Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Standard-Examiner: 25th Street Business Association Wants Height Limits Raised

We urge the Council to reject this proposal outright, and to refrain from again revisiting this already-decided issue, unless and until some tangible proposed project comes along

The Standard-Examiner reports this morning that anti-historic preservation forces are again on the move to compromise the historical integrity of Historic 25th Street, with a new proposal, spearhead by hyper-activist 25th Street Business Association President Steve Conlin, to increase building height limits on Historic 25th Street across the board from 45 feet to 55 feet:
25th Street Business Association wants height limits raised
Although we'd assumed that the prospect of raising height limits across all of the Historic 25th Street District had been rejected once and for all by the Council in October of 2008, Mr. Conlin makes it quite clear that he's ready to waste the time of the Council and the public, by girding for battle on this issue once again:
"I don't think we are going to get this passed without a big fight. But I think it's a fight the 25th Street Business Association is willing to take on," said Steve Conlin, president of the association.
Kudos to Councilman Stephens for his savvy take on the issue:
City Councilman Doug Stephens questioned whether it is prudent to change the height ordinance, as there is no building project on the table for 25th Street that requires the height extension.
"We need to protect the historical elements of 25th Street and provide a method that 25th Street can attract business into that area and be successful," he said. "If there is no project coming forward, is it necessary for the council to be reviewing this ordinance?"
Councilman Stephens hits the nail on the head. Absent some new proposed project which might justify Council consideration of an individual zoning variance tied to a specific project, it would be pure folly for the City Council to open up what earlier proved to be a highly contentious can of worms once again.

We therefore urge the Council to reject this proposal outright, and to refrain from again revisiting this already-decided issue, unless and until some actual property developer is willing to put something tangible on the table.


Moroni McConkie said...

Nothing having to do with downtown Ogden has made me angrier than the ill-advised decision by the UTA to reroute the Weber State bus (#603) off of Historic 25th Street. As already pointed out on this Forum, this was done to accommodate the delicate sensitivities of the 25th Street Business Association, which believes that the icky homeless on the street -- few of whom actually ride the bus -- are deterring potential customers. This was done without any opportunity for input by people who actually use Route #603. I do, and I have been inconvenienced and annoyed.

This was brought to you by Steve Conlin (who I doubt ever rides the bus). Thus I am predisposed to believe that anything Conlin wants must be regarded skeptically. Now Conlin, who isn't even a native of Ogden, wants to raise the height limit in the historic district. Since everything else in our society has been supersized over the past 4 decades, from freeway expansions to SUVs to gas-guzzling monster trucks to McMansions to steroid-addled athletes, Conlin now believes 25th Street hasn't a chance unless it, too, is supersized. Over my dead body.

blackrulon said...

Will the 25th Street Business Association be held responsible for the costs associated with failed building deevelopment? Mr. Conlin wants the stakeholders to speak out on this issue. The stakeholders are the citizens of Ogden who are paying for the mayors failed vision. Attempting to link 25th street to the Junction and the Ogden River development only reminds people of the failure of those projects. This makes as much sense as pointing to Detroit as a model for reinvestment and development.

Biker Babe said...

Moronie seems to be channeling our dear departed beloved Reverend Harris ...



Ozboy said...

I for sure want to be there when Moroni lays down in the middle of 25th and Washington in protest - ala the late great Reverend Harris!

I was there for the Reverend's show of civil disobedience way back in the 70's, and I don't want to miss Moroni's reprieve of this great moment in Ogden history.

Also wondering if Moroni makes killer BBQ sauce like the dear Reverend did?

Curmudgeon said...

Who is/was the Rev. Harris?

Poole said...

Perhaps I might be of assistance in this matter.
As a homeowner on Historic 25th street, I see the comings and goings, the ups and downs, and the various aesthetic improvements and detractions debated regularly by those who make Ogden their home.
So, a few points. !ADVENTURECITYOGDEN!? Great idea. Build it, just not on the taxpayer dime. Giant Ice-Climbing Towers? Base Jump Catapults off of Malans Shoulder? Elevated Toboggan Runs from Petersen's Folly all the way to Weber State U? Velodrome/Field Archery Facilities? The Worlds Largest Half Pipe for Skaters?
Bring them all on; as long as they are paid for by private businesses, cool.

The bus lines?
I would like to see 25th Street as a one way, 10 mile an hour shopping district, with a dedicated trolley line right down the middle.
Running big mostly-empty buses right down 25th was ugly, and not an effective use of roadway.

Bums? Did anyone notice the 5 police cars arresting half of the low-lifes who drive away people from our beautiful city park this morning? There is absolutely nothing wrong with running low-lifes out of town.

As far as doing things quietly? Hell. I could care less if people with interest and a stake slink around and get stuff done. Transparency in city government leads to a morass of petty conflicts.
Just don't slink around and do stuff I personally dislike. ;>

Height restrictions?
As long as the new buildings looked old and historic-ee, what is the deal? Every third city in the USA has a "historic district". Ogden's is built around a very grand train station, and some very colorful history. Everyone would like to see the vacant lots built up, if they want to go as high as 4 or 5 stories, fine. Just do it with class and an eye towards preserving the general character of 25th.

And there is the rub: character. 25th street was a tough as nails place where one could get parted from a pay check in a card sharps blink or a ladies wink. If you were a man of color, you could get lynched for not knowing your supposed place.

Its not the buildings that make a site historic, its the actual history, although the buildings act as a anchor to the times past.

And really, what the hell? If someone is going to debate 25th street, the discussion begins and, for now, ends with Star Noodle, the old Everwood site, and that pathetic filth-monger and his purposely-kept-slummy Helena Masterpiece.

I would support a citizens committee to find a way to fix Star, build on the Everwood site, and run out of town that filth magnet whose mommy gave him The Helena.

And then, bring back the hookers and opium-nodding Chinamen.

Curmudgeon said...

In a spirited rhetorical donnybrook going on over at the SE comments site on this article, Mr. Steve Colin of the Historic 25th Street Merchant's Association, speaking on behalf of the Association, wrote this:

The council sets its agenda, not the [25th Street] Association. They are the ones "rushing" this through. We'd love them to table the issue so the actual facts can be discussed. Please call them and encourage them to do that.

This is an excellent suggestion. Mr. Conlin, on behalf of the Association, suggests that the proposed zoning change needs a full examination in light of the evidence regarding its probable impact on Historic 25th Street.

If you agree, please write to the City Council asking it to table this matter in order to permit the full and public discussion of the issue that needs to happen before the Council proceeds to a decision. To email the Council, click here.

Jennifer Neil said...

Curm: being fairly new to our fair city myself (1977) I only was briefly exposed to the dearly departed Rev. Harris. He was our activist extraordinaire - as Ozboy stated above, would lie in the center of 25th & Washington in protest of whatever needed protesting at the time. He also had a Killer Down South Style BBQ joint on the Historic 25th -- Rudi and Ozboy could perhaps provide more details, but he is a memorable figurehead in Ogden colored (no pun intended) history.


Curmudgeon said...


Sounds like my kinda guy. Thanks for the info.


Danny said...

Personally, I tried both Rev. Harris' sauce and his restaurant. The former was mediocre and the latter was abysmal.

As far as Steve Conlin, what does the man do for a living? My bet: he's another two-bit Godfreyite poser: A nobody who likes to stir things up because he has nothing else to do.

Godfrey attracts them like flies. Odds for this are in my favor.

What do you do, "President" Conlin? Tell us your credentials in proposing the height ordnance.

We know Greg Montgomery's credentials. He does what Godfrey tells him to do.

Conlin, you took the buses off 25th. Is this another dumb idea? Do you have any other kind? Well do you?

Taco Man said...

Not a fan of the proposed ordinance change. Why change something now that has worked so well for so long - Ogden's 25th St is one of the City's greatest assets, the envy of many cities. This will open the door to more unnecessary changes, mark my words. The Council needs to uphold their vote of 2 years ago or table the damn thing. IMHO this is the short-sighted anti-community pro-development type of thinking that has helped lead us to the mess that we are in today.

RudiZink said...

Actually, Curm, the Reverend Harris wasn't merely a minor local curiosity, but became a fairly prominent local political figure.

"In 1976, the Reverend Robert Harris, a Democrat from Ogden, became the first African American elected to the Utah State Legislature":

Utah History Encyclopedia - AFRICAN AMERICANS IN UTAH

Curmudgeon said...


I think the bus decision was a bad one, and it was done by stealth and the Association began the process. Not sure I like the height change either. But Mr. Conlin [who runs a business on 25th Street] is head of the Association and speaks for it in his capacity as its spokesman. So I wouldn't necessarily attribute every decision made by the Association to him personally.

It is possible, Danny, for people to disagree with you, and even me, on matters of public policy, without their necessarily being nothing but mindless parasites. Really it is.

All Hype said...

Although I don't know him personally, it would be my guess that Mr. Conlin is in the world of development or real estate - he has Developerese down pat.

Biker Babe said...

Danny, Mr. Steve Conlin is owner of

Newcastle Mortgage on Historic Street

He also takes good photos at Downtown Ogden Events.

He's originally from TX, but don't know how long he's been here.

And he watches the Daily Show.


Lonesome Cowboy Bert said...

Speaking of bus transit, Elder McConkie...

Perhaps its time to buy this Steve Conlin Moron a one way ticket out of town...

Back to his home state of Texas...

Where men are men...

And the sheep are scared.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Steve Conlin went to school at Weber State during the early 1990's, and is a stand up guy.
Anonymous posters who do not know him, yet disparage him based on his active role in promoting 25th street, are likely people without any personal power in their lives.

Scruples, intelligence, and wit.

If he runs for Mayor, he has my vote.
And, I hope he does.

Combat hippy hater said...


I know Conlin as we have run in some of the same circles for years. I haven't known him quite as long as you, but close. It's my opinion that he's turned into an ass as he has aged past 40. He takes ok photos and is involved in the community and ran a local publication/advertising piece. Those are redeeming qualities but they don't cancel out the bad.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Curmudgeon said...


He may be a "stand up guy," nice to small dogs and children, with other admirable qualities. What's at issue here are the actions of the group he heads and represents regarding important public policy matters [the bus issue, the free ads for his merchants alone, the height rezone].

While I agree that some of the personal attacks on the man seem to me not much on point, let me suggest that the same could be said of your defense of him.

It's the actions of the group he heads regarding public policy matters, and his role as that group's head regarding those matters, that are at issue here. You seem to think those actions should not be criticized because he and the Association believe them to be wise ones. By that standard, neither he nor his organization could ever come under criticism just so long as they claimed to be acting for the good of the street and city.

If Mr. Conlin and the merchants association he heads are going to take public policy stands that affect others adversely --- e.g. getting UTA bus stops removed from Historic 25th Street --- they have to expect those who think those policies bad ideas are going to say so. As loudly and as often as they think necessary.

There's no "nice guy" exemption to public criticism when you take public stands on public policy.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Combat Hippie.
Damn, that IS old school; Dirk would be proud.
I love that.

I agree with you as regards policy and civic debate; I just disagree with the tone of some of the persons comments who don't even know what positions he supports or derides.

If someone wants to debate buses, height restrictions, trolleys, or the like: fine.

My point, as usual, is that when people descend into uninformed name calling, one should identify oneself, so that persons who are paying attention can consider the source.

Extraordinary claims (that Conlin is somehow bad for Ogden) require extraordinary proof (such as a name so that one can consider the source).

Biker Babe said...

so, Mr. Cook:

from what you just said, if we know for sure the Village Idiot is the one making the extraordinary claims in re: Mr. Conlin, then that is proof of the claim?

Or if we know for sure that Matthew Godfrey is the one making the extraordinary claims in re: Mr. Conlin, then that is proof of the claim?

Or if we know for sure that Gary Herbert is the one making the extraordinary claims in re: Mr. Conlin, then that is proof of the claim?

Or if in fact it was you who was making extraordinary claims in re: Mr. Conlin, then that is good enough for us and we should just believe you?



Stephen M. Cook said...

If an anonymous non-scientist says, "I do not believe in, say, global warming or evolution", that has little weight as far as my acceptance or rejection of these theories/hypothesis.
I listen to the scientist.

Like wise in this instance.
It allows one to consider the source.
If someone knows Mr. Conlin, and is willing to identify themselves, I will listen to their accusations, kudos, or whathaveyou.
Otherwise, it is simple sour grapes from someone likely unable to carry their own water.

As a noted scoundrel, terminal layabout, and peer-recognized shiftless ne'er-do-well, I stated my considered opinion of Mr. Conlin. ;>

Others may differ in this regard.

Biker Babe said...

As far as judging someone by name, who is to judge if they are as you say: "scoundrel, terminal layabout, and peer-recognized shiftless ne'er-do-well,"

If you judge them as such and we don't know you .. are we to believe you? Or the person so named - if we know them and consider them otherwise ...

You said Mr. Conlin is a stand-up guy ... I don't know you so I don't know if that's the truth ... Combat Hippie Hater said he's known Conlin for a while and he's become quite the ass since age 40 ... I don't know CHH either ... Curmudgeon said: "If Mr. Conlin and the merchants association he heads are going to take public policy stands that affect others adversely --- e.g. getting UTA bus stops removed from Historic 25th Street --- they have to expect those who think those policies bad ideas are going to say so. As loudly and as often as they think necessary.

There's no "nice guy" exemption to public criticism when you take public stands on public policy." I know Curm and I respect his opinion on such matters. I considered the source.

All Hype said: "Danny-
Although I don't know him personally, it would be my guess that Mr. Conlin is in the world of development or real estate - he has Developerese down pat." Since Conlin is in the Mortgage Brokering business, it might be safe to surmise that Hype's comment may have a ring of truth to it.

So many readers, so many bloggers ... I don't think all of us know either Conlin or Cook and those of us that either do or don't are going to have our own opinions regardless of what sources YOU consider.

And who are you to judge whether someone is full of "simple sour grapes from someone likely unable to carry their own water."

just sayin

Stephen M. Cook said...

If one does not understand the difference between a character reference from an anonymous mud-slinger who has no knowledge of the person he is slinging mud at, and a real person with facts making a charechter reference, then I guess: whatever.
If one has documented facts to testify to, then ones character and "IRL selves" become less important.
If you are just some clown with a pseudonym making stuff up online and calling "real people" names, that is entirely different.

You argument to the contrary, filled with logical fallacies and tired rhetorical tricks, does not persuade.

But after all is said, you are not a real person. Whatever.

Curmudgeon said...


You wrote: I just disagree with the tone of some of the... comments.

OK. On that we can agree. Comments [here and on the SE site] do sometimes --- too often I think --- slip over into personal invective. And that's unfortunate.

As for posting under pseudonyms: I'm of two minds about that. Anonymity does provide cover for those who want to engage in personal invective, and permits them to say things they might not under their own names. But I can also see sound reasons for people posting under nicknames: for example, and this is only one example, they may have jobs that would be at risk if they posted under their own names. We've had people post here on city government and policy who signed themselves "City Worker" or something similar.

This does mean, as you note, that people have to be cautious about taking posts at face value since we have no way to know whether someone posting as "City Worker" really is what he or she claims to be, [just by way of example].

Nevertheless, over time, people who post under pseudonyms acquire a reputation [for good or ill] based on how their posts have or have not proven out, on whether the news they report comes true, whether their revelations are corroborated by subsequent events, etc. There are people who have been posting her for a long time under such nicknames who I've come to respect over time, and I have no earthly idea who they are in real life. Others, not so much.

I wouldn't want to see anon posting banned. It has some downsides, we can both agree, but we'd lose more by shutting it off I think.

Biker Babe said...

I am a real person, and you my good sir are becoming a tiresome troll. Dinner is through, you are excused.



Stephen M. Cook said...

As usual, curm hits the nail squarely, if a bit lightly.

Of course, anonymous political discourse goes back millennia, and has often served the public well. The smoking man comes to mind.

But the proof, as you allude, is in the pudding. Having a not-real person blather thusly with no knowledge of the target he attacks, "...its time to buy this Steve Conlin Moron a one way ticket out of town" is patently ridiculous.
And, this begs to be pointed out to those who perhaps do not read this blog daily, or even weekly.

Having a not-real person call us a "troll" for defending Mr. Conlin smacks of the same dickish behavior.


Biker Babe said...

Now may we consider the source of one who just called me a dick?


Dogberry said...

"Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves."


"O that he were here to write me down an ass! But, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass...O that I had been writ down an ass!"

"And Master, sir, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall assert, that I am an ass."


Curmudgeon said...



Dogberry said...

Curmudgeon Sirra:

"Much Ado About Nothing", Wm Shakespeare, ActIV scnII & ActV scnI

Curmudgeon said...


TY. I guessed either Will or lines from Baldrick on "Black Adder." But since the credits for "Black Adder" routinely say "Additional dialog by William Shakespeare" I figured he was the best bet.

Thanks again for the ref.

beaver said...

Oh, Jebus, Cook don't start referring to yourself as "us" again. I can't stomach it.

And will those assembled please quit referring to him as "SMC". I find it personally offensive.

ozboy said...


Your endorsement for Conlin for mayor is a bit troubling considering that he started this long dialogue - in the Standard - with an affront to and nasty attack on the integrity of "two council" persons who he apparently disagrees with vis-a-vis the height restrictions on two bit street.

I assume he was attacking Mz VanHooser and Mz Wicks, who I have high regard for and in my book that makes him a piss poor choice for mayor. Maybe better than the punk we have now, but not what Ogden really needs. We need a true statesman in that chair, and until we get one we are pretty much screwed.

Rasputin J. Svengali said...


Was that us that referred to ourselves as we? Or was it they who referred to themselves as I?
It escapes what is left of what passes his mind.

Stephen M. Cook said...

I would love to see Amy and Steve have an honest and informed debate on this very topic.
They are both excellent people, who often disagree.
I did not notice Mr. Conlin disparage Ms. Wicks by name; if he did so without there being the context of fact-based passion, I would be surprised.
I agree with Steve on this issue wholeheartedly, and we disagree often.

Susan Van Hooser, not so much.
She is too much the PTA lady with way too much time on her hands.

Danny said...

Too lazy to look it up, but...

I remember Conlin saying he hasn't talked to Godfrey in a year, and did so then, only in passing.

But he and Godfrey recently worked out the deal to take buses off 25th, so Conlin and Godfrey admit.

This, it seems, makes Conlin a liar. Also, he's a guy who makes money only from property turnover - an unproductive, highly politically connected profession.

He's a stand up guy, and I'm an anonymous poster, huh? I can smell his stink from here. (And nobody even claimed he's an expert on proper zoning, as he should be, to proposing such a sweeping zoning change.)

Let the facts speak for themselves.

ozboy said...

Bruce Edwards is one of the few people who have stood up to the arrogance of Godfrey and his morally bankrupt regime. He fought them tooth and nail in the courts and he won hands down. Call him smelly, or whatever put down you can come up with, but he is a champion of civil rights and he has proven it the hard way, on his own dime, in the courts.

I salute Bruce Edwards.

Stephen M. Cook said...

So sure, he won. Grrrrreat.
Now, why doesn't he clean up his slum?

It looks like crap. You want to fix downtown, tell him to grow up and quit pilling his garbage in his front window, on purpose, just to be a petulant creep.

And yes, there are other ugly buildings that need work. But none that would take one afternoon to remedy by someone who cared about his neighbors and his city.

And while you are at it, tell the oily lowlife to take a bath.

Curmudgeon said...

The City Council announced today that it is postponing action on the request to raise building height limits on Historic 25th Street to permit time for more discussion and information-gathering. The Council will hold a work session on 4 November, the purpose of which is to permit stakeholders and the general public to discuss the issue with the Council members. The remaining details of the meeting [time of day, location] will be announced later.

The Council has done a prudent thing by postponing a decision to permit time for fuller discussion, and by seeking comment from the general public at its work session on this issue --- usually, public comment is not permitted at Council work sessions.

In postponing action and encouraging and inviting more public discussion/comment, the Council did as Mr. Conlin, representing the Historic 25th Street Merchants Association, and many others had asked it to do.

The Council listened to people on both sides of the issue who thought more time and a fuller public vetting of the issues involved was needed. Good for the Council.

Zoo keeper said...

Hard to believe that SO MUCH energy has gone into so little a topic. Let's lynch Conlin because "Danny" claims he makes money only on property turnover. Let's "slaute" Bruce Edwards because he putws up posters they say F * * K in his front windows and isn't a fan of Godfrey's. Line up Cook against the wall and shoot him because he's the only sonofabitch who made any sense in this whole ridiculous thread. BB is a dick, Curm is posting hither and "yawn" to add weight to this sorry matter, and if anyone tosses out anything negative against the negative Wicks, let's mow 'em down because she will absolutely vote against the Mayor on ANYTHING, even the right to have some stunk up, smelling chicken coup assembled right in the neighbors back yard that will enable you to hear and smell them all year long.

They say "I't all happening at the Zoo." Nonsense, feeding time at the zoo is restful and relaxing compared to this place.

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