Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Important Planning Commission Meeting Set For Tomorrow (Wednesday) Night

The Planning Commission is called upon to deal with Water Horizons Project mission creep
Updated with newly submitted documents

This morning we'll provide our readers what we hope will be a timely heads-up on a couple of items set for tomorrow's Ogden Planning Commission agenda:
• 5:30 p.m. 3. Request to Amend Capital Improvement Plan, to allow construction of water tanks at 36th Street. (Attachment B) (Recommendation to:) City Council
• 6:00 p.m. 4. Conditional Use Permit/SA Review, for construction of a five-million gallon water tank at approximately 1800 E. 36th Street. (Recommendation to:) Final Action
As our regular readers are aware, as part of the City Council's
Water Horizons project, our city council had originally approved the construction of a water tank at the top of 46th St, and pumping stations along the east bench. Early in the spring however, the council learned that its carefully crafted plan had suffered some characteristic Godfrey mission creep, and that Boss Godfrey was busily (and quietly) engaged in preparing to install $5-6 million water tanks at the top of 36th street instead. After some council-administration wrangling, (and a referral to city attorney Gary Williams), Mr. Williams advised that there was enough difference in what the Council had planned and approved, and what Godfrey was doing, that the matter needed to go to the Planning Commission for the issuance of a new conditional use permit (and a subsequent Council amendment of the city's Capital Improvement Plan.) Thus this matter is once again set for tomorrow's Commission agenda for "final action," after being continued from an earlier 6/17/09 commission hearing.

Early in the course of the development of this story, Boss Godfrey offered the excuse that there had merely been some unfortunate clerical confusion, and that the Council's approval of the tank at the top of 46th street had resulted from a typographical error, in a circumstance where the 46th street designation had been inadvertently substituted for an intended reference to 36th Street. Godfrey asserts that he didn't intend to misinform the Council, in other words.

Whether that's true we do not know. However, thanks to The Standard-Examiner, we do have some interesting new information. According to
Ace Reporter's Schwebke's 6/29/09 (yesterday) story, the construction of the tanks at 36th street are "justified" by new engineering reports, and other circumstantial factors which would make a top of 36th street location a more favorable choice. That's what Godfrey's mouthpieces are telling us, at least.

As for the content of those new reports, we all remain in limbo. During our
most recent discussion of this matter, there were at least three reports sitting on Gary Williams's desk, awaiting his review, in connection with Dan Schroeder's pending GRAMA request.

Whether Dan is now in receipt of these documents we do not know. Hopefully he'll be able to provide electronic copies for display here on WCF however, in advance of the Commission's Wednesday evening hearing.

Of course we
already know the real reason Boss Godfrey prefers the 36th Street location.

That's it for now, gentle readers. We hope at least a few of you will put tomorrow's Commission session on your calenders, even though we lumpencitizens (yeah, the ones who pay all Godfrey's bills) will walk into tomorrows meeting (hopefully with steely eyes and torches/pitchforks in hand,) essentially blind to the necessary and relevant"report" information.


HaHaHa said...

"Godfrey asserts that he didn't intend to misinform the Council, in other words."


If you believe that, I have tens of thousands worthless shares in an Ogden Gondola Company startup that I'd be happy to sell you for a song.

Dan S. said...

I've just come from the Municipal Building where I was finally permitted to look through the water system engineering reports that I whined about a few days ago. (Actually, the city recorder sent me an email yesterday around 1:00 saying the reports were available, but I was too busy to go see them until today.)

Of the three reports, one is irrelevant to the east bench area. The second is the 2005 Sunrise Engineering report, which is mostly about reconfiguring the city's water pressure zones by installing and replacing a bunch of valves. However, as an aside, this report contains one paragraph about a proposed new tank on the southeast bench. Here's the full text of that paragraph:

"The highest elevation that the existing and proposed systems can serve is 5,225 feet. According to the City officials, developers would like to develop higher than this elevation in the southeast part of the City. In looking at this area within the City boundary and under the 30% slope (development limit) requirement, one additional pressure zone is needed. Zone 1 that is fed by the 46th St. tanks begins at the elevation of 5,225 feet. Therefore, the proposed pressure zone would end at this elevation with a desired maximum pressure of 110 psi. Calculating backwards to find the elevation with a desired minimum pressure of 50 psi yields an equation 5,225 + (60 psi x 2.31 feet/psi) = 5,364 feet. The proposed zone would then be from 5,364 feet to 5,225 feet with a pressure range of 50 to 110 psi. To get the needed pressure of 50 psi a new tank would need to be located at an elevation of 5,364 + 50 psi x 2.31 ft/psi = 5,480 feet. Water would need to be boosted to the new tank through a booster pump station from either the 36th St. tanks, 46th St. tanks, or a new source. Further study needs to be completed to evaluate the best possible location for the new tank and which source would be the best."

The important point here is that the only justification offered at that time for a new tank was future development. (Incidentally, the idea of developing anything that high on the bench (above the Bonneville shoreline) was dropped by the time of the later CRS report.)

The third report is the most interesting, and is fortunately rather short. I took a copy, which I'll try to scan and post later. This report, by Bowen, Collins, & Associates, deals with the transmission lines that connect the whole water system together. It's titled "Water System Major Conveyance Evaluation" and dated October 2008 ("draft"). It recommends quite a few transmission line upgrades, and briefly mentions a new tank on the east bench. The rationale behind the recommendations aren't always clear, however.

At the very least, I think we can now safely conclude that no engineering consultants have ever recommended that additional storage capacity on the southeast bench be an immediate high priority for the city. The high-priority water system upgrades include the new tanks north of Ogden Canyon, plus various upgrades to transmission lines, valves, etc. So there is no urgency in approving the 36th Street tank(s).

I would further argue that the planning commission should vote this project down, at least for now. The planning commission's job is to determine whether the proposal is consistent with the city's General Plan, which calls for preserving trails and public open space. Even if water system upgrades should take precedence over these goals, this determination should be made by the city council (which should then amend the General Plan), not the planning commission.

Whistler said...

Has anyone asked the Water people what will happen if the Powder Mountain incorporation gets approved and they put in two 18 hole golf courses and snow making equipment at Powder Mountain? They want to put those golf courses at about 7,000 feet in the second driest area in the nation. They want to drill down and tap the aquifer under Pineview reservior that is the main water source for the City Of Ogden. Does anyone care? Godfrey is supporting this Powder Mountain town scam, what do you think citizens of Ogden, is he looking out for your future?

Brett said...

Why would he look out for our future? He NEVER has! He looks out for himself (I hope he doesn't think we believe him when he says that he is the one who is going to pay for what he does.) and his friends.

TLJ said...


Wanting to and getting to are two different flavors, aren't they ?

Water rights are completely separate from land acquisition and/or city/corp incorporation:

There is the "Doctrine of Prior Appropriation" .... "those with earliest priority dates who have continuously used the water since that time have the right to water from a certain source before others with later priority dates. "

Ogden has rights first over that water -- and they have to go through the State Engineer's office to apply ;

"All waters in Utah are public property. A water right is a right to the use of water based upon 1) quantity, 2) source 3) priority date, 4) nature of use, 5) point of diversion and 6) physically putting water to beneficial use. " ....

[from Utah State Division of Water Rights home page]



Whistler said...

TLJ, thanks for the info on water rights. I am concerned that all these control and checks and balance people have signed off on this water usage with out all the facts and without regard to the amount of water that will be taken. For example, the PM crowd never answered a question about snowmaking in their presentation.

Sometime we rely on the the "experts" to look after
the long rang interests of the citizens, and we come up short many times.

TLJ said...

well, not only do they have to apply for water rights, they have to be bonded, and apply to drill any wells - and wells have to be drilled by certified professionals.

I'm sure PM, inc. doesn't have someone like Godfrey running around throwing a tantrum whenever he doesn't get his way -- the PM people fish-eyed through the loophole, but they will still have to jump through the proper hoops in order to complete their master plan - I'm hoping there are no other loopholes about the water rights thing.

That goes for the water towers Godfrey wants, as well .. here's hoping


reader of the scr report said...


fyi the 36 street tank is at an elevaton of 4940 and the 46th street tank is at an elevation of 5350

Dan S. said...

Here are the criteria that the Planning Commission must consider in deciding whether to approve a conditional use permit for the water tanks:


Conditional use applications shall be reviewed and approved or denied in accordance with compliance of the following criteria:

A. Detrimental To Persons Or Property: The proposed use will not, under the circumstances of the particular case and the conditions imposed, be detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of persons, nor injurious to property and improvements in the community, existing surrounding uses, buildings and structures. It shall be demonstrated that the use and property development:
1. Does not lead to deterioration of the environment by emitting pollutants into the ground or air to cause detrimental effects to the property or neighboring properties;
2. Does not introduce hazards or potentials for damage to neighboring properties that cannot be mitigated;
3. Does not encroach upon rivers or streams or direct runoff into those features; and
4. Is in keeping with the type of existing uses surrounding the property and development as proposed will improve the character of the area by encouraging reinvestment and upgrading of surrounding properties.

B. General Plan Consistency: The proposed use at the particular location is consistent with the objectives and strategies established in the general plan, particularly the community or corridor plans.

C. Use Compatibility: The proposed use at the particular location is compatible with the character of the site, adjacent properties, surrounding neighborhoods and other existing development... [irrelevant details omitted]

D. Design Compatibility: The proposed site and building design and placement at the particular location is compatible with:
1. The character of the site in relationship with the surrounding uses which includes buildings and site uses integrating with the topography of the site, retaining trees of value, using natural features as site amenities, developing landscaping along the public areas of the property to create an improved streetscape, reducing expanses of large areas of asphalt or concrete, and screening objectionable views that may exist on the site from all surrounding property owners;
2. The character of the area by the site design location of parking lots, accessways, delivery areas and on site vehicle circulation patterns taking into consideration the adjacent uses and not adversely impacting the adjacent use by exposing them to loss of privacy, objectionable views of large parking or storage areas, or views and sounds of loading and unloading areas;
3. The character of the surrounding uses by the type of exterior lighting and signage that will not detract by being bright or create unwanted light onto adjacent properties;
4. The architectural character of the community and the surrounding neighborhood, considering the building materials, colors, roof shapes, height, mass, size and orientation of the proposed building and design. In determining compatibility with the architectural character of the community, the design shall be found to be generally consistent with those architectural and design principles established in sections 7F (housing and urban design guidelines) and 8G (land use urban design guidelines) of the Ogden City general plan.

E. Compliance With Regulations: The proposed use will comply with the regulations and conditions specified in the land use ordinances.

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