortunate that all that transpires on WCF isn't necessarily public knowledge so, wouldn't it be nice if some of this collective smarts could be but to use in a more reactive, organized way.

BTW Dan, I believe what fireman is referring to is classic Godfrey preparation for a great big visionary thrust at Ogden's more conservative - dare I say complacent, underbelly.

Oldguy said...

Sorry, I forgot to wish Dorrene a speedy recovery.

Curmudgeon said...

Old Guy:

You wrote: And before you say it Curm, while we don't know the details yet - if we wait for definition we'll be in big trouble.

Did you miss my calling for the SE to get on this story and start digging to let its readers know what's happening?

At this point, though, I'm hard put to see what practical objection could be made to what Mr. Peterson has, to date, done. If all the cutting is on his own land, and if he's not violating any County ordinances or fed. rules regarding watershed preservation, he's pretty much free, on his own land, to do as he pleases, isn't he?

But that road, path, track, whatever it is or is intended to be, cannot reach city streets for access I think without crossing at some point either FS land or city owned land or both. [Or is that not so?] So it's perfectly appropriate, and a good idea, to begin asking city and FS officials if Mr. Peterson has asked or received any assurances of access across public lands to his Malan's Basin road. Or has he already received assurances from either the FS or the city administration, or both, that access across public lands to connect his road to city streets will be granted? Seems like putting in a road over that terrain is a costly proposition absent that prior assurance.

And perhaps someone who knows the law could answer this: does someone whose land is bounded on all sides and "blocked" so to speak by FS or other public lands have a right to apply for, and get, access to his land across the public holdings? I don't know. Have no idea. Hope someone here does know.

RudiZink said...

Easement by necessity

Similarly, parcels without access to a public way may have an easement of access over adjacent land, if crossing that land is absolutely necessary to reach the landlocked parcel. There is an implied easement arising from the original subdivision of the land for continuous and obvious use of the adjacent parcel (e.g., for access to a road, or to a source of water). This easement is extinguished upon termination of the necessity (for example, if a new public road is built adjacent to the landlocked tenement). An easement by necessity is distinguished from an easement by implication in that the former easement arises only when "strictly necessary," whereas the latter can arise when "reasonably necessary."

This is the general American rule. Determining whether Utah follows this doctrine would require further research.

dan s. said...

A couple of years ago, during some of his gondola sales pitches to the public, Godfrey stated that the Forest Service is legally obligated to grant Peterson an easement for a road to Malan's Basin. I have an audio recording of one instance of him saying this, though I won't be able to find it quickly to get the exact quote.

I'm not up on Utah law or common law on this issue. But for National Forest lands there's a provision in a law called ANILCA (which otherwise deals only with Alaska!) that requires the Forest Service to grant access to inholdings. I researched the case law on this provision a couple of years ago and it appears that Peterson's property wouldn't qualify because it's not surrounded by National Forest lands on all four sides. There have also been legal arguments over what type of access is reasonable. Where the only historic access to an inholding has been by nonmotorized trails, the Forest Service is not necessarily obligated to allow construction of a much wider road.

Meanwhile, let's all remember that during 2006-07, the Standard-Examiner routinely described Peterson's proposed resort as "roadless". If the new clearing is indeed intended to become a road, then Peterson has made fools out of the reporters and editors who used this word. If you look back at what Peterson said in 2006, he carefully avoided that term and instead said things like "auto free". But the S-E folks heard what they wanted to hear and repeated it until it became accepted as fact.

Oldguy said...

Curm:

I believe you missed my point. Whatever Peterson is planning for "his" property is not the issue - as long as it doesn't adversely impact the people of Ogden via otherwise unjustified enabling changes at Mount Ogden and WSU (for that matter) although the latter seems better able and willing to protect their own best interests in sharp contrast to the city administration's stand on the interests of the people of Ogden.

No one is questioning the right of a property owner to put his property to lawful use. Keep in mind Curm that we're talking about the dorky pair who were trying to arrange the end of the Mount Ogden properties as we know them for entirely self serving ends.

If Peterson is stupid enough to build a ski area in Malan's Basin -again without stepping on the rights of the Ogden taxpayer, i.e., let him have at it. But we all know, or should know that that is an unattainable goal. Hell yes, I don't dispute the rights of any private property owner as long as what he does is fair and above board but considering the players, well....you get the picture don't you Curm.

Out of the Loop said...

I wonder if Peterson is thinking of putting in a cogwheel train to Malan Basin? That might explain the cleared path on the side of the mountain and Godfreys trip to Europe to look at rail systems.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Mr. Peterson's roadless plans were part of a community discussion regarding Gondola access. Now that the Gondola is off the table, Mr. Peterson can't reasonably be held to his "roadless" claims.

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi and Dan:

Thanks for the postings on the regs regarding access. Appreciate it.

Curmudgeon said...

An anonymous poster put this up above [and I figure Rudi is about to take it down for being anon.]:

I believe that Mr. Peterson's roadless plans were part of a community discussion regarding Gondola access. Now that the Gondola is off the table, Mr. Peterson can't reasonably be held to his "roadless" claims.

Seems a reasonable point to me.

disgusted said...

anonymous and curm

you didnt really think it was ever going to be roadless did you.
my concern now is that the city administration will try to annex malan basin into the city.
that would mean police medical and road maintence services funded by you got it.
stay tune.

dan s. said...

Anonymous and Curmudgeon:

As far as I'm aware (and I was paying very close attention at the time), Peterson never promised that the resort would be roadless. He said it would be "auto free", and in response to questions he admitted that he would be building "trails" on which you could drive a pickup.

It was the Standard-Examiner that repeatedly told us the resort would be roadless.

Furthermore, who said a gondola is off the table? Certainly not Godfrey.

not a skier said...

looking at the swath that has been cut is it possible that Peterson is trying to make a ski route from the top of Mt Ogden down to Ogden city? I seem to recall some talk of this a while back.

Brutus said...

Not a skier: I was thinking the same thing. At his "presentation" at Weber St., Peterson bragged that one would be able to ski from Malan's Basin all the way to the University. From a distance, it sure looks like a narrow ski trail.

Has anyone gotten a close enough look to confirm whether or not it's skiable?

Jason W. said...

Has Wayne Peterson, leader of his own famed Squirrel Patrol, emerged from his Thorazine-stocked cave, donned a Patagonia vest, and engaged in a campaign to save our boarded-up town again? I don't know what that douchewad is up to. Unless, of course, the recommendations of Lying Little Matty Gondola Godfrey's sham MOGC "committee" -- chaired by idiot $6 million loser The Skipper Petersen -- are presupposed to be economically infeasible, at which point fatass Wayne will swoop in on a proposed THE GONDOLA cable and offer to fund proposed THE RENOVATIONS if his lardo Ivy League, child-bearing, Mike Leavitt-esque ass can receive proposed THE OWNERSHIP and proposed THE MANAGEMENT. It's not a likely scenario, given the economic realities Lying Little Matty petulantly chooses to ignore, but that's par for the course for brave soldiers in Wayne's famed Squirrel Patrol: these dupes and morons and douchemongers are clueless idiots dwelling in a perpetual propsed THE FANTASYLAND. What will they do next? "I can't wait to see what exciting plans Wayne and Little Matty have in store for OTown!" says Addled Ed Allen, legislative hero of Good Old (?) Curmudgeon for his solid Democratic voting record.

THE SKI IS BEAUTIFUL BLUE

dan s. said...

Brutus,

I suppose anything is skiable by the right person, under the right conditions. The cleared route has a grade of only about 10%, measured along its length. At present it also has a very steep side slope.

A large portion of the route is on a southwest-facing slope. Last winter that slope would have held snow for quite a while, but the previous winter it would have been completely bare nearly all the time.

Tec Jonson said...

Skiing down a trail like that even if it's 20' wide can be grueling. Those kind of cat tracks get iced over pretty quickly from ski traffic. I'd guess if it went all the way from Malan's to WSU it would be at least a couple of miles or more when keeping with that gradient. That is a very long way on a narrow icy path. Beginners and intermediates would be tortured.
Experts would avoid it except to use it to access possible direct descents when snow conditions allow. There are few routes down this side of the mountain. I'm assuming they want to get that trail all the way over to the broad shoulder of mountain that descends to WSU.

I'm sure that any ski development on the west side would remain accessible to the public only by lift. A service road, if built would be treacherous and likely take an hour to drive.

I would not be surprised if all these recent story developments are an indication of longer term preparations for a Peterson project.

It would seem with the golf course recommendations and other rumors a quiet progress in creating the basic links to a west side ski development is going forward. Still this thing is going to be outlandishly costly. Earl and his management is likely sitting in the wings allowing some interaction and support from Snowbasin. Just enough for Peterson and investors to make the necessary capital improvements, go broke doing so, and Sinclair can pick up the pieces for a sharp discount. This is exactly how large businesses operate and play the market forces for advantage.

I suspect, although I may be crazily over-confident, that Godfrey may be decoupling the town gondola nonsense from a Malans Basin development. He is, afterall, touring european transit manufacturers and projects. That is a good sign. He is obviously is a shrewed and calculating politician. He may have dropped the gondola plan some time ago but he needed a quieting period to switch up his platform. He'll never admit he derailed the transit push for a couple of years. He'll likely claim new technology has come along that makes it now the preferable option. This allows him to save face. What a loser. Still if we get the most modern transit let's gethim to push it. He can get shit done. If he gets behind real transit he could actually make a difference instead of make waves... and debt.

Out of the Loop said...

Tec Johnson,

I wonder if Peterson is thinking of putting in a cogwheel train to Malan Basin? That might explain the cleared path on the side of the mountain and Godfreys trip to Europe to look at rail systems.

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