25th Street Business Association President Steve Conlin's proposal to raise Historic 25th Street's building height limits from 45 to 55 feet is back on the Standard-Examiner front page this morning. Read Mr. Schwebke's full story here:
1) Somebody obviously believes the stakes are high enough that our city council can't be trusted to run their own meeting, so the taxpayers will be paying an unnamed sum for a professional facilitator to "facilitate" the November 4 dog and pony show:
OGDEN -- The city council has hired a professional facilitator for a Nov. 4 work session at which a controversial request to increase building height limits on Historic 25th Street will be considered.2) With an apparent eye to the difficulties arising two years ago, when the Windsdor Hotel project developer submitted garish and zoning non-compliant plans for the Windor Hotel remodel, Mr. Schwebke refers to this protective language contained in the new proposed ordinance:
Information regarding how much the city council will pay facilitator Pam Gardiol, president of Gardiol & Associates, was not available Thursday because a contract hasn't been finalized, said Janene Eller-Smith, a policy analyst for the council.
Gardiol, a former chairwoman of Ogden's planning and landmarks commissions, said her experience in those two positions has aided her as a facilitator. "It helped me be impartial," said Gardiol, who declined to say how much she is being paid by the council.
Gardiol has served as a facilitator for the city of Seattle, the Utah Department of Transportation, Salt Lake County and other entities.
The amendment under consideration by the city council would prohibit existing buildings on 25th Street from being increased in height through rooftop additions or additional stories unless:Although we've already gone on record as opposing a reopening of this can of worms, we'll defer for the time being to the common sense and diplomacy of Councilman Stephens, who believes there's no harm in taking another look at the issue:
• Documentation is presented establishing that additional height is within the limits of the building's historical construction.
• The addition is not visible from the front of the building or from the sidewalk on the same side of the street or across the street.
Councilman Doug Stephens questioned whether it is necessary to change the height ordinance, as there is no building project on the table for 25th Street that requires the height extension.As a consequence we'll be standing by with great interest as ordinance amendment proponents lay their new evidence on the table on November 4, all the while harboring the gut feeling that a blanket height limit amendment is not a sufficiently prudent approach.
"That doesn't mean we shouldn't go ahead and review it," he said. "The height ordinance isn't going away, so it behooves us to talk about it in a work session. It's prudent for us to gather information to analyze the importance of the height ordinance."