Friday, September 10, 2010

Kiesel Building Searchlight Operates Without Permit

City has not yet taken action, but promises it will.

By Dan Schroeder

A couple of weeks ago, alert reader “counting” reminded us that the Kiesel Building searchlight (advertising a dance club called The Vault) has continued to operate numerous Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer.

Last April the City Council passed an ordinance requiring a permit to operate a searchlight, and putting a limit on such operation of 12 nights per year, per location. Mayor Godfrey vetoed the ordinance, but the council overrode the veto by a unanimous vote. The Vault’s owner, Laron Zaugg, then told the Standard-Examiner that he would continue to operate the searchlight, perhaps moving it among several neighboring properties to avoid the 12-night limit.

Although I haven’t been counting, I’ve seen the searchlight on often enough that I was starting to wonder myself. So I recently inquired with a City Council member, who told me that the Ogden City administration is aware of the situation and that so far, the operator of the searchlight has not even applied for a permit. Furthermore, no enforcement action has been taken. However, the administration has apparently promised that action will be taken soon to (finally) enforce the ordinance—after four months of violations.

Perhaps some readers would like to comment on the appropriateness of this four-month “grace period”, or on what they predict will happen next.


Curmudgeon said...

Only four months of violations? Piffle. Nothing compared to the years the Administration allowed the owners deteriorating properties in the River Project to skate on keeping those properties safe and up to code.

Don't those complaining about the searchlight realize that city ordinances don't apply to FOMs [Friends of Matt] the way the do to other people?

Monotreme said...

I predict the owners of the searchlight will be found in violation but then rapidly "cured" by City Attorney Gary Williams.

Danny said...

This illustrates the problem of a city attorney who is entirely subordinate to the mayor, and to his politics.

Therefore, the "enforcement" efforts of Gary Williams consist of ignoring a clear violation of the law, and of also "discovering" that this blog may not make fun of the mayor, except under certain conditions that the mayor finds acceptable.

The political friend of the mayor gets a pass. The political opposition of the mayor gets a threatening letter.

Gary Williams is Godfrey's concierge, his butt kiss, his hired gun. He is not a city attorney. The city council should make the attorney co-answerable to them, or make him elected, so he is independent of the Godfrey political operation.

ozboy said...

Danny, tis a sad indictment you have laid on the sycophant Williams.

Sad but true.

south bench said...

The purposefully slummy eyesore continued year after year at the Helena Building, and the neglected hissy-fit plywood monstrosity that used to be Star Noodle, do far more harm to Ogden's downtown.

Is it possible to get whomever owns those buildings to clean up the front of the buildings, and at least make it look less like a storage space for cockroach collectors?

My complaint with The Vault is the underage-Ecstasy-girls stumbling blindly across 24th street at about 11 pm every night that statutory rape-pit is open. Bad spot to have that may wasted patrons trying to park/find a place outside to get high.

Aaron Zaug is a creepy.

Scottie Brownie said...

Star some diggin on'll be not so surprised....

blackrulon said...

There is a video on YouTube giving a tour of the empty Star Noodle. I believe that it is the same FOM video that was played on Channel 17 many times.

David S. said...

It seems to me that the owner of Berthana, another derelict owner, used to be, maybe still is, president of 25th Street Association, or Downtown Ogden Inc, or some such thing.

About says it all, doesn't it?

Rather than molly coddle all the deadwood business owners downtown, why not encourage them to move on, and sell to somebody, anybody, else?

Most downtown business owners are productive. Why should the successful, subsidize the failures?

Natural selection works very well in nature. It works very well in the economy if we would let it.

We should let it work in Ogden.

Leechman Brother said...

Dave said "Most downtown business owners are productive. Why should the successful, subsidize the failures?" the finacial institutions that got bailed out?

Too big to fail?....grab yer ankles here comes the gubbermint....

Curmudgeon said...

David S:

Ogden Admin is too busy working to close apparently successful businesses in the same area, like the Lighthouse on the same business block.

ozboy said...


One good way for natural selection to work in Ogden would be for the voters to have the choice between you and Godfrey. I seriously believe you could take him in any fair and square competition where ethics and good biz sense were factors.

Danny said...


I believe you are right. But it's kinda hard for an introvert to do a job like that, you know?

I remember a movie I saw once where they were calling for this guy to be Caesar.

"I believe you would find me to be an inadequate leader," he said, "because my first official act would be to have you all crucified."

I would wipe much of Godfrey's government out of existence.

When parasitic businessmen came to me (as opposed to productive businessmen who I suspect, would not) and said, "My business is not good, what are you going to do?" My answer would be, "Your problem." Then I might suggest if they are having a hard time, they should get off the stage and let somebody else take their place.

Danny 4 Mayor said...

See above.

blackrulon said...

I believe that city attorney Williams merely "healed" the council override of the mayors veto.

not in the summer said...

The Vault is not open in the summer. Only when school is in...

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