City seeks to vacate Childs Avenue

Sep 5 2013 - 8:52am

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OGDEN -- The city is considering vacating a portion of one of its streets to accommodate development near the Ogden River, but at least one property owner in the area isn't happy about it.

The city has received a petition from the Ogden 20th Street Investors, LLC, to vacate Childs Avenue from 20th Street to the future intersection of Park Boulevard and Childs Avenue.

The area constitutes more than 400 feet of right of way and is the southern portion of Childs Avenue in the Ogden Bend Redevelopment project -- a mixed-use development scheduled to encompass 60 acres, straddling the Ogden River from 18th to 20th streets and Washington Boulevard to Wall Avenue.

The development group and the city say the street vacation is needed to extend green space that connects to the Ogden River further to the south. Ogden Community and Economic Development Director Tom Christopulos said the vacation will also allow buildings associated with the development to extend into the right of way and parking areas of Childs Avenue.

But property owner Emogene Berrett, who owns Pappas Brick & Stone, worries about what the vacation will mean for access to her business and for its future development. Berrett said vacating Childs Avenue will also have an impact on her property right of way and easement.

"Over the years, I have diligently tried to come to terms with the city regarding the development around and on my property," Berrett said in a letter to the city. "Now I fear that I will lose more of my ability to develop. (The vacation) will impair the right of way and easement I enjoy as an adjoining property owner and it will impair the future development plans of those properties."

By a vote of 5-0, the Ogden Planning Commission recently approved the street vacation, but only under the condition that the vacation not become effective until after the extension of Park Boulevard is completed, which will come with further development near the river and 20th Street. Park Boulevard will eventually extend all the way west to Wall Avenue.

The commission said the move will maintain full public access at all times; first on Childs, then transitioning to Park.

The commission's approval also requires that a pedestrian and utility easement is provided in the vacated portion of Childs Avenue.

The city council will be the ultimate judge of whether the planning commission's recommendation will sufficiently mitigate any potential problems related to access. The council will vote on the issue later this month.

Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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