|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||SR Communications DBA, Eden, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Ogden Valley News|
The OGDEN February 1, 2004 VALLEY NEWS Your Community Newspaper PRSRT STD POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 11 EDEN UT POSTAL PATRON EDEN-LIBERTY-84310 HUNTSVILLE-84317 OGDEN CANYON- 84401 HCR 843AO Premier Nature Writer Barry Lopez to Speak at Weber Pathways’ Fundraiser Frost on the Ogden Valley trees. County Considers Reorganization of Township Planning Commissions By Shanna Francis Ogden Valley News On January 13, the Weber County Commission held a public hearing on a proposal to dissolve and reorganize six townships that are currently recognized legally within the County—Weber, Liberty— Nordic, East Huntsville, Reese, Warren, and West Weber. Planning issues within a township are addressed by a local township planning commission composed of seven members who reside or own property within the boundaries of the township. Generally, a planning commission holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the County Commission on planning and zoning petitions that fall within their jurisdiction. Utah State code states that a county commission has the legal right to dissolve, by ordinance, townships and their appurtenant planning commissions if a review of the planning body determines their continued existence is no longer advisable. County Commissioners Ken Bischoff, Glen Burton, and Camille Cain are reevaluating the current township structure because of several issues; lack of attendance by township planning commission members, training inadequacies of planning commission members, and the difficulty of passing county ordinances under the purview of six commissions. County Commissioner Glen Burton stated that some township planning commissions frequently find it difficult to conduct business because of absentee commission members; many decisions require a vote by a quorum. While the township planning commissions from Ogden Valley tend to have higher than average attendance by commissioners, one township in the lower Valley has the dubious record of not being able to summon a quorum 25% of the time. It is not uncommon for meetings to be canceled altogether due to lack of attendance by planning commission members. Another issue is related to risk management. The state recently raised Weber County’s risk management group insurance. According to Burton, this was due, in part, to the lack of proper training of planning commission members. Planning commission members are encouraged to participate in a two-day, concentrated training program covering legal and ethical conduct by citizen planners. A majority of the planning commission members do not choose to participate in the program, which then raises the potential for lawsuits against the county. A large number of township planning commissions is also cumbersome; when the county finds it necessary to amend, change, or create an ordinance, all six planning com- missions have to review and make a recommendation to the County Commissioners. If one commission makes a change to the proposed ordinance under review, it has to be re-circulated through all six commissions. A single ordinance can take nine months or longer to be approved. The county is also troubled over the number of hours staff has to spend preparing for and attending planning commission meetings, and the accompanying cost to the county for employee overtime for staff that has to attend numerous meetings held after regular business hours. TOWNSHIPS cont. on page 2 Weber Pathways will present Barry Lopez, essayist, short-story writer and international traveler at a fundraising dinner scheduled for Thursday, March 4 at the Timbermine Restaurant. Barry Lopez is the author of Arctic Dreams, for which he received the National Book award. Among his other nonfiction books are About This Life and Of Wolves and Men (a National Book Award finalist). Lopez is considered one of the nation’s premier nature writers. In his nonfiction he often examines the relationship between human culture and physical landscape. He is also the author of several award-winning works of fiction, including Field Notes, Winter Count, and a novella-length fable, Crow and Weasel. Most recently, Barry Lopez has published a collection of stories, Light Action in the Caribbean. “These are quietly astonishing tales, glistening with precision,” wrote the New York Times. The Washington Post calls him a “sweet stylist, finding the right voice for each of his characters and offering lyrical descriptions of natural beauty.” Once a landscape photographer, Barry Lopez is the recipient of the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the John Burroughs Medal, Guggenheim, National Science Foundation, and Lannan Fellowships, the John Hay Award for 2001, Pushcart Prizes in fiction and nonfiction, and other honors. His work appears regularly in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Orion, and The Georgia Review. All proceeds from this event will help further the mission of Weber Pathways, which is to promote, plan, and preserve nonmotorized public pathways and related open spaces in Weber County. Wisebird Bookery, located at 4850 S. Harrison Blvd., Ogden, will donate 15% of the price of any Barry Lopez book purchased through February 5 to Weber Pathways. “Weber County encompasses some of the most beautiful scenery in the West, and we have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this natural landscape accessible to us here,” said Sally Neill, Chair of Weber FUNDRAISER cont. on page 8 Work Resumes at Pineview Dam Winter work at Pineview Dam is being overseen by the Bureau of Reclamation. W. W. Clyde & Co., a contractor hired by the Reclamation to do renovation at the dam, is removing material from a borrow area—fill from an area below the road grade near the dam keeper’s home. The material is being stockpiled along the edge of the road in the same vicinity. The stockpiled material will be placed into the downstream berm of Pineview Dam beginning in April or May 2004, completing Safety of Dams work at Pineview. Reclamation does not expect this last phase of work to interfere with traffic near or across the dam. Pineview Dam is a zoned, earth and rock-filled structure. It was constructed in 1936 and enlarged in 1957. Letters to the Editor . Page 2 Announcements . . . . Page 6 Historical Article . . . . Page 9 Calendar of Events . . Page 14 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . Page 15 Heavy equipment works at the shore of the Pineview Reservoir near Pineview Dam.