Froerer, Gibson and Bell hijacked Ogden Valley General Plan

Tuesday , September 06, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Over the past 40 years there have been multiple occasions on which Weber County commissioners and Ogden Valley Planning Commission members have asked me and others to participate — to come to meetings, to work with them, to get others involved, and to make our thoughts known.

For the past three years, Ogden Valley residents have done just that – they have participated! Residents attended multiple meetings and workshops. And some residents (notably small groups led by Kim Wheatley, Kurt Langford, Jan Fulmer, and others) have dedicated literally hundreds of hours working on the new Ogden Valley General Plan — working directly with the Logan Simpson Planning Co., with the Weber County Planning Office and with the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. They all deserve our thanks and respect, and they deserve the support of our county commissioners.

Instead, at the County Commission meeting Aug. 30, in a few minutes, after all public input was closed, an important part of that good work was summarily thrown out via an audacious maneuver supported by State Rep. Gage Froerer, implemented by a last-second motion by Commissioner Kerry Gibson, and supported by lame-duck Commissioner Matthew Bell.

That motion re-establishes bonuses for transferable density rights, allowing for further increases in the total density of housing units in the valley — above the already astronomical number of 16,000 units! This policy sets up the potential for developers to make end-runs around existing caps on Ogden Valley growth.

So … participate! And even work hard to help craft the plan! Then watch as a few politicians make decisions that are diametrically opposed to the will of the citizens. This decision by two of our county commissioners establishes an important and long-reaching policy, and it was created in such a blatant and arrogant way that it fuels growing distrust and cynicism regarding our local government.

The residents of the Ogden Valley deserve and need better representation. Perhaps we will never get that representation until and unless we have five county commissioners, including one from the Ogden Valley. Or or until the Ogden Valley breaks from Weber County government and is set up as its own municipality.

Lee Schussman


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