The council and planning commission is considering fundamentally changing the downtown area of North Ogden by making it more walkable. Planning commission members discussed that the city might get a more beautiful and walkable downtown but drivers on Washington Blvd will have to drive 35 mph. Changing speeds will have to go through Utah Department of Transportation’s sign off, but the city must have a policy in place that specifies what they want beforehand. The council did not make an official decision on the matter.
The council discussed lining the commercial area of Washington Blvd with cherry trees in a joint session with the planning commission. City Planner Rob Scott said he hired 2 interns from Weber State University to gather additional information regarding horticulture. Overhead power lines added a constraint to what trees could be planted here. They said the cherry trees will not overtake the power lines if they are properly maintained once they mature. These flowering but non fruiting trees have a 40-60 year lifespan. The council gave a tentative thumbs up for the trees.
City budget public hearing
The council opened the public hearing for the 2019 city budget before its final adoption.
Several residents expressed their concern for the $695,780 budgeted for the Barker Park amphitheater. A R.A.M.P grant will cover $300,000 and park impact fees will cover the remaining $395,780. Peggy Barker, said she believes she will see the rest of the park grow from the amphitheater. “It has the potential… it needs to continue on.” Brian Bartholomew said the city should focus on police, roads, and sewer, not entertainment. Aaron Christensen said there are other places in the city that need the money more. Kevin Mickelson said families sometimes must tighten their belts and the government should be just as responsible. Melanie Barker said the amphitheater will be a dark hole that money will be poured down.
The city budgeted an increase in wages for part time city employees in several departments including administration and parks. Brandon Mason said he supported competitive wages and benefits. He said this will encourage workers to continue to work for the city and eliminate the extra costs of employee turnover.
Potential changes at the Village at Prominence Point
A construction company developing a portion of The Village at Prominence Point hopes the council will approve less expensive building materials for the townhomes and cottages. They hope to replace Hardie Board with stucco to account for the 20% increase in construction costs. They hope to use this material for the back and sides of the structures. The council previously specified what materials will be used for the project in the development agreement and stucco was specifically excluded. To grant this request, the council must amend the agreement. Councilman Phillip Swanson said they negotiated higher density to ensure only higher quality material would be used in the development. He said he is frustrated they are asking for this. Councilman Carl Turner said the 20% construction cost increase is probably low.
The representative of Visionary Homes said they can’t control [market] costs or demand and they want to sell the units at a price point that is competitive. The council decided to pass it to the planning commission to review and come back to the council with a recommendation.
A new mixed use project
The council discussed a mixed use project that will be located at 2nd E and 2550 N just west of the ranches and the Montessori school. The developers visualize a vibrant, sustainable, and walkable neighborhood centers. There will be thirty-five buildings with three to six units per building. The developers said city streets will run through the apartment streets which will connect the city. They will not allow subletting at all, for example, no Airbnb rentals.
A recreational pond will be another feature. The idea is that Pineview will turn water out of the canal every night to replace a third of the water from the pond every day. Fish would likely not be kept in the pond because of vegetation growth treatment to keep plants from encroaching on the beach area.
Spencer Alexander said he is concerned about a dog park being developed in a storm water basin. He said it is not healthy for ducks, fish, and other wildlife to get dog feces flushed back into their waterways. He said he enjoys fishing and “It’s important to save any amount of wild habitat we can.”
The council granted a special exception so the fence and concrete improvements on Dave Marsh’s property will not have to be removed until the city puts the sidewalk in at some point in the future. There was never a full dedication of the property.
Jim Shupe said he is building a new house on a flag lot where rollers, track hoes, and 80 ton cement trucks have compacted the gravel road for 16 years. Shupe asked for a variance so he does not have to pave a 297 ft cement driveway to connect his home to 750 E. He said it would cost $10,000 in cement.
Finance Director Evan Nelson said a $2000 R.A.M.P grant will fund the community band.