OGDEN -- When the city vacates a portion of Childs Avenue to accommodate development near the Ogden River, officials say that despite worries from landowners in the area, access to properties there will continue to be maintained.
By a vote of 5-0, the city council decided this week to approve a street vacation of the southern portion of 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.
In past weeks, as the city has discussed the issue, area property owner Emogene Berrett has voiced concerns about the vacation cutting off access to her property near Childs. Berrett has been concerned that the vacation would hurt possible future development of her property and that it would also have an impact on her property right of way and easement.
But because of those access concerns, the city administration came up with a proposal that the council ultimately voted to support.
To continue to allow access to properties in the area, the city will vacate the eastern half of right of way of Childs when the new portion of Park Boulevard is dedicated as a city street. The western half of the street will be vacated only upon the completion of Park Boulevard, which will provide properties with the access they desire.
A pedestrian and utility easement will also be provided in the vacated portion of Childs Avenue and the city will combine neighborhood and city-owned redevelopment land into one ownership so there are no isolated lots.
"Preserving access to these properties has been a big part of the equation," said City Planning Manager Greg Montgomery.
Scott Brown, who represented Berrett at the Tuesday night council meeting, appreciated the city's efforts so far, but remained skeptical.
"I just hope the city is doing every thing it can to protect the rights of property owners," he said.
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.