Update to the General Plan

December 7

Our Planning Commission met December 1 and adjourned to a “work session” where they could discuss the update to the General Plan in a less formal atmosphere…no votes happen in a work session. The public can attend but can only speak if invited to by the Commission.

In any case, Jim Carter from Logan Simpson Design (the consulting firm working on the update) and Charles Ewert from the county planning staff presented DRAFT1 of the update to the Planning Commission. Here is what I heard…

  • The most troublesome ideas in DRAFT1, the “belt route” from Wolf Creek to Trappers and  turning most of the Valley where people live into a receiving area for TDR,  will both be removed in draft 2. Public outcry on these two concepts was loud and negative.
  • Ogden Canyon will get more attention in draft 2, specifically language saying we value Ogden Canyon as a recreation, commercial and housing asset worth preserving, not merely as a transportation and utility corridor.
  • The Planning Commissioners say they will slow down the updating process to make sure we are replacing our current plan with something better. However, there is a desire on the part of our consultants and county planning staff to move things along.

We can expect to see DRAFT2 in early January, followed by a second round of public comment period (probably 30 days again).

November 16

The public has until November 30 to submit comments about DRAFT1 of the update to the General Plan.

The DRAFT is quite long and complex, so here is a readable summary of the visions, goals, policies and implementation steps in DRAFT1.

Also you can read Kimbal Wheatley comments on DRAFT1 Nov 16. The first page is kind of a one-page summary of what is going on in DRAFT1 and the next 13 pages are comments about vision, goals, policy and implementations he has submitted to the county.

The DRAFT contains a “future land use map” (map 2) which contains area definitions that will supersede current zones. In a nutshell, land defined as agricultural, rangeland, designated open space, Pineview shoreline, Ogden Canyon, Valley Gateways or sensitive lands will not be getting any additional density beyond what is already allowed. Instead, a variety of schemes encourage the transfer of the development rights to two other areas, small villages and “Rural Residential.”

The small villages are located on top of current commercial zones, but they are encouraged to grow in both density and size as development rights are transferred there. The other “receiving area” for TDRs is the “Rural Residential” areas where a kind of TDR free-for-all is encouraged, since development rights can be transferred from, to or within the rural residential areas.  In other words, you might sell a development right from your land to reduce density in your area, only to have someone else buy some and transfer it next door. If water and sewer is available, it looks like a developer can buy TDR and subdivide land with very small lot sizes in what looks like most of the Valley. The theory is that the open space it leaves behind will be worth the intrusion of very high density (perhaps) on the vacant land adjacent to you.

October  27

The long waited for draft update to the General Plan is now available and it appears the consultant and county will be accepting comments until the end of November. The GEM committee continues to request a longer vetting period to consider the implications of the proposed changes to our General Plan…we shall see.

There are community presentation/input sessions about the draft scheduled October 28 at our library and October 29 at Snowcrest. Click here for detail about times, places and what to expect.

August  31

Charles Ewert and the consultants from Logan Simpson Design released Newsletter 1.2, a document containing the vision and principles the update to the General Plan will be based on.  Click here to see the document: Gen Plan update Newsletter 1.2

Sometime before year’s end these concepts will get baked into the General Plan update and presented to the Planning Commission. But before that happens there will be public meetings to further vet the concepts.
This is time for us to scrutinize the vision and principles.
  • Can you get behind the emerging vision for the Valley?
  • Are the principles clear and understandable?
  • Are principles missing that need to be included?
  • Will the principles lead to the goals and policies we need?
  • Are the principles restrictive enough to stop unwanted consequences?
I hope for a lively discussion on Wednesday.

August 14

An email from Charles Ewert and a subsequent chat with him, provides some assurance there will be opportunity for public review of the the updated General Plan before it is presented to the OVPC for formal adoption. Charlie is the lead county planner on the General Plan update and will soon be asking the County Commission to approve an extension to the Logan Simpson contract to allow further time and opportunity for public input.

It looks like the contract with Logan Simpson will be extended from end-of-August to December, so we should expect the final report then.

Meanwhile, Charlie says one or more public meetings will present the ideas being promoted in the Plan, which should reflect the sentiment of Valley residents. No doubt, the report will include something like “…this Plan is a valid representation of the wishes of Valley residents…hundreds participated, several meetings, several surveys, website, etc.” It will be our job to make sure any proposed changes to our General Plan are in fact desired by the people who live here.

Here is what Charlie says will happen (from his email)…

The draft plan will go through a formal public vetting process in advance of planning commission review which will include another open house and a workshop.

We will be releasing a document in the next couple of weeks that will provide verification with the public all of the policy direction that we received from the public through the public process. There will be a chance for the public to give additional comments at that time (or anytime, frankly). There are additional possibilities for more public outreach being explored if this document does not provide the validation the public is seeking at this time.

 

August 13, 2015

Today I wrote this email to Sean Wilkinson (head of the county Planning Department) and copied GEM.

Hi Sean,

I am hearing that the Logan Simpson update to the General Plan will be available in October or November, but will NOT BE REVEALED TO THE PUBLIC until it is first reviewed, perhaps even adopted, by the Planning Commission and County Commissions.  Please say it isn’t so.

Any change to our General Plan is a legislative matter, the one place in our planning process where the public voice is both necessary and expected. And we have exactly this one and only chance to get it right.

A couple of hundred of us participated in multiple surveys and public meetings to provide input, but only a few have any idea of the conclusions Logan Simpson is drawing from that input. Indeed, the lead consulting partner quit midway and we have no confidence that whoever is picking up the pieces will draw the right conclusions. Few quarrel with the overwhelming view that the methods used by Logan Simpson were flawed and a rushed report to conclude the project is exactly the wrong thing to do…it will make the whole public process a sham. We Valley residents need to be able to look at the whole of the new General Plan and decide if the consultants from Logan Simpson have drawn valid conclusions from our input.

I fear that unless we have a transparent and lengthy debate about recommendations to change the General Plan, any changes will be rejected as an invalid representation of what Valley residents were saying throughout the process. As you well know, our only hope of developing and adopting the necessary supporting ordinances flows from general public support of the goals.

Please think transparency and opportunity for public validation.

Kim

 

We are hearing that the Logan Simpson update to the General Plan will be available in October or November, but will NOT BE REVEALED TO THE PUBLIC until it is first reviewed, perhaps even adopted, by the Planning Commission and County Commissions.  This is non-sense!

Any change to our General Plan is a legislative matter, the one place in our planning process where the public voice is both necessary and expected. And we have exactly this one and only chance to get it right.

A couple of hundred of us participated in multiple surveys and public meetings to provide input, but only a few have any idea of the conclusions Logan Simpson is pulling from it. Indeed, the lead consulting partner quit midway and we have no confidence in whoever is picking up the pieces. Few quarrel with the overwhelming view that the methods used by Logan Simpson were flawed and a rushed report to conclude the project is exactly the wrong thing to do. We Valley residents need to be able to look at the whole of the new General Plan and decide if the consultants from Logan Simpson have drawn valid conclusions from our input.

Contact Sean at the Planning Office or Laura Warburton of the OVPC and demand an extensive public vetting of proposed changes before the process of changing our General Plan takes place.

older…

Thanks to Ron for these notes:

On July 7 at 11 am there was a combined OVPC and County commission meeting to review the status of the OV General Plan.  Minimal attendance from the public with Ron Gleason, Miranda and Richard Menzies and Jan Fulmer.

Major points, others please jump in and add areas that I have missed

  • Two new OVPC members attended
    • Steve Walldrup (sp?) and Jami Taylor
  • All three Commissioners were in attendance
  • Buck has left Logan Simpson but is volunteering his time to assist with transition
    • Jan and/or Miranda can you jump in here and remember who is taking the lead role at Logan Simpson
  • Logan Simpson the process and how they got to where they are at
    • 500+ participants engaged
      • Commissioner Bell if the large land owners were involved as he feels they typically hear from folks that own a 3 acre parcel that have no stake in the future
        • LS – yes one on one
    • Where are they?
      • Actual plan development to be completed by end of September 2015
    • “Planning Fatigue” occurring in the valley
      • many activities and groups since 1998
    • “The Usual suspects” were at the gatherings
    • Reviewed growth for communities throughout Northern UT with emphasis that most communities around Ogden will be built out by 2020
      • Ogden Valley was referred to as ‘the future development area” within Weber COunty
      • Redevelopment is much more expensive than development
  •  Emphasis on transportation, water and waste water
    • Transportation – Ogden Canyon will degrade to unacceptable levels by 2020
      • UDOT spoken with and they believe that letting service levels fail and then determine how to fix them is the way to go
    • Water
      • They understand UGS not complete till late 2016 or 2017
    • Waste Water
      • Commissioner Bell asked numerous times if centralized waste water was going to be recommended
  •   Charlie Ewert reviewed the web site

newspaper articles…

On this page we will collect articles about the General Plan update publish in the Valley News and link to newspaper articles in the bigger papers.

Here is a letter to the editor published in the Valley News, March 2015: letter to editor langford.

Town hall meetings

April 30 Logan Simpson Design conducted a “town hall” type meeting at the Library.

Link to the presentations made in the meeting

Link to the concepts they recorded from the workshops…a vision may be emerging.