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Planners OK building guidelines for proposed Nordic Valley ski village

By Mark Shenefelt - | Apr 30, 2022

Photo supplied, Weber County Planning Department

An example of modern alpine architecture that Weber County will require in the Nordic Valley Ski Village area.

OGDEN — A planning panel has approved zoning-related changes for the proposed Nordic Valley ski village, a project that is generating some controversy among Ogden Valley residents.

The Ogden Valley Planning Commission voted 6-1 Tuesday in favor of text amendments to the zoning ordinance and the county land use code for creation of a Nordic Valley Village Area. Steve Burton, a county planner, said Friday the amendments may be ready to go before the county commission for final consideration within a few weeks.

Ronda Kippen, project manager for the development, said Friday that the overall zoning question, separate from the text amendments, is on hold and probably will not come up for a vote until late summer.

The long-range plans of the resort owner, Skyline Mountain Base, originally called for development of a ski village containing up to 763 condominiums and other living units, hotel and commercial space, and more over the next 10-15 years, according to previous reporting.

But Kippen said the project has been scaled back to 500 or so living units, the hotel has been dropped and two of the condominium buildings will be lowered to 35 feet, from the originally planned 50, to preserve views for nearby residents.

Planning commissioners made a few changes before their vote. They included, for instance, a requirement that all parking areas be of a hard surface. The previous plan would have exempted seasonal day-skier parking. Kippen said all other parking in the village will be underground.

Commissioners also removed a section that would have required a portion of the housing to be dedicated to occupants earning less than the county median income. The goal is to provide local workforce housing to cut down on employee commuting through Ogden Canyon.

Planning staff members said the housing provision was out of place in the zoning code. Instead, the planning commission voted to pursue the workforce housing matter during negotiations with the developer for the project agreement.

The zoning changes also require buildings to follow “architectural styling and materials that implement a modern interpretation of alpine design.” As well, the maximum height for buildings has been adjusted to 50 feet, down 5 feet from an earlier version of the document.

During public comment on the plan, residents said they thought the envisioned project is still too big and that it would interfere with other governing measures such as the valley’s dark sky status.

Peggy Dooling-Baker testified that the project still is “not small,” despite amendments. She also said the rezoning would allow development of “some of the last open space parcels in the valley.”

Kippen said the owners envision a walkable, four-season village that puts housing areas on the valley floor rather than on the mountainside. “We want it to be very classy, something that will attract a four-season guest to hike, bike and ski,” she said. “It will be an environmentally friendly community.”

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