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Charlie Ewert, right, the senior planner for the Weber County Planning Division, speaks to county commissioners on the proposed Skyline Mountain Base ski village in the Ogden Valley on Tuesday August 16, 2022. The commissioners, from left to right, are Jim Harvey, Scott Jenkins and Gage Frörer.
Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
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Left to right, Weber County Commissioners Jim Harvey, Scott Jenkins and Gage Froerer at the agency meeting Tuesday, August 16, 2022.
Tim Vandenack, Standard Examiner
OGDEN — Plans for the Nordic Valley Ski Village are evolving in response to concerns raised by neighbors, but they are making progress.
Weber County commissioners on Tuesday approved a number of land use code changes in the Ogden Valley, requested by Skyline Mountain Base, owner of the Nordic Valley ski resort and is pursuing plans. The changes – revised and adjusted from previous proposals – will allow for the type of development sought by Skyline representatives, taking into account concerns expressed by the public.
Soon will come a rezoning request by Skyline based on the updated codes, possibly in September, according to Skyline Mountain Base board member and Liberty Zone resident Laurent Jouffray. Before that, next Monday, Skyline officials are hosting an open house at the Ogden Valley branch library in Huntsville starting at 6 p.m. to provide the public with the latest information on the plans.
Plans — calling for perhaps 500 housing units radiating out from the base of the Nordic Valley ski operation — could have moved forward without the new code language, Jouffray said.
But the change “provides a framework, including architectural guidelines, designs and urban guidelines, that benefit the region,” he continued. “In other words, it creates constraints for the developer but it allows, at the same time, a much better result in terms of design than the previous prescriptions. ”
The ski village proposal has alarmed some residents of the Eden area, home to the Nordic Valley and Powder Mountain ski resorts, concerned about overdevelopment and the loss of the area’s outdoor charms. Notably, however, the footprint of the proposed village has been reduced to cover only the area that is central to Skyline’s plans, to the relief of neighbours, said Bruce Magill, one of many locals who turned up. Express.
With the changes, the plans are “not as bad”, he said. “There are still problems.”
Other changes to the plans, Jouffray said, include opening up Nordic Valley land to neighbors, giving them access to trails on adjacent U.S. Forest Service land, and height limits on proposed buildings so that neighbors’ view not be obstructed. The number of accommodation units has been reduced from over 700 to around 500, although the figure does not include hotel rooms, and developers will adhere to dark sky guidelines.
“We made many adjustments to the initial plans after listening to our neighbors and the commissioners,” Jouffray said. Additionally, the plans, by moving development rights from other areas around Nordic Valley to the base of the resort, will prevent development on some 350 acres of land.
Commissioners voted 2-0 on Tuesday in favor of the code changes, with Commissioner Gage Froerer recusing himself. Frörer is a partner of Nordic Valley Land Associateswho owns a portion of the land that is within Skyline’s proposed development area, and he chose not to vote to avoid a potential conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict.
He is involved with the trust that has owned the land for about 20 years, but has nothing to do with Skyline’s plans. “The development was led by the ski resort and the people at Skyline,” he said after Tuesday’s meeting.
The land owned by Nordic Valley Land Associates, Froerer continued, may or may not end up in the Skyline proposal. “I don’t know. It’s not my decision,” he said.
Through it all, some have wondered if Skyline can secure the water rights needed to create the village it envisions. “We are not the water authority in the valley. Whether it’s this developer or any other developer, they have to bring the water with them,” Commissioner Jim Harvey said, addressing the issue.