OGDEN — Ogden City’s first formal, public discussion on major changes coming to the East-Central neighborhood is set to take place Thursday.
According to a city press release, three items will be discussed at the meeting: expected development options associated with the $100 million bus rapid transit project, work associated with the city’s Nine Rails Creative District initiative and the ongoing issue with Accessory Dwelling Units in single-family zones.
Ogden City Deputy Planning Manager Clinton Spencer recently told the city’s Planning Commission that the East-Central plan — which guides development in the area directly east of downtown and west of Harrison Boulevard, generally between 30th Street and the Ogden River — needs to be revamped to cover the three items up for discussion and the millions of dollars of investment expected to come with them.
Work on the BRT project, which will provide a 5.3-mile transit connection between downtown Ogden and the campuses of Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital, is slated to begin in the late fall or, at the latest, in the early weeks of 2021. The service will run through the heart of East-Central, originating at the Ogden UTA transit center at 2350 Wall Ave., heading east on 23rd Street to Washington Boulevard, south along Washington Boulevard to 25th Street, east along 25th Street to Harrison Boulevard, then south to WSU and a planned transit hub at the Dee Events Center.
The line will include mini transit stations and other transit-oriented development throughout the route.
Ogden Chief Administrative Officer Mark Johnson said some property acquisitions will have to occur in order to make way for the dedicated bus lane. As of now, most of those acquisitions will take place along Harrison Boulevard.
The city is also in the midst of developing the creative district.
Part of a larger initiative called the Adams Community Reinvestment Area, the city’s goal with Nine Rails is to establish an epicenter for arts and culture in Ogden. The city and some private sector partners are working to develop a plan for a new arts plaza at 445 25th St. The plaza is envisioned to act as a gateway between downtown and the east-central neighborhood and function as one of the main attractions of the district.
As for ADUs, those have been an issue across the city. Earlier this year, Ogden officials discussed limiting ADUs — which are typically smaller, independent residential living spaces located on the same lot as a stand-alone, single-family home — in the southeast corner of the city. Residents who would have been impacted by the plan were generally split on the idea, with some worried about the proposal limiting housing possibilities for working-class residents, while others spoke in favor of the plan’s aim to protect single-family home neighborhoods.
Johnson said the East-Central area — which has long been one of the city’s most economically distressed — has been a target for redevelopment for years, but the upcoming activity there could usher in a magnitude of change not seen in the neighborhood in years.
Thursday’s meeting will go from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting will be held exclusively online. For information on how to join the meeting, go to www.ogdencity.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=608.