Why a Feasibility Study?

Ogden Valley Incorporated > Feasibility > Why a Feasibility Study?

By Brandi Hammon

The rumors are flying with the news of the Ogden Valley Incorporation effort that is underway. This a brief overview of the intent, process, sponsors and where more information is available. Hopefully this will quell any misinformation and open the door to your participation with the future of Ogden Valley.

An open house will be held at the Mountain Luxury Lodge at 3632 N. Wolf Creek Drive in Eden at 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 23.

The intent of incorporation is quite simply: to bring local control to the upper valley and implementation of the Ogden Valley General Plan. Presently, the valley is under the management of Weber County along with other unincorporated areas of the county spanning west. Commissioners and the planning department are often not residents of the upper valley, although we do presently have one commissioner but have not had local representation for several years. We feel the upper valley is unique and is in vast difference to the pressures, attributes, and opportunities found elsewhere in the county.

The process of incorporation began with a request for a Feasibility Study Petition Submission to the Lieutenant Governor’s office, including the property that is being proposed to incorporate. Within the parameters of the Utah Code, the attached map is the current proposed incorporation area. Presently, Snowbasin and Powder Mountain are not included but Nordic Valley is. The map may still change as the recent letter sent to property owners by the Lieutenant Governor’s (LG) office would allow boundary property owners to request withdrawal from the proposed incorporation area. The LG’s office will then review the petition, which required signatures from owners representing a minimum of 7% of the property value and 10% of acreage in the proposed area.

Once that is completed, the LG’s office will verify the signatures on the petition. If approved, the state will issue a RFP (request for proposal) to a third-party contractor to complete the study. The study is funded by the state. This third party will then complete a socio-economic analysis of the proposed incorporated area. It is expected that this report will be completed by late 2023. The report shall include:

  • Budget for Proposed City, including the ratio of projected revenue to expenses
  • Tax Impacts to Property Owners
  • Fiscal Impacts to Current Service Providers

Expenses considered will include general government costs, i.e., elected officials and administrative and legal fees; and projected recorder, finance, elections (general only), auditor, planning, engineering, police, animal control and shelter, roads and highways and weed department costs.

The county retains many of the expenses, including those associated with the judicial system, jail, fire, elections, library, and schools.

Sources of revenue include property tax, sales tax, business licenses, building permits, transient room tax, class B/C road funds, RAMP funds, grants, and other federal program monies. Please note that the “property tax” will replace and be equal (or less than) the Unincorporated Municipal Services Tax currently paid by Valley landowners.

Once the study is completed, it will be released to the public. Community meetings will then be hosted by the feasibility contractor to share the results of the study, and whether it is financially viable to move forward with incorporating. The intent is to have a neutral, if not positive outcome.

If the feasibility study proves that an incorporated city would be financially sound, the residents of the Valley could then sign a petition requesting the state/county add a question to the next general election ballot asking if voters would like to incorporate. It would be this vote, by a simple majority, that would determine if the valley should incorporate or not.

If the vote to incorporate is unsuccessful, then things remain as they currently are—status quo. However, if the vote to incorporate is successful, the process will move to the next step. Voters who live within the proposed boundary of the new city will elect the new government leaders and the process to set up the city will begin.

At this time, the intent is to incorporate as a city, not a new county. Huntsville Town would remain autonomous as they already incorporated back in 1924. Huntsville Town is in support of the incorporation, as noted in a recent letter from Mayor Sorenson.

Becoming a city allows for local governance of planning and zoning, collection of taxes/fees and to conduct business. It allows for local control and implementation of the general plan into code as it was intended.

The Vested Rights Rule protects existing development plans.

The incorporation of Ogden Valley is sponsored by state designated Primary Sponsor Mark Ferrin of Eden and supporting sponsors Nick Dahlkamp, Shanna Francis, Brandi Hammon, Richard Webb, and Jeannie Wendell.

My personal belief is that Ogden Valley is a special place. It should be well thought out, protected, and grown as outlined by the public developed and designed General Plan. I fully support the General Plan and all the effort and input that went into its creation.

I hope you can join me next Thursday so that I and the other sponsors can answer any questions you may have regarding this endeavor.

Here’s to making the world a better place one small valley at a time.

Note: Additional information can be found at Ogden Valley Incorporated on Facebook or email ovincorporation@gmail.com. An additional open house will be held at the Ogden Valley Library in Huntsville Tuesday, February 28 at 6:00 p.m.