Ogden Valley General Plan
From Weber County Wiki
Ogden Valley, Weber County, Utah, is a rural, mountain valley located on the backside of the Wasatch Range, approximately 10 miles east of Ogden. Ringed by mountains, its spectacular setting and recreational opportunities coupled with its proximity to the urban Wasatch Front has spawned unprecedented growth pressures. This Ogden Valley General Plan is intended to provide guidance for future land use decisions by Weber County and other entities affecting Ogden Valley.
Ogden Valley, at 5,000 feet in in elevation, has an agricultural heritage. In appearance, it remains an agricultural, mountain valley, with Pine View Reservoir in its lower reaches, and incorporated Huntsville its largest (and only incorporated) town. Other communities of Eden and Liberty on the north side of the Valley give Ogden Valley a rural character that is treasured by current residents. Population growth throughout the 1990's has increased the residential nature of the Valley. Surrounding mountains provide a range of recreational opportunities, including three major ski resorts and abundant wildlife resources. While much of the Valley is in private ownership, substantial areas are managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
1.03 The Ogden Valley Planning Process
Building on a 1985 plan and prior information on the Ogden Valley, a plan for Ogden Valley was initiated in the Spring of 1995. The Weber County Commission, with the Planning Commission and the Ogden Valley Planning Central Committee selected Bear West as consultants for preparation of the *Ogden Valley Plan Update.
In early summer, 1995 more than 350 residents of Ogden Valley attended five meetings to identify major issues facing Ogden Valley. The top issue, according to the attending public, was growth and development, followed by community services and facilities, water resources, rural atmosphere, and natural resources. Following a review of a summary of issues from the public that would drive the plan development, the Planning Committee, Planning Commission and County Commission approved a vision statement for the Plan, and a set of goals and objectives to help guide plan development. A summary of that work was distributed to the participating public.
In the fall and early winter of 1995-96, planning consultants and Weber County staff analyzed information on these topics and conducted a series of workshops in Ogden Valley. Workshops with detailed questionnaires were held on Growth and Development, Community Facilities and Services and Public Lands and Recreation. Responses to those questionnaires have provided valuable input.
In the meantime, the Weber County Commission, anticipating potential changes to policies for Ogden Valley land use, adopted a moratorium on consideration of any new land use decisions on January 30, 1996. This moratorium expired on August 1, 1996.
In early 1996, the bear West Consulting Team, with the Weber County staff and the Valley Plan Committee, formulated alternative policy and land use alternatives for Ogden Valley within the context of the suitability of the resources and a carrying capacity analysis of infrastructure. Concurrently, the Ogden Valley Water Advisory Committee, appointed by the Weber County Commission, considered water issues and options for the Ogden Valley. That information was summarized in a workshop. The Weber County Commission, Planning Commission, and Ogden Valley Planning Committee met with consultants and staff to arrive at a starting point for a draft on March 21 and 22, 1996. A second workshop was held on May 2 to complete draft plan discussion.
The Plan reflects Planning Commission recommendations to the County Commissioners following a series of Planning Commission-sponsored public hearings on the initial draft plan. The final plan reflects additional public comment, analysis and the decision of the Weber County Commissioners.
1.04 General Plan Adoption and Amendment Process
On August 28, 1996, the County Commission held their public hearing on the Plan. The County will include new land use ordinances to reflect their new policy changes for Ogden Valley.
A General Plan is intended to serve as a guide for community decisions. Zoning ordinances and other implementation tools are intended to be consistent with the General Plan. Inevitably, as circumstances and times change, it is appropriate to amend a general plan. While changes to a plan should be done, caution should be considered, after the community investment in the process, plan amendments are expected. A plan amendment goes through the same hearing and adoption process with the Planning Commission and County Commission as the original adoption process.
2 Ogden Valley Vision Statement
Ogden Valley is a place which:
- Values and protects its natural beauty and natural resources
- Cherishes and maintains its rural atmosphere and rural lifestyle
- Empowers its citizenry to take part in decisions affecting the Valley
2.01 Vision Statement Narrative
The residents of Ogden Valley care deeply about the Valley they call “home.” They enjoy their rural lifestyle and the natural beauty that surrounds them. They are justifiably proud of the unique characteristics of Ogden Valley, its timeless mix of pioneer heritage, agricultural lands, recreation opportunities, abundant wildlife, scenic vistas, and quiet living. Visitors to the Valley are struck by its unspoiled character and its unassuming charm. The people of Ogden Valley value these qualities and recognize that protecting, preserving and fostering these qualities requires foresight and wisdom. Their shared affection for this Valley and their hopes for its future guide them as they embark on this planning process.
2.02 Protect the Natural Beauty and Natural Resources of the Valley
Ogden Valley is blessed with natural beauty. Its long, rolling hills curve gracefully in their gradual descent into the Valley, as the oaks, maples, and aspens on the hillsides give way to the patchwork of sagebrush, farmlands, and fields below. Each season brings a particular aspect of the Valley’s beauty into sharper focus. In spring, the Valley explodes with the vivid green of new growth. In summer, wildflowers of every imaginable color blanket the mountain hillsides. In autumn, trees seem ablaze with a dazzling array of red and gold leaves. In winter, a calm whiteness blankets the Valley, its surrounding hills and the rugged peaks of the Wasatch Mountains.
Water nourishes the Valley’s inhabitants. The North, Middle and South Forks of the Ogden River meander slowly through the Valley and finally converge at Pineview Reservoir. From there the Ogden River, which long ago carved Ogden Canyon’s steep, rugged walls, rushes down the Canyon to join the Weber River. The waters collected in Pineview and Causey Reservoirs lap quietly against the shore, glistening in the brilliant rays of the summer sun, bathing in the icy glow of the winter moon.
There is an abundance of wildlife in the Valley. Deer, elk and moose browse on the plentiful vegetation. They sometimes amble into a resident’s backyard, pausing to observe the Valley’s human inhabitants before slowly moving on. Hawks lazily circle the Valley, hoping to spot their prey rustling in the sagebrush and scrub oak below. Wild turkeys roost in cottonwood trees along the creek, occasionally piercing the afternoon stillness with their gutteral cries. Families of beavers paddle quietly in the waters of the lower Middle Fork. Rainbow and cutthroat trout dart through the clear mountain streams. Fish bob placidly in the reservoir waters, then suddenly leap into the air as if momentarily taking flight.
Ogden Valley residents want to protect these natural resources. They want to ensure that the human and natural landscapes coexist harmoniously.
2.03 Maintain the Valley’s Rural Atmosphere and Rural Lifestyle
People settle in Ogden Valley because they appreciate its rural lifestyle. They enjoy the slow pace, the easygoing friendships with neighbors, the open spaces and the fresh air. They also enjoy the sense of community which bonds Valley residents together.
The Valley towns are small and pleasant. Neighbors bump into each other at the library in Huntsville, exchange stories at the Shooting Star Saloon, or get together at the American Legion post. They join together in worship at the LDS ward houses or the St. Florence Catholic Church. Their children attend the elementary and junior high school together. Residents respect each others’ privacy and property rights.
The Valley is made up of well planned communities. Residential development does not detract from the Valley’s rural character. There are a few commercial areas in Huntsville, Eden and Ogden Canyon, but the commercial developments are generally modest in size and number. Emergency and medical services are adequate to meet the needs of Valley residents. The Valley infrastructure keeps pace with the area’s modest growth and conforms with the Valley’s resource capabilities.
Residents often travel to Ogden to shop; many also work there. Traffic in and out of the Valley is generally light during the weekdays even though a number of residents commute to Ogden for work. Although traffic increases considerably with the weekend influx of recreationists it flows relatively smoothly.
Agriculture is a prominent feature of the Valley, the air is often filled with the low rumble of a tractor mowing hay. Residents may see monks from the monastery checking their beehives for the sweet, sticky honey they sell in their small store. Dairy cows graze on the thick green grass in the Valley meadows. Alfalfa sways in the gentle breezes rolling across the fields.
There are recreational opportunities everywhere. Parents teach their children to fish in the Ogden River tributaries, teach them to ski in nearby resorts, and teach them to hunt in the Wasatch Mountains. Residents can hike and horseback ride the many trails which wind their way through the surrounding mountains and hills. They can ride mountain bikes along country roads, golf at courses in Nordic Valley and Wolf Creek, or camp at one of many U.S. Forest Service campgrounds. They can gather at the Huntsville City Park for an impromptu softball game or a family picnic. They can even windsurf or water ski on Pineview Reservoir. Visitors also enjoy the recreational opportunities in the Valley. Lower Valley residents often spend at least a portion of their weekend in and around the Valley. In the winter, visitors come to the Valley to ski at Snow Basin, Powder Mountain and Nordic Valley. In the summer, they come to the Valley to camp, boat, and fish on Pineview and Causey Reservoirs and hike and bike in the Wasatch Mountains. Although these visitors do not live in the Valley they appreciate its outstanding recreational resources.
3 Ogden Valley General Plan Goals and Objectives
3.01 Vision: Protect the Natural Beauty and Natural Resources of the Valley
- Goal: Protect Air Quality and Water Resources
- Maintain high quality of air currently experienced in the Valley
- Maintain high quality of water currently experienced in the Valley
- Prevent groundwater contamination
- Control erosion into surface waters
- Reduce non-point source pollution to surface waters
- Implement water conservation measures
- Goal: Protect Open Space and Sensitive Lands
- Identify and promote the preservation of open space
- Establish mechanisms to preserve open space in the Valley
- Identify sensitive lands within the Valley
- Ensure that development does not harm sensitive lands
- Goal: Preserve Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat
- Include wildlife and wildlife habitat as a review element for development proposals in the Valley
- Include wildlife and wildlife habitat protection as a consideration in recreation planning
- Examine critical wildlife habitat areas and means for protecting these areas
- Coordinate with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on development proposals that affect wildlife or wildlife habitat
3.02 Vision: Maintain the Valley’s Rural Atmosphere and Rural Lifestyle
- Promote a sense of Pride in the Valley’s History and Heritage
- Identify important historical resources and landmarks
- Encourage preservation of cultural and historical resources
- Encourage development that is compatible with these cultural and historic resources
- Require that development be compatible with the Valley’s Rural Character and natural setting
- Determine the types of residential and commercial building materials and design that are compatible with the Valley’s rural character
- Identify acceptable locations for commercial development
- Determine appropriate materials and design for commercial signage
- Identify visual resource objectives and ensure that residential and commercial developments conform with these objectives
- Provide sufficient flexibility in zoning ordinances for creative solutions to development conflicts
- Require that development and community services conform with the Valley’s natural resource capabilities.
- Identify and prioritize future capital improvements
- Determine a target development growth rate that assures that present and future infrastructure needs are commensurate with resource capabilities
- Establish concurrency measures for development and infrastructure so that development does not proceed without adequate infrastructure
- Establish funding mechanism for planned infrastructure expansion
- Provide adequate Emergency and Medical Services
- Examine options for increased and improved emergency services for the Valley
- Determine the funding necessary to finance these options and the availability of such funding
- Decide whether additional emergency services are needed to meet visitor demand
- Determine funding mechanism to support emergency services for visitors
- Promote Agricultural Land
- Identify and promote prime agricultural land
- Consider agricultural land in dedicated open space planning
- Develop means to compensate property owners for the loss of development rights on agricultural land
- Promote working farms as an integral part of the Valley’s cultural heritage.
- Recognize and respect private property rights
- Recognize private property rights in planning and development
- Engage creative zoning solutions that protect private property rights while ensuring that development is compatible with the Valley’s rural character
- Develop a program to compensate landowners in the taking of property for public purposes
- Facilitate the smooth flow of traffic in and out of the Valley
- Engage in ongoing transportation planning for the Valley
- Examine access alternatives
- Target access routes for improvement of expansion to meet volume demands
- Provide safe means of transportation in and out of the Valley based on highway capacity levels and volume demands
- Improve safety and law enforcement on roads within the Valley
- Determine transportation restrictions to reduce congestion and traffic volumes in the Valley
- Ensure that Canyon traffic does not harm natural resources or scenic value within Ogden Canyon
- Provide adequate road maintenance
- Enhance quality recreational opportunities
- Identify recreational assets, facilities and activities in the Valley and determine which facilities might be expanded to meet increased recreation demand and plan for such expansion
- Identify areas suitable for community parks, campgrounds or trails systems
- Determine the amount and degree of recreational development necessary to support high quality recreation experiences in the Valley
- Promote public/private cooperation in recreation planning
- Coordinate with Federal and State agencies in recreation planning
- Promote safe and responsible recreation conduct in the Valley
- Ensure that recreational activities do not harm the natural resources within the Valley
4 Ogden Valley Policies: Sensitive Lands
To protect the character of Ogden Valley, a central element of this Plan includes a set of policies to protect sensitive lands in the Valley. These policies affect a variety of resources deemed important by Valley residents:
- Steep slopes (<30%)
- Flood Plains
- Wetlands/cultural resources
- Agricultural lands
- View/Entry corridors
- Historical/cultural resources
- Riparian areas
- Groundwater recharge areas
- Wildlife Habitat
- Pineview Reservoir
To accomplish protection of these resources and values, several policies and programs are being pursued by the County. In some instances, existing County policies are recommended for retention or change. In other instances, new policies are recommended.
Proposed sensitive lands policies include additional setbacks from areas for protection, special review requirements, and limitations on where development takes place or its appearances.
Weber County will continue to restrict development on steep or unstable slopes. The County’s existing ordinance prohibits development on areas with 45% slope but considers “development credits” for the areas between 45% and 65% slope.
The County’s future approach will include developing an “overlay zone” identifying unbuildable slopes. The existing ordinances will also be amended to reflect the following:
- No development will be allowed on slopes greater than 30%
- No development credit for areas >30% slope
- A maximum height (maximum feet above grade) for buildings on steep slopes
- Storm water management elements will be included as part of the development review
- Grading guidelines for “cross slope”cuts, grading, roads, etc will be developed and adopted
- “Quality Development Standards” addressing location, siting, materials, height and colors will be developed and adopted.
Ogden Valley residents feel that part of maintaining the Valley’s natural aesthetics and unobstructed view corridors includes defining an appropriate level of development for the surrounding hillsides and ridgelines. This objective involves identifying specific ridgelines where no development would be allowed and adopting “development standards’ for all others.
The County’s recommendation for this issue includes:
- Identifying “prominent ridgelines” and establishing “no development” areas
- Develop and adopt “Quality Development Standards” addressing development location, siting, materials, height and colors.
4.03 Wildlife Habitat
The Ogden Valley area enjoys a diverse and abundant wildlife population. Valley residents enjoy participating in all types of wildlife related activities and feel that wildlife and wildlife habitat should be considered in future development decisions. The County acknowledges State of Utah responsibilities in wildlife and intends to work cooperatively with the Division of Wildlife Resources in wildlife/development issues. The County has identified preserving wildlife habitat as a priority, but is also sensitive to private property rights and development interests. In this light, the County will pursue habitat preservation studies that protect private property rights and accomplish wildlife “preservation” objectives.
The County will pursue the following wildlife habitat preservation objectives:
- Identifying critical wildlife habitat areas as “conditional” development areas
- Involving the Division of Wildlife Resources in development review decisions
- Identifying and acquiring wildlife habitat easements
- Encouraging the State to implement supplemental feeding programs
- Acquiring critical habitat areas through Division of Wildlife Resources habitat fee funding
4.04 View/Entry Corridors
Residents feel that “preserving the Valley’s rural character” includes maintaining open view corridors and preserving the Valley’s “entrance experiences.” Residents feel that development should not be obtrusive or unduly compromise the Valley’s aesthetics.
North Ogden Divide, Trapper’s Loop and along U-39 have been identified as entry corridors. Pineview Reservoir has been identified as a view corridor. The following strategies will be implemented to preserve the aesthetic and open space qualities of these areas:
- Establishing a 100 foot setback for buildings along all entry corridors
- Adopting “quality development standards’ addressing location, siting, materials, height, landscaping and colors for all development within identified view/entry corridors
- Restricting signage and prohibiting billboards within identified view/entry corridors
4.05 Pineview Reservoir
Future development around Pineview Reservoir is a major concern for Valley residents and visitors. Most residents support establishing development setbacks and maintaining the area immediately adjacent to the reservoir as open space. The County, balancing these interests with those of shoreline property owners, have identified several strategies that allow development to take place in a manner that does not compromise reservoir aesthetics.
These strategies include:
- Establishing a “no development” setback 100 feet from highwater mark
- Adopting “quality development standards” addressing development location, siting, materials, height and colors for all development within the identified “reservoir” zone
- Establishing “concentric development zones” surrounding the reservoir with standards to protect the quality of the reservoir experience depending on how close development occurs to the reservoir. For example, lower building heights would be required closer to the reservoir.
4.06 Historic/Cultural Resources
Ogden Valley has a rich cultural heritage. Several areas within the Valley played important roles in the early development of Weber County and the State of Utah. Today, the Valley’s history and these resources continue to contribute to the Valley’s charm and character.
Specific locations identified by the County are historical/cultural sites include:
- The blacksmith shop
- Charde property
- Rhodes property
- Brick kilns
Identifying and preserving Valley historical and cultural resources is an important County objective. Proposed implementation strategies include:
- Surveying all historical and cultural properties
- Developing historical/cultural site/easement acquisition strategies
4.07 Stream Corridors
In addition to the safety issues surrounding development along stream corridors, Ogden Valley residents desire to see these areas protected for aesthetic, wildlife habitat, and water quality reasons.
The County’s recommended approach includes the following implementation steps:
- Establishing setbacks of 50 feet on both sides of year round streams for any structures (determined from center of the stream)
- Establishing setbacks of 75 feet on both sides of North Fork, South Fork and Middle Fork Rivers for any structures (determined from the center of the river) (Resolution 46-96)
5 Commercial Development
5.01 Commercial Nodes
Weber County feels that Ogden Valley’s commercial development should be balanced with residential growth and occur in a manner that does not detract from the area’s character. It is the County’s desire to develop commercial “nodes” within existing communities rather than commercial “strips’ along major thoroughfares. The County also supports the continued development of resort-related commercial areas.
5.02 Maintaining Zoning Status
Existing commercial areas that do not maintain their commercial status under the adopted plan will be re-zoned to a classification consistent with the surrounding zoning.
5.03 Ordinance Amendments
The County will amend the existing commercial ordinance/definition to allow commercial uses that are compatible with the Valley’s character, e.g. bed and breakfast businesses, landscaping businesses and institutional/training centers.
5.04 Clarification of Terms
The County will also clarify the difference between commercial development (actual facilities providing commercial services) and commercial operations (businesses that do not require physical facilities to operate, e.g. tour guides, outfitters, etc. ) proposing that the latter be allowed as a conditional use in the appropriate zones.
5.05 Land Uses to Pursue
With respect to commercial land uses, the County will pursue the following directives:
- encourage commercial development within established commercial areas.
- adopt “quality development standards” addressing location, siting, materials, architecture, height, color, signage and size.
- re-zone undeveloped commercial properties outside of the commercial cores to be compatible with the classifications of adjacent properties. (Resolution 46A-96)
6 Industrial Development
Heavy industrial uses are not compatible with the Valley’s character. There is however, a need to accommodate light industrial uses, such as construction equipment storage. It is recommended that the County identify and designate areas in the County for “equipment storage.”
7 Carry Capacity Analysis
Part of the analysis of Ogden Valley involved a determination of the capacity of the public facilities, particularly for transportation, water and wastewater. Detailed information on carrying capacity analysis is available in the Weber County Planning Commission Office. In addition, an analysis of environmental conditions, called a “suitability” analysis, was conducted. A range of natural conditions, from slope steepness to wildlife habitat, was evaluated. Results of suitability and carrying capacity analysis are reflected in this Plan, and were the subject of public input at community workshops.
Evaluation of the carrying capacity of existing routes and current traffic conditions into the Valley is critical in determining the rate of growth that can be supported by existing infrastructure. Unique problems exist due to the remote location of the valley and limited existing access routes. These problems are compounded by the wide variation of traffic demands generated by the recreational attractions of the Valley. With Pineview Reservoir, three alpine ski resorts and a wide variety of outdoor activities offered within the Ogden Valley, recreational demand is high throughout the year.
There are three existing year round access routes to the Ogden Valley: Ogden Canyon, Trappers Loop and the North Ogden Divide. Avon Divide and Monte Cristo provide seasonal access northward toward Cache Valley, but Avon Divide is not open during winter and under wet conditions since it is an unimproved roadway. Due to these limitations, it is not considered in this Plan as a reliable access to the Valley. Ogden Canyon carries the highest traffic volumes of the three available accesses. These factors justify consideration of the canyon as the critical capacity constraint for the Valley. Both Trappers Loop and the North Ogden Divide carry considerable lower volumes, although Trappers Loop has a higher roadway capacity and North Ogden Divide has only a slightly lower capacity than Ogden Canyon.
Traffic counts for the major accesses to the Valley are summarized below:
|North Ogden Divide||1,365|
Ogden Canyon Road is projected to be the critical capacity constraint for potential growth in the Valley. Its capacity is estimated to be between 12,000 to 15,000 cars per day. At that volume of cars, traffic would be a constant flow throughout the Canyon during peak commute hours of each day. Congestion may occur at both the entrances to the Canyon. In traffic terms, the road would operate at a “Level of Service (LOS) D or E.” Level of Service is a rating system based on traffic volume versus roadway capacity, with LOS A being freeflow conditions and LOS F being gridlock.
Ogden Canyon is currently operating at approximately 58.6% capacity. Comparatively, North Ogden operates at approximately14 %* capacity, (LOS C), Trapper’s Loop operates at approximately 11.2 % of capacity (LOS B.). The capacity of Trappers Loop is estimated to be 130 % greater than Ogden Canyon while North Ogden Divide is estimated at 18.8 % less capacity. It is anticipated that as Ogden Canyon reaches capacity that traffic on these other routes will increase more rapidly due to increased convenience from congestion in Ogden Canyon.
- This 14% is a correction. The original figure, in error, was 58.1%
According to the State Division of Water Resources Municipal and Irrigation Water Supplies and Uses report for Ogden Valley, there are currently 12 public community water systems and 22 public non-community systems. The source for these systems is groundwater. The public community water systems include:
|Casey Acres||Liberty Pipeline Company|
|Cole Canyon Water||Nordic Valley Water Company|
|Eden Water Works Company||Pineview West Water Company|
|Green Hill Water and Sewer||Spring Mountain|
|Huntsville Municipal Water System||Willow Creek Subdivision|
|Lakeview Corporation||Wolf Creek Country Club|
The Eden Water Works Company currently supplies a population of approximately 1,215 people. This is reportedly the most efficiently run water system in the Valley and they only allow a small number of new connections each year. Based on the Ogden Valley Municipal and Irrigation Water Supplies and Uses report, (1992 data) they have no excess supply available on the peak day.
The Liberty Pipeline Company currently serves approximately 650 people. The Wolf Creek Country Club system serves 478 people and has the highest excess peak day supply of any of the water systems in the Valley (approximately 400,000 gallons per day), but the potential development that has already been approved in the area could easily consume the excess supply.
The public non-community systems include the following areas and have a reported total capacity of approximately 100 acre-feet:
|Abbey of Holy Trinity||Jefferson Hunt Campground|
|American Legion||North Fork Learning Center|
|Anderson Cove Campground||North Fork Park|
|Camp Atoka||Ogden Pineview Yacht Club|
|Camp Kiesel & Browning||Pine View Summer Homes|
|Camp Utaba||Powder Mountain|
|Camp Valley View Stake||Red Rock Café and Outfitters|
|Causey Estates||Snowbasin Ski Area|
|Chris Trading Post||South Fork Complex|
|Eagle Family Members||Sunridge Subdivision Water|
|Jackson Fork Inn||Weber County Memorial Park|
7.04 Waste Water
There are currently six community waste water systems in Ogden Valley. The systems range from centralized collection systems treated by sewage lagoons to centralized septic or drain field type systems. The remainder of the systems are non-community private systems of the septic related type.
The Pineview Reservoir Clean Lakes Study stated that water quality in the shallow aquifer in the Valley is not currently contaminated. Yet the study went on to recommend that a sewer collection system for the Valley area be further evaluated and planned for with the treatment planned to be provided by the Central Weber Sewer Improvement District. The primary reason that water quality remains high in the unconfined aquifer is dilution by the large volumes of water flowing through Ogden Valley annually and the overall low population densities. It appears that at least some water quality degradation may be occurring in the unconfined aquifer above the confining beds. The increase in nitrate levels toward the head of Ogden Valley cannot be definitely attributed to septic related waste disposal, however, because other possible sources of nitrates exist in the valley. Seasonal increases in nitrate levels are probably caused by agricultural fertilizers.
From the beginning of the Ogden Valley Plan, participants have eloquently described their love for this unique mountain Valley, and desire to retain the full complement of Valley characteristics. The adopted Vision Statement and Goals and Objectives reflect the broad framework for the Plan. Those documents were reviewed and accepted by the Valley Plan Committee, Weber County Planning Commission and Weber County Commission.
Technical analysis and a series of forums have helped develop the recommended policies. The Plan reflects the results of three days of workshops with the County Commission, the Weber County Planning Commission and Valley planning committees. The Plan also includes revisions made by the Weber County Planning Commission following a series of public hearings on the initial draft plan. After public comment was heard and addressed during the County Commission public hearing process, and additional studies conducted elements of the Plan have been further refined.
The Plan identifies the development and land use priorities of Ogden Valley and establishes the area’s future direction relative to those issues. The policies and directions in this Plan represent a combination of priorities, objectives and strategies identified through the studies, scenario development and review process.
The growth management direction presented in this Plan does not focus on developing the Valley as quickly as possible, nor does it represent an anti-growth approach. The purpose of this Plan is to encourage growth to take place in a responsible and deliberate manner. Through this approach, the Valley can continue to grow without compromising the very things that make it a great place to live and visit.
Based on an analysis of the carrying capacity of the public infrastructure in Ogden Valley, the Valley’s build-out under the 1985 plan would allow a total number of dwelling units that far exceed the carrying capacity of existing infrastructure, particularly the road system. This plan would allow an approximate tripling of existing dwelling units to approximately 6, 200 total units. Total residential land use levels reflect this limitation. The development levels identified in the Plan are based on this carrying capacity and the desired level of development consistent with the overall well-being of Ogden Valley.
In summary, the Plan attempts to preserve Ogden Valley’s character and “quality of life” through the following objectives:
- protecting private property rights
- establishing a twenty-year projected growth management limit of an additional 3,900 units
- encouraging residential development in or adjacent to existing communities
- encouraging future commercial development within established commercial areas
- developing and implementing open space preservation strategies
- discouraging development within prime agricultural area, entry corridors and areas with scenic/aesthetic values
- requiring that infrastructure and services keep pace with growth
- encouraging improved cooperation with public land management agencies
- protecting the unique natural resources of the area
8.02 Development Criteria
Projected unit numbers for the Valley reflect the proposed zoning, deleting non-buildable areas based upon ownership (private or public) or flood plain, wetlands, slopes >30 % or located in recognized corridors and the percentage of buildable land likely to the developed under anticipated conditions considering “site specific” suitability criteria such as water availability, soils, sewer, services and access.
8.03 Suitability Criteria (assumptions)
- ownership (public or private)
- wetlands/flood plains “no development”
- slopes >30 % “no development”
- stream corridor “no development” setback 50 feet
- entry corridor “no development” setback 100 feet
- reservoir shoreline “no development” setback 100 feel from high watermark
8.04 Suitability Criteria (site specific)
- water availability
8.05 Zoning Classifications
|A-1||Agricultural...1 acre lot||(Replaced by AV-3 Ord# 98-22)|
|AV-3||Agricultural Valley...3 acre lot||(Adopted Ord#98-22)|
|CRV-1||Commercial Resort Valley||(CVR-1, Commercial Valley Resort/Recreation adopted Ord.#99-15)|
|CV-1||Commercial Valley||(Adopted Ord.#98-31)|
|CV-2||Commercial Valley||(Adopted Ord #98-31)|
|CV-1P||Planned Commercial Valley||(Not used)|
|CV-1P||Planned Commercial Valley||(Not used)|
|ES||Equipment Storage||(MV-1, Valley Manufacturing adopted Ord.#99-31)|
|F-5||Forest...5 acre lot||(Adopted Ord #99-21)|
|F-10||Forest...10 acre lot||(Adopted Ord #99-21)|
|F-20||Forest...20 acre lot||(Adopted Ord#99-21)|
|F-40||Forest...40 acre lot||(Adopted Ord#99-21)|
|FR-1||Forest Residential 1 acre lot||(Deleted Ord#98-22)|
|FR-3||Forest Residential...6,000 sq ft lot|
|FV-3||Forest Valley...3 acre lot||(Adopted Ord. #98-22)|
|R-1-8||Residential...8,000 sq ft lot|
|RE-15||Residential Estate...15,000 sq ft lot|
|RE-20||Residential Estate...20,000 sq ft lot|
|S-5||Shoreline...5 acre lot|
- ↑ FR-3 includes multi-family residential
8.06 Projected Results
|Existing Dwelling Units||1,800|
|Approved Undeveloped Lots||500|
|Projected Additional Units||3,900|
|Total Projected Units||6,200|
As Ogden Valley continues to grow, it is important to maintain adequate service levels. Prior to approving any development, the County will require that developers provide accurate information verifying that adequate services are available.
The anticipated level of growth will require additional roads, improved water storage and delivery systems and waste water treatment facilities. Currently, the County requires developers to cover on-site infrastructure improvement costs. Most off-site infrastructure elements, such as those mentioned above, are financed through general bonds, fees and/or taxes. It is the County’s position that the burden of paying for facilities constructed to accommodate future growth should not rest entirely on the shoulders of existing Valley residents. The County feels that new development should be required to cover certain costs associated with expanding existing systems and maintaining adequate levels of service. This would include relevant off-site improvements.
As a first step the County will prepare a Capital Facilities Plan (CFP) consistent with this General Plan. Improvements called for in the CFP may be financed through a development and/or impact fee program.
Ogden Valley has limitations for traffic capacity with the existing road system. Primary access corridors in Ogden Canyon and Trappers Loop limit how much additional traffic can be safely accommodated into and out of Ogden Valley. Traffic can be correlated with development because of the number of trips generated in and out of the Valley by each dwelling unit. Primary access from the Wasatch Front today comes up Ogden Canyon. The County, for environmental, neighborhood and safety reasons, does not want to substantially widen Ogden Canyon to accommodate more traffic. A portion of spillover demand for access to ogden Valley can use Trappers Loop, but limits will also be reached for that road. This is particularly true with the expansion plans for Snowbasin Resort. The combined circumstances create a need for careful transportation planning and coordination with other decisions for the Valley’s future.
Under the Plan, there will be a need to develop an efficient internal road system. This network should be master planned so that development of roads does not occur in a haphazard manner that may need to be reworked in the future. Improvements to the road along the north side of Pineview Dam may be needed as traffic patters would shift toward the areas of increased development. The potential to improve North Ogden Divide along with transit routes and park-and-ride lots should be evaluated as part of a transportation master planning effort.
The Plan anticipates an additional 3,900 units. Given the variations inevitable in projecting traffic capacities and demand, the total traffic capacity should be monitored.
Weber County’s recommendations for specific routes leading into Ogden Valley are as follows:
- Ogden Canyon; Due to potential environmental and aesthetic impacts, Weber County does not support widening the Ogden Canyon route beyond specific improvements for safety and passing lanes.
- Trappers Loop: This route is currently at 11.2% capacity. As the Ogden Canyon route becomes congested, Trappers Loop will receive additional use. No improvements are necessary for Trappers Loop at this time, although Trappers Loop could be further expanded. A loop road is proposed for alternative access to Snowbasin; much of that access is proposed for the Morgan County side of Trappers Loop.
- Avon Pass: Weber County will maintain Avon Pass as a “good weather” road. The County will develop a partnership with Cache County to improve the thoroughfare as needed. Due to extensive road damage resulting from inappropriate off-road activities, the County supports Forest Service efforts to limit access during periods of wet weather.
- North Ogden Divide: Additional capacity is not feasible because of hte grade and slope in this area, but Weber County will continue to maintain the present level of service.
- Monte Cristo: Weber County will maintain the present level of service for this road.
- The County is concerned about the impacts of increased development in the Valley as well as increased recreational use. In an effort to address these concerns and encourage recreational users to “park-and-ride” rather than drive individual vehicles, the County will support the construction of park-and-ride lots at the mouth of Ogden Canyon and at Pineview Dam. Lots will be constructed (materials, landscaping, siting) in a manner consistent with Valley character. The County will also explore a maximum parking lot size with Snowbasin to avoid creating an undue traffic demand on the road system and unsightly, expansive surface parking areas. (For example, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons in Salt Lake City have capped parking lots to encourage mass transit use and minimize traffic on a congested road system during peak hours.)
- Mass Transit
- Valley residents support the expansion of the existing mass transit system, but prefer to have fewer routes, with fewer stops, and more reliable service. The County is especially interested in developing bus service to local recreation areas from park-and-ride lots located down canyon.
- Weber County supports developing a trails master plan for the Ogden Valley/Ogden Canyon areas. Trails in the Valley should be designed to provide a variety of recreational experiences as well as offer Valley residents with alternative transportation options. Multi-use trails (pedestrian, bicycles and horses) along roadways are supported as part of roadway alteration projects. (For example, as the new gas line is developed, resurfacing should include provision for non-automobile users.) The trails plan will be incorporated into the Ogden Valley Plan upon completion.
- As an initial step toward developing a Valley trail system, Weber County will work with Valley residents and the Forest Service to complete the Pineview Reservoir trail. While other trails proposed for Ogden Canyon, such as the waterfall trail and a hiking/bicycling trail hold promise, these trails have received limited support from Canyon residents and should be explored further.
- Maintaining a “rural atmosphere” along Valley entry corridors
- Weber County feels that maintaining the area’s rural atmosphere along the Valley’s entry corridors is a priority. Steps to pursue this objective include enforcing the “Scenic Byway” regulations on future Trappers Loop development and adopting 100 foot development setbacks for Trappers Loop and Snowbasin Roads.
9.03 Water Systems
The proposed residential and commercial areas for the Valley are located in the areas that are generally served by three existing community water systems. These systems include: Eden, Liberty and Wolf Creek. Data gathered for this project by the Ogden Valley Water Committee provided information about the existing water systems.
The Eden Water Works Company currently supplies a population of approximately 1,215 people. This Company is reportedly the most efficientlly run water system in the Valley and only allows a small number of new connections each year. Based on the Ogden Valley M&I Water Supplies and Uses report (1992 data), they have no excess supply available on the peak day. The Liberty Pipeline Company currently serves approximately 650 people. The Wolf Creek Country Club system serves 478 people and has the highest excess peak day supply of any of hte water systems in the Valley (approximately 400,000 gallons per day). But the potential development that has already been approved in this area could easily consume the excess supply.
New water sources are needed to meet the demands of future growth. Several options were explored during Draft Plan development. Weber Basin Water could be a wholesale supplier to the existing companies or the companies could develop the sources themselves. A deep-aquifer, larg volume well as a source with additional storage reservoir capacity i the area could be sized to meet future needs. provisions should be made to have connections between the existing systems for sharing resources. The additional source and stroage would also help fire flows in the area. Secondary water systems should be developed to best utilize the water available. Developers should be required to install both culinary and secondary lines in areas of new development.
To address the concerns about the water systems in Ogden Valley, the Ogden Valley Water Management Planning Team was created and has completed the analysis of 47 water systems, 15 community and 32 non-community, with respect to their present and future ability to provide safe, reliable water at a reasonable price. This planning effort has taken into account the current and future requirements to meet managerial, financial and technical demands as well as to protect, operate and monitor each source and distribution system both on an individual and a consolidated basis. The Ogden Valley Water management Planning Team provided the County with a summary of the thoughts and insights from State, County and water agencies, volunteers and engineers and have made proposals for the Huntsville, Eden and Liberty areas.
9.04 Private Wells
The County is concerned about the number of private wells being drilled in the Valley and the cumulative impacts on water availability and water quality. The County’s long-term approach to this problem is to improve and expand the Valley’s existing water systems throughout developing areas.
Water Availability - Storage and Distribution
- improve service and reliability
- additional storage is needed during peak seasons
- coordination is difficult due to the number of water/irrigation companies within the Valley
- combine with other services as applicable
- additional regulations and water monitoring requirements will be cost prohibitive for smaller companies to implement
- explore the feasibility of a consolidated water system
- wholesale district
- urban service district (multi-purpose)
- approach Weber Basin to determine feasibility
- development is being approved without easements being identified or acknowledged
- identify irrigation company easements on county maps
There are two community waste water systems in the Valley, the Wolf Creek system and the Powder Mountain system. It is believed that the densities in the Valley would be high enough that a central waste water system should be developed. Efforts should be made to include the existing dwelling units in the area, where feasible. An option for serving the area would be to drain the waste water to the lower end of the Valley to a collection point where it could be pumped up near the Wolf Creek lagoons. There may be additional land in this area that could support more lagoons and service the waste water that comes from developed area. Other options that could be feasible for waste water treatment include a treatment plant or piping the waste water down Ogden Canyon. It is unclear what the feasibility of either of these options would be with the densities proposed. Whatever options is adopted, the area needs to be connected together into a central waste water system. There may be a possibility to reuse effluent waters for a secondary water system.
The Utah Geological Survey projected aquifer nitrate concentration versus septic tank unit density for Ogden Valley. Based upon their study, they recommended Weber County consider (1) setting guidelines for density/lot size development, using septic tank soil absorption systems for waste water disposal, and (2) establishing ground water protection levels to maintain the high quality of Ogden Valley’s ground water resources.
Using hte mass balance approach developed by Hansen, Allen and Luce (1994), the valley wide density for development using septic tanks should be no greater than 1 system per 3.1 acres. This density should not be exceeded unless site-specific studies are conducted to evaluate septic system density/water quality degradation for specific proposed developments. Weber County may wish to set a groundwater quality protection level for nitrates of 1.74 mg/L following Wasatch County’s recommendation of an allowable degradation with respect to nitrates of 1 mg/L. Contingency plans should be considered so that appropriate actions can be undertaken should this groundwater quality protection level be exceeded at any location in Ogden Valley in the future.
Additional growth in the Valley will require improvements to the existing water systems and the identification of new sources. The following water related issues and policies will be implemented through the Ogden Valley General Plan:
Collection and Treatment
- several wastewater disposal options are available. Specific strategies will be selected and implemented as necessary
- the Valley’s high water table, varied soils, relationship to Pineview Reservoir and number of existing wells warrant that a waste water study be completed to maintain and protect water quality
- the waste water study will also include treatment plant and centralized system options.
- explore the possibility and feasibility of utilizing Wolf Creek and Powder mountain lagoon systems as regional systems.
- Valley residents and commission have several concerns with the use of “experimental” septic tanks in the upper Valley. This position may be altered as studies are completed and the existing experimental systems prove effective
- closely monitor experimental septic tanks in the Valley until adequate studies have been completed
10 Land Use
To achieve the Valley desired by most residents and visitors, changes in the existing land use standards will be required. As one Valley resident put it, a “sea of roofs” is not a desired outcome from development in the next 20 years. Zoning, prior to the adoption of this Plan would ultimately result in the realization of a “sea of homes” build-out of the Valley. The changes in the Plan for Ogden Valley are intended to preserve private property rights while also preserving the rural characteristics of the Valley. Central to the approach is a combination of land uses in ‘community areas” around Liberty, Eden and East Huntsvill and on the surrounding hillsides.
10.02 Residential Development
Valley residents enjoy living in the area because of its rural lifestyle and small town atmosphere. Additional growth is expected, but future development should be compatible with the existing lifestyle and not detract from the natural aesthetics of the Valley.
With respect to residential land uses, the County will pursue the following directives:
- encourage development within the existing community areas
- adopt “quality development standards” addressing development location, siting, materials, height and colors
- provide incentives for developers to preserve open space and cluster development
- residential development will be subject to “suitability’ criteria as identified in this summary:
- slopes at >30%
- flood plain, wetlands
- 50 foot stream corridor setbacks
- 75 foot river corridor setbacks
- 100 foot Pineview Reservoir setback
- “quality development standards” materials, height and colors, etc.
10.03 Public Lands
Due to the large tracts of public lands within the Ogden alley area, Valley residents are directly impacted by federal and state public land management decisions. These decisions not only affect community-provided services and infrastructure, but also impact Valley lifestyle and character. Specific public land issues/interests identified by Valley residents include: watershed protection, recreation, maintaining public land access, off-road vehicle use and wildlife habitat preservation.
With respect to public land issues in the Ogden Valley area, Weber County will pursue the following activities:
- The County will actively participate in public land planning and decision-making processes to ensure that County and Valley interests are adequately identified and addressed
- The County has formed a “public lands committee” to work with public land agencies and the public to address public land/resource management issues
- Identify County public land and recreation priorities
- To the extent possible, regulate uses and development on public lands through County building codes, zoning regulations and health/safety standards
- The County will pursue “partnerships” with public land/resource management agencies to address and pursue mutual interests. Specific examples include: wildlife management, maintaining/providing public access and watershed protection.
- work with the Forest Service to control public access during wet seasons
- actively participate in relevant recreation facility expansion discussions (snowmobile parking, etc).
- support for a “turn land” in the Port Ramp area
- support for a Pineview trail
Weber County supports the expansion and development of the Snowbasin area as a recreation/resort area. The County will maintain the existing F-40 zoning until specific development proposals for the area are presented. In reviewing a Snowbasin area proposal, the County will consider the full range of impacts on the County and Ogden Valley including adequate employee housing, impacts to public services and infrastructure and the proposal’s compatibility with the goals, objectives, and policies reflected in this plan.
The County will establish an agreement with Morgan County to ensure “responsible” Snowbasin area expansion development. The County will also work with the Forest Service to establish development standards compatible with Forest Service Regulation. (Resolution 3-98)
Adoption of Zoning Maps
The adopted Weber County Zoning Maps, as may be amended from time to time, are on file and available in the Weber County Planning Commission Office.
This Resolution, #3-97, also states: “The County feels that Ogden Valley’s commercial development should be balanced with residential growth and occur in a manner that does not detract from the area’s character. it is the County’s desire to develop commercial ‘nodes’ within existing communities rather than commercial ‘strips’ along major thoroughfares.” (Resolution 3-97)
Reduced copies of the adopted maps are included in the Appendix section of this document along with copies of the original Resolutions.
An Update on the Adopted Ogden Valley General Plan
Since the Weber County Board of Commissioner’s adoption of the Ogden Valley General Plan and the three acre minimum lot sizes in January of 1998, a number of zoning ordinances and zoning amendments have been proposed in order to meet the goals and policies and implement the Plan. Such ordinances and amendments have been presented to the planning committees and agencies for comments. Taking those comments into consideration, the Planning Commission Staff then makes a presentation to the Township Planning Commissions having jurisdiction in the Ogden Valley in a public meeting. After discussion, public input and any necessary changes or additions, the Township Planning Commissions vote on a recommendation to the County Commissioners.
At this point, a date is set by the County Commissioners and a Public Hearing is advertised in the newspaper. Planning Staff presents the proposed amendment to the County Commissioners along with the recommendation to approve or deny the proposal. More public input is taken and the County Commissioners discuss any further changes, and then take action by voting to approve, deny, return to the Township Planning Commissions for further consideration, or table to another meeting.
The following is a listing of new ordinances that are unique to the Ogden Valley only, and do not apply County-wide:
- Chapter 5B, Agricultural Valley-3 (AV-3) creating the requirement for the three (3) acre minimum lot size in the agricultural areas of the Valley floor.
- Chapter 9C, Commercial Valley Resort Recreation (CVR-1) creating provision for commercial development that is resort/recreation related, located in the vicinity of recreation areas such as snowmobiling, skiing, equestrian, boating, fishing, and so on.
- Chapter 12B, Forest Valley-3 (FV-3) creating the requirement for the three (3) acre minimum lot size in the more mountainous, forest areas of the Valley.
- Chapter 18B, Commercial Valley 1 and 2 (CV-1 and CV-2) creating provision for neighborhood commercial (CV-1) and general commercial (CV-2) to be situated as commercial “nodes” at major intersections of growth areas of the Valley.
- Chapter 18C, Architectural, Landscape and Screening ordinance providing standards for siting, color, design, landscaping and screening for aesthetic purposes.
- Chapter 21B, Manufacturing (MV-1) creating provision for a limited number of light manufacturing uses for the convenience of citizens of the Ogden Valley.
- Chapter 32B, Ogden Valley Signs, an ordinance listing standards for allowable uses, temporary uses and listing prohibited uses of signage in the Valley.
- Chapter 38, Natural Hazards Overlay District (although, mandated for the Valley in the General Plan, this ordinance does include all of Weber County)identifies, referring to maps, areas affected by seismic, rock fall, land slide, debris flow, liquefaction and other natural hazards and requirements for notification of property owners and mitigation of these hazards.
- Chapter 39, Ogden Valley Lighting, also known as the “dark sky” ordinance, which limits bright lighting and lists standards, requirements and prohibitions for outdoor lighting fixtures in the Valley.
An ordinance addressing “sensitive lands” is currently in progress, with public meetings being held by the Township Planning Commissions. Probably the most controversial of all the new ordinances, this ordinance, by mandate of the General Plan, includes such subjects as wetlands, stream corridors, ridge line development, entry corridors and wildlife habitat. At this writing, it is in it’s eleventh (11th ) Draft.
Recreation Planning was also called for in the General Plan. Public meetings have been held by the Nordic Valley/Liberty Township Planning Commission regarding planning and zoning for resort/recreation uses; however, no conclusions or decisions have been made.
Progress continues at Snow Basin in preparation for the 2002 Winter Olympics, where 17 of the alpine ski events, including the Para-Olympic downhill and slalom events, will be held. Additional ski lifts have been constructed. A comprehensive Master Plan for the Snow Basin project has not yet been submitted by the owner.
Transportation also continues to be studied. With limited access to the Valley, improvements are planned for North Ogden Divide; Ogden Canyon continues to be of concern, as it reaches gridlock; Trappers Loop is the only underutilized access point. Avon Divide and Monte Cristo continue to close during the winter season.
Weber-Morgan Health Department has been approving alternate wastewater systems in the Ogden Valley, as well as conventional septic tanks; the State approves community drain fields and lagoon systems. The use of package treatment systems is being explored by the County and the State; one such unit has been approved, with an additional unit being proposed. A sewer system has been discussed preliminarily with mixed reaction.
Water is still a concern, with many private systems and individual, private wells. Consolidation of these systems has been considered, but without much success.
In general, the Ogden Valley General Plan, and the associated ordinance amendments are serving the Valley well. Few variances or re-zonings have been requested. Subdivision review continues to be active, however, some of the older uncompleted, one acre subdivisions are running out of potential for time extensions.
Two recorded subdivisions have been put on “hold” for the issuance of Land Use and Building Permits due to water and wastewater issues. Cluster development with incentives for additional amenities is under-utilized; however, there is the expectation that clustering will become more accepted as developers see the cost savings in the construction of infrastructure and potential for open space designs.