Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Powder Mountain Update: The Standard-Examiner Calls Upon The Legislature To Fix Its Powder Mountain Blunder

An admittedly iffy proposition with two Republican dominated state houses
Memo to the Legislature: Will you please summon the courage to fix this mess in 2010! If there's to be a town in Powder Mountain, all residents need to have a say. Developers should not play an inordinately large role in creating it and hand-picking who runs it. That's common sense.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: Powder Town saga continues
June 24, 2009


Strong editorial in this morning's Standard-Examiner, calling upon the State Legislature to fix the Powder Mountain mess that it foolishly created in 2007, cravenly ignored in 2008 and treated with malignant neglect in 2009:
OUR VIEW: Powder Town saga continues
The slapstick Three Stooges style spectacle of the legislative and judicial branches of Utah government passing the problem back and forth between themselves, without any one of them accepting responsibility for fixing this government-caused blunder, would be downright hilarious if it were happening elsewhere, and not in our own Weber County community, we suppose.

A Weber County Forum Tip O' the Hat to Doug Gibson and the Std-Ex editorial board for this morning's fine and hard-hitting editorial. The question which remains, of course, is whether anyone in the legislature is listening.

Don't let the cat get your tongues, O Gentle Ones.

9 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Sadly, with respect to Powder Town, I'm not sure the legislature can fix the mess it created --- presuming it wants to, and given that the Republican leaders ended the session an hour early last term with a "fix" bill up for consideration next, I'm not at all sure the majority wants to fix it.

The fact is, the Greed Coalition [aka Powder Town developers] who moved, under the law, to create the town against the wishes of its residents, and without giving residents a chance to vote on the town officials who will, I believe, have the authority to tax them, did their evil deed in full compliance with the law as it then existed [it's since been changed]. Any retroactive fix necessarily involves changing the rules after the game has begun, which is on general principles not good policy, and is probably not legal in any case [that was the Greed Coalition's argument in the recent case].

But cheer up. We have a new governor coming in. He has been a long-time servant of Utah realtors and developers it seems, so I'm sure we can rely on his impartial and even-handed judgment in such matters in the future.

And the beat goes on....

Dan S. said...

Curm,

The Legislature can fix the mess by passing HB 201, which would allow the citizens to immediately file a petition to disincorporate, as soon as the town is created. (Under current law, no such petition would be valid until two years after incorporation.)

Dan S. said...

Off-thread: According to the Standard-Examiner, both Jesse Garcia and Doug Stephens will seek reelection this fall. Dorrene Jeske is undecided but has been advised by her physician to step down from the council. Blain Johnson couldn't be reached for comment.

Stop the Standard Examiner said...

The Standard Exaiminer should learn how to do investigative reporting!!!!!

Curmudgeon said...

Dan S:

I don't think the fix you propose would work once the town is incorporated and its developer-chosen puppet town council is seated. Which is why letting the bill die last session though there was still time to hear it mattered so much. The incorporation may now be completed before the legislature could pass a new fix bill [presuming it wanted to]. Or so it seems.

Dan S. said...

Curm:

No. HB 201 would allow the town to disincorporate as soon as it takes effect, whether or not the town is already incorporated at that time. Of course, a new town council might be able to do considerable damage in between. Let's hope there are further delays before a council is seated, so this damage will be minimal.

Ozboy said...

I seem to recall something in the "new" old law that set a time frame for when the "new town" had fair and open elections. Seemed like it might have been 2 years? any one know?

If that is the case it seems as though doing nothing might have been the better tactic for the opponents and the country commission to have taken. The new city would have a new council, but in this post bust world most likely would not have had the capital to proceed. Meanwhile if the clock was running to a fair election, perhaps justice and the american way could have prevailed by letting the market dictate.

Maybe it is not too late to just let the bastards have their hand picked stooges run the Powerderville scam, especially if this real estate bust continues for more than a couple of years or so. Could be a safer bet than stringing it out over several years just to have to go back to fulfilling the defective law about the time the economy makes raising money with the project a possibility.

Danny said...

There are some important happenings today.

Huge news is that Garcia will be running. This means the Godfrey candidate in that race will have an uphill battle. My sources had already told me Jeske might not run. But those sources tell me her seat will also be an uphill battle for the godfreyites because of who WILL run for it (name withheld, sorry). Thus, two seats should be safe from the forces of darkness. As for Doug Stephens – it’s good that he’s running. It will be interesting to see if Godfrey tries to unseat him with a Brandon-Blaine clone/crony/godfreyite of if Godfrey will decide he can control Doug when he needs to. I’d like to see someone run against Doug in the mold of Amy, Caitlin, Dorrene, Jesse who will differentiate himself from Godfrey , which would make the seat safer than it currently is. But all in all, I am encouraged that Godfrey is less likely to be controlling the council with a panel of his robots for what I hope is the last two years of his political career.

Also huge is that a local media outlet, the SE, used the words “standing up to big business developers.” Huh? I thought the three pillars of the Utah economy were 1. Gravel Pits, 2. Toxic Waste Burial, and 3. Conversion of Open Space Into Tract Houses and Condos. That the SE would take a position that “big business developers” might actually be adverse to the public interest is really big news. Thanks for finally beaming down from the mother ship, SE. It’s nice you have finally roused from your slumber and are opening your eyes.

Skeets said...

Oz boy, if the owners at Powder Mountain are left to incorporate unchallenged, they will change the zoning, and that is the big deal. If they appoint their stooges to the planning commission for the town, they will sow the seeds for a very bad future for Ogden Valley.

To be truthful, none of those bozos are in the ski business nor do they have any expertise on running a large ski resort. Their plan all along has been to get the zoning changes, and sell the property to ski people.

Even if they fail to sell right away, the basic zoning will have been changed and anyone could put in a couple of 18 hole golf courses plus thousands of units up there in the future. With that road? Get real!

They could also start to annex adjoining properties all along the 27 mile corridor from Eden to Green Hills.

There is more than meets the eye on this issue.

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