Ogden Valley residents aren’t happy with a potential redevelopment. Here’s why.

Eden Crossing, a housing and retail development, was the focus of a Weber County Commission meeting Tuesday evening.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Homes above Pineview Reservoir in Eden on Thursday, June 23, 2022.

Ogden • The pristine, rural landscape of the Ogden Valley could be more urban in the coming years, much to the chagrin of those who live in the area. Weber County Commission took a step toward that change Tuesday night.

After a lengthy hearing and numerous public comments, members of the Weber County Commission voted 2-1 on a proposal to rezone two plots of farmland totaling 20 acres near the center of Eden into a new mixed-use development village called Eden Crossing — complete with a hotel, retail space, condos and a residential neighborhood.

The rezone vote allows the Eden Crossing project to move forward, adding it to the list of other similar housing plans in the Ogden Valley. A similar project, named Nordic Village, also drew scrutiny from the community in part due to Commissioner Gage Froerer’s former ownership of the Nordic Village land.

Froerer and Commissioner Jim Harvey voted in favor of adopting the rezone Tuesday, while Commissioner Sharon Bolos voted against it.

Just before the vote, Harvey said he’d vote for the rezone contingent on a few things. Harvey wanted the Eden Crossing developer to pay costs up to $1 million toward changing a nearby 4-way stop into a roundabout, as the development would surely cause more traffic. He also wanted certain limits on Eden Crossing itself, such as at least 10% of the development being open for public use, and housing units in the development must be owner-occupied with no fractional ownership allowed, among other stipulations.

The Eden Crossing development is being backed by John Lewis, owner of Wolf Creek Resort and a longtime developer in Weber County. Lewis spoke briefly near the end of the hearing after Harvey outlined his requirements for the project to move forward. Lewis said he’s open to feedback and altering plans if the project were to move forward.

“We’re going for places where our kids can rent, our kids can own, employees can own,” Lewis said of the development.

Over a dozen people gave their comments on either side of the project to the commission, with some yielding their time to attorneys to speak on their behalf.

Many of those against the development were quick to point out that the Ogden Valley Planning Commission, an advisory board for the county, voted against the rezone in November. Other commenters said they believe the development feels forced and inspires distrust in the county government.

Kelli Booth, an Ogden Valley resident who opposes the development, spoke during the hearing Tuesday. She told The Salt Lake Tribune last week she worries Eden Crossing would undercut businesses already in the area, like those located at Eden Center, a small commercial area just down the street from Eden Crossing’s potential site.

“It changes everything in Eden,” Booth said of Eden Crossing, “and they’re creating a village to compete against an already established village that is just barely starting to stand on its own two feet.”

Another Ogden Valley resident against the project Tuesday is Hugh Shaum, who lives across the street from where Eden Crossing would potentially be. He argued Tuesday there’s already adequate housing in the Ogden Valley, as other been housing developments have been approved but have yet to be finished.

He said last week he worries the expanded traffic that would accompany Eden Crossing would eventually lead to the roadway, Highway 166, needing to be widened. If the road would need to be widened, Shaum worries his neighbors’ homes would be torn down for the expansion.

“I think the citizens are awake and say, ‘this is not right,’” Shaum told The Tribune. “It’s not fair, it’s not the best thing for the future of the valley.”

One main point of disagreement between those who oppose Eden Crossing and support it, is whether the development is in line with the Ogden Valley General Plan, a document approved in 2016 that is meant to be a road map for how best to develop the area.

Opponents of the Eden Crossing project say the development doesn’t line up with the general plan, which says the county should, “Avoid scattered and strip commercial and retail development patterns in the Valley.” Those in favor of the development point to its proximity to the area where village developments are supposed to be located, like near the town center of Eden — though not all the development’s 20 acres would fit into that zone.