Tuesday, June 01, 2010

6/1/10 Powder Mountain MOU Hearing Thread - Updated

This is the place to lodge your comments

On the odd chance that any of our readers may wish to post about tonight's Weber County Commission hearing, we're setting up this thread, for the purpose of capturing any reader commentary, before, during or after tonight's public meeting.

If anyone wishes to comment or live blog, this is the place to lodge your comments.

Update 6/1/10 6:28 p.m.: Dan S. is live blogging from the Commission Chamber. Click on our comments section to follow his posts.

Update 6/2/10 6:29 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner is on the story this morning, with a post-hearing Di Lewis writeup and some Commission session video clips:
Residents, developers pack public hearing; lawsuits to be stayed regarding proposed Powder Mountain Town
Also, we offer a Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to Dan S. this morning, for last night's real-time reporting.

Update 6/2/10 8:36 a.m.: Ogden Valley Forum has also posted a new article which provides a short synopsis of last night's meeting, along with its own editorial comments and a challenge to Western America Holdings' managing partner, Pronaia:
Predictable Outcome for Ogden Valley


Dan S. said...

County commission chamber is packed for hearing.

Dan S. said...

Standing room only.

Dan S. said...

PM rep is reading letter of support from Godfrey.

Dan S. said...

Darla Van Zeben is first citizen to speak. Says all named plaintiffs in lawsuit are for MOU.

Dan S. said...

It seems that the "hostages" want the MOU so they can be released. But there's a strong contingent from the rest of the valley that is sticking to their guns, opposing any increase in density.

At work and be there said...

Any other news?

Dan S. said...

The public hearing is winding down. PM rep is now answering commissioners' questions.

Dan S. said...

Public hearing is formally closed. Commissioners are deliberating.

Dan S. said...

Bischoff is arguing for the MOU. Zogmaister says they've already considered everything that people brought up in their comments, and the MOU reflects this; wildlife buffer will be added in development agreement. Dearden regrets having taken lead on this issue 3 years ago; doesn't want the town to go through.

So it's pretty clear that they will approve the MOU.

Dan S. said...

Motion to approve by Zogmaister (with double-talk about general plan conformity). Second by Dearden with a minor corrections. Passes unanimously.

Dan S. said...

Before the vote, the PM rep did promise to create a wildlife buffer zone and that there would be no ridgeline houses.

Ray said...

Letter of support from Godfrey! Can't the little man keep his nose out of anything! Based on outcome of vote, it's time for new blood in County Commission. Talk tough but bend over and ceed to the perps demands. What a sham, perpetrated by our esteemed republican political machine, bought and paid for by the Realty/developer lobby.

Shameful said...

What a travesty! The homeowners who sold out should hang their heads in shame.

It is time to clean the house at the Commission this November.

Dan S. said...

Sorry about my exceedingly brief posts, which were typed on my phone. As you can see, the public hearing lasted almost two hours. Many people spoke, and most seemed opposed to the MOU, but there was a significant contingent of folks who felt that the MOU was the best we could hope for, and many of those people had clearly invested a lot of time and money in the lawsuit and lobbying and so on. So their voices couldn't be dismissed lightly.

The most common objections concerned (1) the road, and the fact that the MOU provides no guarantee that the access situation will be addressed before full build-out; and (2) the apparent inconsistency with the Valley's general plan and resort development ordinance, which requires that increased density be accomplished through transfer of development rights (TDR) from other land that would then remain open space.

On the other hand, the MOU does require the owners to put up some money for road improvements and open space preservation. Many would argue that it will be too little, too late.

One possible silver lining that some folks pointed out was that the Powder Mountain development won't be economically viable over the short term, and might not be viable over the long term either, so just because 2800 units are permitted doesn't mean they'll ever be built.

All in all, I can hardly blame the hostages (the residents of the proposed town) for wanting to end this two-year-long crisis. I'm not sure what I would have done in their place. In any case, the decision is now made. The next step is the development agreement itself, where we'll need to keep a close eye on the Commission once again to make sure they keep their promises.

Curmudgeon said...


I'm hard put to criticize the homeowners who risked finding themselves as non-voting residents of the company town Powderville, run by jackels appointed by the developers. They were left to hang out to dry by their representatives and state senators, and by the Weber County Commission --- by the very people whose job it was to protect their liberties. Under similar circumstances, I might have made the best deal I could to prevent my ending up being taxed by the jackels' [aka developers'] appointees in a town I'd never voted to create.

The MOU is largely a sellout, seems to me, to the jackels and the real estate and developer lobbyists who bought enough influence to have the Developers Dream Bill slide through in the waning hours of the legislative session a couple of years ago. [Did you really expect anything different from the all-Republican Weber County Commission?]

But if I'd been abandoned and left to twist slowly in the wind as the Powderville homeowners were.... well, I'm not going to come down hard on them for their protecting themselves. No one else was.

Time for a change said...

One way we can respond to this sellout is to remember Zogmaister's dismissive attitude toward the 3 acre restriction and other landowners that have followed the rules since 1998. Her seat is up for election in November and how sweet it would be to get rid of her and Bischoff at the same time.


Danny said...

Let's cut the BS for a minute.

You have a developer who is a notorious SOB, who held people hostage.

The county commissioners held firm for awhile, but eventually gave in to the unavoidable fact that raping raw land is the foundation of the entire Utah economy. Ultimately, the commissioners went with the foundation, and the parasitic political infrastructure that surrounds it.

In other states, they would have said, "Screw it. We like the land the way it is. That's the way it was when these a-holes bought it. It's not hurting them to leave it that way." And they would vote ordinances accordingly.

Only when we get politicians who are willing to preserve our environment, and are hard core about it, will things change. Until then, grab your ankles people, and bend over.

All else is sound and fury without substance.

King Tut said...

Crum, you are wrong that the hostages had no support. Many people in the Ogden Valley gave their money, time and hard work to support them. It was the Weber Commissioners and the State Legislature that abandoned them.

Among those homeowners are some that stand tall who see the bigger picture in the Valley and did not fold under pressure.

Curmudgeon said...


OK, I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I know a lot of people in the valley and out stood behind the Powderville hostages and did what they could to support them. The point I wanted to make was that none of the people with the power and authority to actually do something to help them --- the legislature, the governor, the County Commission -- in the end were willing to stand tall.


I couldn't help but note the Vision Statement (or whatever that is) on the wall behind Genius Jan Zogmaister about how the commission is supposed to be dedicated to nurturing trust in the electorate. Having downzoned from one to three acres in 1998, and then having blithely handed density out for free last night, no one can, should, or will trust the Weber County Commission ever again, especially these three spineless weasels.

blackrulon said...

"PM rep is reading letter of support from Godfrey" This is either the first step in asking for leniency from the PM criminals or the opening step in building a Powder Mountain gondola.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Drew Johnson for Seat A.

Ethical Government said...


Ethical Government said...

Note to Ethical Government, an oxymoron if one there ever was:

When making a political endorsement, use your real name.
Otherwise, WTF?
Do you realize how totally meaningless your endorsement is when you go unidentified?

Lord Satan/Demi Lovato in 2012

Pencil Pusher said...

The Godfrey connection is Dan Van Zeben. Don't you wonder if that lead to the sell out by the Van Zebens?

Post a Comment

© 2005 - 2014 Weber County Forum™ -- All Rights Reserved