OGDEN -- Development on Powder Mountain has moved one step closer to becoming a reality, and for some in the county it ends a more than five-year-long mess involving petitions, lawsuits and angry neighbors.
On Tuesday, the Weber County Commission approved a petition to rezone several thousand acres at Powder Mountain resort. The rezone pertains to approximately 4,297 acres of the Ogden Valley resort, which may be used to build a golf course, affordable housing for employees and other development, such as condominiums and an expanded ski area.
The Weber County Board of Commissioners made the approval during its weekly meeting at the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd., Ogden.
"I am happy to see that it's done," Commission Chairman Craig Dearden said. "It's been a lot of work, and it's been going back and forth for a long time."
Before reaching the final step Tuesday morning, the petition went through many phases and overcame many hurdles.
Representatives of Powder Mountain Resort, from Western American Holdings LLC, initially presented in September 2006 the petition to rezone, to accommodate future expansion and development.
By the end of 2006, the petition went before the Ogden Valley Planning Commission and a few public meetings followed, said Sean Wilkinson, senior planner of the Weber County Planning Division.
In the initial petition, the owners of the Powder Mountain property wanted more development than the county would approve, including at least two golf courses and 2,800 commercial units.
In response to the denial, Western American Holdings LLC officials submitted a new petition to incorporate the Powder Mountain property and other private property into the Town of Powder Mountain. With that, all discussion regarding the rezoning ceased at the county level.
Dearden said if the Town of Powder Mountain became a reality, the town leaders would be in charge of their own rezoning.
However, filing for incorporation brought its own problems.
David Wilson in the Weber County Attorney's Office said resort representatives filed for incorporation under a state law that existed at the time, allowing people to file based on property ownership rather than on the number of residents.
The county and the resort representatives came into conflict when the county would not approve the appointed mayor and city council members.
A lawsuit followed, which further stalled the rezoning process.
In 2010, Dearden reached out to the parties involved, leading to a Memorandum of Understanding between Weber County and Western American Holdings, which, according to county documents, was a precursor to a formal zoning and development agreement on Powder Mountain.
Between June 2010 and now, Western American LLC entered into negotiations to sell the property, and the possible new owners assumed the petition process.
With the zoning petition finally coming before the commission, the petition to incorporate officially ended and the lawsuit was withdrawn.
Although the sale is still under negotiation and Western American Holdings is still the owner, representatives from the Summit Group, a party interested in purchasing the resort, attended Tuesday's commission meeting to accept the petition approval.
Summit Series Group representatives said their ideas include keeping Powder Mountain open to the public as a year-round destination with mountain-biking trails and ziplines.
Wilkinson said he is glad to see the rezoning issue resolved.
"It's a great accomplishment for the county," he said. "It's certainly good to see Commissioner Dearden see this before he leaves office."
Now that the county approved the rezoning petition, Wilkinson said he looks forward to seeing submissions to develop Powder Mountain.