Ogden Valley Manifesto 2.0

The Ogden Valley General Plan clearly says we don’t want to lose what we have that make our Valley a great place to live, recreate and invest. Our Plan intends to preserve our rural character of open fields, agricultural lands, stands of trees, peace and quiet, dark skies, clean air and water, abundant wildlife, and small villages. And our Plan intends to retain our appeal to destination recreation visitors, knowing fully that congestion, pollution and free-for-all development will kill the goose that is now laying our golden eggs.

Two simple sentences in the General Plan describe our vision for how we intend to walk this development tightrope: We want land uses to complement, not overwhelm or compete with, the rural character of the Valley… and  we want responsible and sustainable growth while conserving the natural and social character of the Valley.  The rest of the Plan provides guidance on how to make our vision become reality.

These principles reflect our rights as residents and citizens and are backed by federal, state and county law, not to mention common sense. We have a right to follow our General Plan and to enjoy the fruits of the property rights it describes. And we have a right to fight for these rights.

Advice to developers: Adopting these principles will earn support from Valley residents. Ignoring them or strong arming will create decades of Valley animosity and resistance at every turn. I, for one, prefer the former.

Kim Wheatley, South Fork, 2018

The Ogden Valley Manifesto for resort development…2.0

Principle 1: Do no harm…the truth, the whole truth, and  nothing but the truth

We expect any expansion of recreation resorts in Ogden Valley to proactively and effectively mitigate adverse impacts on Valley residents and environment. In order to understand and minimize impact we expect full disclosure of expansion effects on Valley residents and natural assets; in particular, we expect a truthful and complete accounting of how expansion will impact water consumption, wastewater systems, runoff water and drainage, roads, and utilities, as well as landslide risk and risk to watersheds. We also expect honesty in how expansion will impact quality of life factors like noise, pollution, viewsheds, animal habitat, housing, property values and taxes.

Principle 2: Be faithful to the General Plan…

We expect any expansion of recreation resorts in Ogden Valley to adhere to the vision, principles and goals of the Ogden Valley General Plan. One of our Plan goals supports the expansion of resorts:“…to pursue Valley recreation expansion by working with resort developers”. However, our Plan also clearly states what we expect from recreation expansion. Here are a few: “…to reduce the overall amount and impact of future land development in the Ogden Valley”, “…to protect the Valley’s sense of openness and rural character”, “…to protect key viewsheds throughout the Valley” and, “…to balance the expansion of recreation areas and facilities with overused and saturated resources to maintain a high quality recreation experience” (that is, there will be less golden eggs in a congested place).

Principle 3: Play by the rules…

We expect any expansion of recreation resorts to adhere to Weber County planning rules and processes and any expansion into our National Forest to adhere to Forest Service rules and processes. We expect a fair and thorough execution of the review and approval process without political intervention.

Principle 4. We demand full transparency…

We expect any public investment in expansion of recreation resorts (such as county-backed bonding or Community Development Agencies) to be minimal and to be highly visible to taxpayers, and with fully accounted costs to the public, including externalized costs or subsidies.

Principle 5. Show us the numbers…

Prior to final approval, we expect any expansion of recreation resorts to provide the public with evidence that it is fiscally sound and will result in a quality product  that can compete in the national and international recreation markets for the long haul.