Community Meets to Learn About Proposal to Investigate Feasibility of OV Incorporating

Ogden Valley Incorporated > Feasibility > Community Meets to Learn About Proposal to Investigate Feasibility of OV Incorporating

Compiled by Shanna Francis

On September 14, the community came together at Snowcrest Jr. High in Eden to learn about an organized effort to investigate the feasibility of incorporating Ogden Valley.

Community members who attended were welcomed by Eden resident Mark Ferrin who is heading up the effort. A power point presentation was then presented by Nick Dahlkamp.

The first discussion… why incorporate? The number one reason is to take back control over issues specific to Ogden Valley, versus the entire county. Because administrative decisions for Ogden Valley are entangled with decisions for the entire unincorporated area and population of Weber County—and the majority of decision makers for the county do not live in the upper valley—decisions aren’t always made that are in the best interest of the Ogden Valley community. Also, if Valley residents want to repeal a planning decision by ballot referendum or initiate a ballot decision through a ballot initiative, the power to do so is diluted by the remaining portion of the county whose interests are focused on the what’s best for the western portion of the county. As such most initiatives or referendums would probably be defeated; thus, the voice of valley residents is disenfranchised.

Other reasons in favor of incorporation:

  • Lack of support by county administrators for the 2016 Ogden Valley General Plan.
  • Unsustainable development that is being approved by current administrators—Weber County’s three-member county commission—including issues related to water, sewer, and transportation.
  • Inability to cap the over-all number of dwelling units in the valley to sustainable levels.
  • Lack of affordable housing, driven, in part by out-of-control illegal short-term rentals—a commercial enterprise driving up single-family home prices and rental and purchase costs that can’t compete with commercial values.
  • Proliferation of, and unsupervised use of short-term rentals to the detriment of single-family neighborhoods.
  • Loss of rural farmland to residential/commercial development.
  • Accelerated loss of wildlife habitat and wildlife, and degradation of the environment and its natural resources.
  • Lack of an integrated infrastructure (such as water) and land use planning plan.

Considerations Relevant to Incorporating

  • What Does Incorporation Mean?
  • The Process
  • Conceptual Timeline
  • Basic Numbers, i.e., population and property values
  • Costs Associated with Incorporating
  • Incorporation Boundaries
  • Next Steps

An incorporated community is one that is a self-governing political subdivision of the state. A city council is elected by voters who live within the newly established municipal boundaries. This governing body can collect taxes, enact ordinance, and conduct its own business, much as Huntsville Town does.

The process of incorporating includes four phases:

Phase 1. A feasibility study must be completed to determine if it is even economically viable to incorporate. To initiate a feasibility, enough signatures must be collected by property owners whose property will be part of the proposed incorporation boundaries. This is currently happening.

Also, a request must be filed for a “feasibility study” with the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (LG). It must be signed by private landowners covering 10% of the total area and equal to 7% of total property values in the proposed incorporated area. In addition, a description of the area to be incorporated must be submitted, along with a map/plat prepared by a licensed surveyor. And, finally, five sponsors must be designated with one primary contact sponsor.

Once these steps are completed, the LG will hire a third-party independent consultant to conduct a feasibility study, which uses a five-year analysis to see if projected revenues will meet the threshold of exceeding projected costs by 5%. The study will include a socio-economic analysis, the tax impacts on property owners within the proposed city, and the fiscal impact on current service provides.

Then, two public meetings will be held where the consultant will present the findings of the study and conduct a question-and-answer session. After the completion of the first meeting, landowners, once again, will have the opportunity to file a request to have property excluded from the proposed city boundaries.

In response, the LG will send written notices to each property owner within the area and within 300 feet of the proposed boundary. A landowner may request to be excluded; the LG will make the final determination. The LG and county officers must certify signature requirements, plus, notify Utah Population Committee. The Utah Population Committee must then confirm the county’s population plus the contiguity requirements.

Phase 2. After the contractor has shared the results of the feasibility study with the public, residents then decide if they want to pursue the incorporation process of becoming a city. This requires another petition and another round of signatures with the signers’ land ownings covering 10% of the total area and equal to 7% of total property values within the proposed boundaries. In addition, at least 10% of all registered voters within 90% of the voting precincts within the proposed area need to have signed the new petition, which must be filed within a year of the feasibility study, along with five named petition sponsors and one contact sponsor, a description of the area with the map prepared by a licensed surveyor, the proposed name of the city, the number of commission/council members, and election boundaries. The LG and county officers must certify that requirements have been met.

Phase 3. The community votes on the incorporation proposal at a general or municipal general election. The vote must pass by simple majority. Only persons living within the proposed boundary may vote on the incorporation issue.

Phase 4. The next phase is incorporation implementation if the vote carries. The LG issues a Certificate of Incorporation, and a mayor and members of the city council are elected at an upcoming general or municipal general election. Then the work of the city begins. A schedule for reimbursement for costs of the incorporation analysis and petition that the LG’s office initially covered is drawn up. Funds are barrowed for startup expenses, personnel are hired, negotiations and bids are accepted for service contracts, tax anticipation notes are issued, and appointments are made to the municipality’s planning commission, etc.

How long will the incorporation process take? Now that the process has begun, a timeline budget shows that the process of fully incorporating will take until about November of 2025 to complete.

Would it be economically feasible to incorporate? Numbers from the county assessor and treasurer’s office shows that Ogden Valley, including Ogden Canyon brings in a return surplus with revenues exceeding expenses by about $1 million.

Costs of Incorporation. The initial costs of the incorporation process through the feasibility study are borne by the LG’s office. This includes the cost to certify a request of a feasibility study, the feasibility study, certification of the petition, public notices, public hearing costs, and other miscellaneous costs. It does not cover the costs for holding an election. If the incorporation process is successful, the new city must reimburse the LG and the county. If the newly proposed city does not incorporate, costs will not be reimbursed.

What will be the boundary of the new city? At this point, boundaries for the newly proposed Ogden Valley city are still being investigated.

Next steps include:

  • Define the area to incorporate
  • Raise funds and hire a licenses surveyor to develop the proposed boundary map
  • Volunteers collect signatures
  • Identify four support sponsors
  • Submit a “Request of Feasibility Study”

A working group meeting was held Friday, September 23 at the Ogden Valley Branch Library to move ahead with plans.

If you would like to help or be involved in collecting signatures for the feasibility study, would like to assist in other ways, or have questions regarding the incorporation process, please send an email to

If you would like to sign the petition, copies are available at Valley Market in Eden, or email your interest of doing so to the same email, Please note that when you sign the petition, you will need a copy of your property’s parcel number to validate your qualification as an Ogden Valley property owner.