OGDEN — After nearly three months of gathering public input, working with stakeholders and hosting a well-attended public meeting, Ogden officials are diving deep into the city’s burgeoning downtown master plan.
The city is overhauling its Central Business District Master Plan which, once completed, will guide development downtown for decades to come.
Working with Denver-based landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm, Design Workshop, the city held a public meeting on the plan last week. Officials involved in the project unveiled key tenants of the plan and discussed results of an online survey that asked respondents questions about transportation, parking, where public and private investment dollars should be directed and more.
Robb Berg, a planner with Design Workshop, said the ultimate aim of the plan is to position Ogden’s downtown as a place where businesses thrive and people live — all while protecting the long-term fiscal health of the community and preserving historic and natural assets in the area.
One time home of the nation’s largest passenger rail centers, Ogden’s transition from an industrial, rail-driven economy has left many vacant or underutilized properties inside the city’s core. The city wants to use those areas to evolve the downtown while taking advantage of the scenic vistas along the Wasatch Front and the confluence of the Ogden and Weber Rivers.
The project will be undertaken in phases, Berg said, focusing on spurring development within a specific time frame and specific areas of the downtown. Berg said six tenets guide the process: evolving real estate and land use, preserving historical and cultural assets, expanding transportation and mobility, maintaining open space, creating equity and advancing Ogden as a brand.
“This effort is unlike any other one we’ve created,” Berg said.
The CBD plan is an element of Ogden’s General Plan, which provides a framework and common vision for all future development in Ogden. Adopted in 2000, the General Plan includes guidelines and policy statements for things like facilities, community identity, economic development, environmental resources, housing, land use, neighborhoods, open space and transportation.
“It’s really the document we live by,” said Ogden Deputy Director of Community and Economic Development Brandon Cooper.
The CBD plan is like a miniature version of the General Plan, focusing the same principles on a smaller section of the city. Ogden’s business district includes all land from 20th to 27th streets between Wall and Adams avenues. The CBD Master Plan hasn’t been updated in more than a decade.
A draft of the CBD plan will soon be released, followed by another public open house. Cooper said approval of the plan will be required from the Ogden City Council, a vote that will likely sometime this spring. The plan will be implemented after that.
Ogden Mike Caldwell said the city will continue to engage the public as the process evolves.
“It’s really important everybody buys into this and feels like they’ve been able to be a participant in what’s happening here,” the mayor said. “This is a community engagement process.”