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Letter: Questions about downtown development plans

Dec 6, 2022

A basic question for Ogden City economic development and planning departments currently working with outside developers.

Will children be allowed in the proposed "Wonder Block" living units?! If children are part of the count, what is the approximated number? I have reviewed the model of the block and the people I talked too could not identify any play areas or if the school system is involved in transportation/safety issues. We should be careful about turning unattended children loose on city streets. Pretty pictures and promises of tax revenue are great sales techniques but they do little to answers deeper questions. I read that the developers of the "WONDER BLOCK" have already said they can't do the project without tax money. We must question developers who don't see value in playgrounds and gathering places in the Wonder Block. Years ago an Ogden city official wrote a letter to the editor stating that the open space along our rivers had "no value". If the movers and shakers had listened, we would not have a river trail system.

Is Weber University being involved in the Wonder Block? The U. teaches urban design, how to use smaller open space for creative activities. They know what is happening in cities worldwide and how they are making neighborhoods inviting to younger workers. They know how to use roof tops as gathering places and to grow gardens for food and honey. We should know just what the outside development consultants have done elsewhere. We should know if local resources are being overlooked in the planning and why. We need more information than cardboard cutouts to determine what the community is buying into. Ogden City has done a ton of long range planning, but the devil is in the details.

On Thursday December 8, from 5pm. - 7pm. Ogden will hold an open house at the Union Station. If you care as much for children as paid parking: be there to question. If you have creative ideas, be there. I hope the city has a list of questions to ask the public.

Jay Hudson



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