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This map shows proposed development in western Weber County as outlined in the draft Master Plan update for the area. The “walking village” areas are surrounded by red dotted lines, where mixed-use residential and commercial development could take place. Weber County commissioners are holding a hearing on the draft update on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.
Image provided, Weber County
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This map shows the proposed street and transit development in West Weber County in the proposed Master Plan Update for the area. The “walking village” areas are surrounded by red dotted lines, each of which is the site of a proposed future transit station. Weber County commissioners are holding a hearing on the draft update on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.
Image provided, Weber County
OGDEN – The proposed update to the planning document for western Weber County envisions several “walking villages” on a corridor extending west from Interstate 15 toward the Great Salt Lake, where larger Pockets of population would likely consolidate as growth continued.
The villages would also serve as trading centers for the region, still largely rural but at the center of increased development as the population grew. Meanwhile, the draft document – in the works since last year and subject to a public hearing on Tuesday – also considers the potential long-term development of a light rail system adjacent to the existing Union Pacific east-west rail line in the area to be served. the various villages.
The hearing, convened by the Weber County Commission and intended for public comment, begins at 6 p.m. and will be held at the Weber Center, 2380 Washington Blvd. in Oden. The Western Weber Planning Commission, an advisory body to county commissioners, held a hearing on July 19, ultimately recommending approval of the plan, although county commissioners are not expected to take formal action until or after August 16. .
Discussions about updating the 2003 Master Plan date back at least four years to 2018, when the Weber County Planning Division held a series of hearings to get public input on future growth. of the region. A consultant, Landmark Design, launched efforts last year to handle the actual update and held public meetings and other gatherings to seek public feedback.
As the process unfolded, the public, on the whole, expressed support for maintaining the country vibe of the area, according to Landmark.
“Farming noises, smells and farm equipment are all part of the farming lifestyle that many current residents love and enjoy. Given the proximity to the adjacent urbanized area, the relatively dark night sky and lack of light pollution have some support from area residents,” reads the draft master plan update. .
On the other hand, many have expressed their aversion to allowing sprawling development.
“There was very little support for filling existing open land with suburban development on large lots similar to development patterns in other areas of southern Weber County or northern Davis County,” the project continues.
Ultimately, the document aims to concentrate development in certain areas while keeping larger tracts of land more open, with less dense development. The draft plan also contains planning provisions for the Uintah Highlands area abutting South Ogden, which is also unincorporated, as the primary area of interest in western Weber County.
Notably, the land-use map compiled as part of the effort shows clusters of higher-density development at scattered points running west, roughly along the 12th Street corridor, the main east-west route through the area. The clusters – the “pedestrian villages” – allow for mixed-use residential and commercial development as well as “vehicle-oriented” commercial development on their periphery.
“Not the whole corridor is commercial, it’s those specific nodes,” Charlie Ewert, senior planner with the Weber County Planning Division, said during the July 19 hearing. The nodes, according to the draft documents and Ewert, are located roughly around 3500 west, 4700 west, 5500 west, 6700 west, and 7100 west. The map shows another node around 8300 West.
Nodes 3600 West and 4700 West are along the 12th Street Corridor while the others are closer to the Union Pacific rail line running parallel to the 12th Street Corridor just to the south. A transit system is depicted on draft maps along the Union Pacific rail line, with a transit station at each of the six village nodes.
Ewert is considering maybe a grocery store and maybe a hardware store around the 4700 West node depending on demand and further west around the 6700 West node. This 6700 West development area is near the planned northward expansion into Weber County in the coming years of the West Davis Corridor that is currently taking shape in Davis County.
“Here across the river in this mixed-use community, they’re planning quite a bit of big-box retail operations as they get rooftops populating the area,” Ewert said during the interview. the July 19 hearing, alluding to the 6700 West zone.
The draft planning document indicates that there are currently no mixed-use commercial areas in western Weber County and it has offered a description of the vision. “In every mixed-use area, there should be at least one community ‘main street’. Main Street should provide retail, services, restaurants and related activities that make the street worth using,” it reads.
Plans for the transit system stretching along the 12th Street corridor and the Union Pacific rail line are only on paper at this point. But the planning document alludes to the corridor’s importance as a conduit to transport people as it grows.
The corridor “should be highly multi-modal, with sufficient vehicle capacity and facilities for pedestrians and other active transportation separated from moving vehicular traffic. The possibility of long-term transit service along this corridor should be pursued,” the document states.
He cites the potential for development of a “light rail” system along the corridor or a bus rapid transit system, such as the Utah Transit Authority network taking shape in Ogden to connect the station FrontRunner at Weber State University and McKay-Dee Hospital.
Notwithstanding the vision along the 12th Street Corridor, much of unincorporated western Weber County is set aside for mid to large residential lots in the draft document.