Friday, January 15, 2010

New Information On Boss Godfrey's Newest Percipient Downtown Landgrab

Ogden City Council videos are now up on the city website; and in our view, they're already returning dividends

As we reported earlier in the week, Ogden City Council videos are now up on the city website; and in our view, they're already returning dividends. Regular readers will of course remember our WCF article of article of January 11, when we reported that the Ogden RDA Board had temporarily dropped a troubling agenda item from the January 12 RDA calender, wherein the Administration had sought a "blight designation" for a stretch of properties along the east side of Washington Boulevard, in possible preparation for a new foray into exercise of the evil power of eminent domain. Whereas we'd reported that the area affected ran from 23rd street to 24th, we now learn (thanks to information contained in the most recently posted council video,) that the Godfrey administration's "target area" is much larger than that.

We've now had an opportunity to view the video from the council's 1/12/09 RDA meeting; and here's the new information which we've gleaned:
1) The target area actually encompasses a full 4 downtown city blocks, from 20th to 24th; and east from Washington to Adams Avenue.
2) The administration has already completed a blight study of the area, and is in possession of "findings" which would support statutory "blight condition" criteria within a broader 32-block area.
3) The matter was removed from the RDA calender to allow the city's blight study consultant to fine tune its findings to the above-mentioned 4-block area alone.
4) The matter will be returned to the RDA calender as early as March, as soon as the consultant can produce a new blight study report, which is specifically tailored to the 4-block area which Boss Godfrey now covets.
We encourage interested readers to navigate to the Ogden City Council Video Page, launch the January 12 council (RDA) video, and fast forward to 3:08 minutes, at which point deputy director of community and economic development Richard McConkie goes on at some length to explain the Administration's current posture regarding this newly-proposed RDA project boondoggle.

At this point we have no information as the specific plans which Boss Godfrey has for this area. What we do know is that the Administration has recently been rattling effected property owners with written material threatening the use of eminent domain, and that several property owners in the area have contacted us to express their strong concerns.

We'll be keeping on top of this story as it develops, of course; and we hope interested readers appreciate this most recent but necessarily incomplete update.

Additional reader comments are invited, of course.

Is there anyone among our vast WCF readership who can add insider info to this story?

12 comments:

Curmudgeon said...

Rudi:

You wrote: "At this point we have no information as the specific plans which Boss Godfrey has for this area."

Ah, Rudi, in Hizzonah's coming production "RDA Treasure of the Sierra Wasatch," Hizzonah will speak the classic lines: "Planz? Planz? We don' need no stinkin' planz!"

Curmudgeon said...

Ribbing aside, what the City plans to do with all that land, if it succeeds in forcing its present private owners to give it up, seems to me something the SE ought to be probing even as we speak, que no? Does the city have yet another of its un-named developers ready to take the property over and begin yet another grand scheme --- contract to be signed "soon"? Is this another "Ogden Shores" in the making, or another indoor water park/hotel fiasco?

Inquiring minds want to know. The SE ought to be working on telling us what's up. Let's hope it is.

Biker Babel said...

a chinese water park/velodrome

jz,

BB

RudiZink said...

LOL, BB! At this point, with the sceduling and de-scheduling of this matter, this project is looking a lot like a typical, Boss Godfrey-style Chinese Fire Drill.

Curmudgeon said...

BB;
Perfect. Love it.

ChooChoo said...

The City's already way in over its head w/ the host other projects that haven't seen fruition. Where is the planning and foresight? Why overextend ourselves in the midst of a recession? Where is the $ coming from to undertake such huge projects? Development of these areas should happen organically, not rashly at the whim of our mayor. Also, this area is not blighted - I look forward to see how that is justified in the upcoming report. It's time Ogden starts tightening its belt and stop considering such ill-minded proposals.

Biker Babe said...

ChooChoo: It's time Ogden starts tightening its belt and stop considering such ill-minded proposals.

s/b: It's time Little Mattie starts thinking about the people and quit spending our money, and stops jumping blindly at every ill-minded vision or dream that wakes him up in the night.

He's constantly up in the night, not thinking things through -- think Wile E. Coyote in all his plans to catch the Roadrunner - does he ever plan them through to the realistic end? NO - just to the end he thinks he wants.

JS,

BB

ozboy said...

ChooChoo

You wrote:

".....this area is not blighted"

Unfortunately it most likely is. You see, there is nothing in any of the pertinent code that defines exactly what "blighted" means. Therefore, any two bit tin horn politician (read Matt Godfrey) can pretty much define "blight" any damn way they want. This basic flaw in the whole RDA scheme, thanks to our real estate industry state legislature, has been the source of a lot of controversy over the years. There have been many down right silly interpretations of the word, including the naming of horse pastures as blight in some cases. These empire building two bit politicians are never to be underestimated as it pertains to how far they will go to scam the tax paying public!

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

This grab makes no sense to me unless Hizzonah has lined up [or thinks he has] some developer to buy the land and build something. Doing the eminent domain seizure on spec wouldn't make any sense at all.

So... do we know who he thinks will buy the seized property, if he gets it? And what they're planning to do with it? Does anyone outside the Godfrey Gaggle know? I don't recall reading anything about the plans for the seized parcels once they're taken, do you?

Monotreme said...

Maybe, based on his experience with the Windsor, he's decided to work the legal issues first, then sell the city off to developers later.

He tried it the other way and it didn't work so well, because City Council refused to believe his nonsense.

ozboy said...

Mr. Curmudgeon

You wrote: "Doing the eminent domain seizure on spec wouldn't make any sense at all"

Making any sense at all has never been one of the Mayor's criteria when investing large amounts of public money.

For instance, I wouldn't exactly say that rolling the tax payer's dice to the tune of $20 to $40 million dollars on a goof ball urban renewal scheme with a day glow bowling alley and a penney arcade as the anchor made any sense at all any place at all - except of course for the Godfreyite's fantasy world.

Twitter Eater said...

Comment bumped to front page

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