OGDEN — A decision on a disputed development proposed for a decades-long vacant corner of north Wall Avenue has been put on hold.
The Ogden City Council recently voted to “extend” a decision on an ordinance that would allow a developer to build a new, 30-unit town home community on northwest corner of Wall Avenue and 2nd Street.
Eduardo Hernandez-Orozco, of Strategga Design and Construction, LLC, has asked the city to rezone just over three acres of property on the lot to allow for the 30-unit development. The existing zone allows for multi-family housing facilities only up to 25 units.
The development would feature a single internal road, which would be private and wouldn’t connect to roads in nearby neighborhoods. The town homes would be single-story units and there would be significant green space, a fitness park, a small dog park, and pathways throughout the development.
Ogden Planning Manager Greg Montgomery has said the proposed rezone and development are consistent with the Lynn Community Plan, which guides growth in neighborhood, and are also consistent with other rezoning policies in the city’s general plan. The city’s planning commission had previously recommended the project be approved.
But residents in the area, while not completely against the project, have publicly expressed concerns with it.
During Tuesday’s public hearing on the proposal, several residents from the neighborhood addressed the council, enumerating worries related to traffic increases, garbage removal, parking, pedestrian safety and the development’s fit with a neighborhood that is a historic pioneer area.
In the mid 1800s, the area west of Wall Avenue and 2nd Street served as a LDS fort, officially known as Bingham’s Fort. Several of the structures and homes in the neighborhood were built by early LDS Church settlers.
Tammy Creeger, who lives just southwest of the development side, said she was gravely concerned about an uptick in traffic on an already busy and in her opinion, dangerous intersection. Creeger said years ago, her daughter was hit by a car crossing at Wall Avenue and 2nd Street.
“And that was before all of this,” she said. “It is a dangerous area.”
Traffic studies have been conducted in the area, but Creeger said she’d like to see something more in-depth. According to traffic numbers from the Utah Department of Transportation, the intersection saw an average of about 22,000 vehicles pass through it every day in 2016.
Council members also discussed at length concerns they have with the project.
As it stands now, the development would require members living in the community to haul garbage out to Wall Avenue for city-contracted trash collectors to pick it up. Montgomery said the measure was an attempt by the planning commission to mitigate impacts that could come with a private trash collection system.
“I don’t see that working,” said Councilman Richard Hyer. “That’s 60 cans (30 regular trash and 30 recycling) out along Wall.”
The council voted unanimously to extend the vote on the ordinance, deciding its fate on a later date. Newly elected Council Chair Ben Nadolski said revisiting the item was contingent upon Hernandez-Orozco working with city and council staff and residents of the neighborhood to address issues related to trash removal, access to a traffic study, visitor parking and historical considerations.
“I’m here, with this project — when you say ‘jump,’ I will say, ‘How high?,’” Hernandez-Orozco told council members.
The council’s decision to extend and not vote on the ordinance will require the city to “re-notice” the project, giving the public another opportunity to scrutinize it, according to Ogden City Council Deputy Director Glenn Symes.