Ogden's creative district to unfold in three phases, will require new zoning

Thursday , July 19, 2018 - 5:30 AM

OGDEN — Ogden City’s ambitious plan to create a centralized hub for arts and culture is set to unfold in three separate phases and will likely require some new zoning rules.

The proposed “Nine Rails Creative District Master Plan” aims to formally designate a large section of the city as an area where artists and other creatives can live and collaborate.

The heart of the district — or as city officials are calling it, the “intensive area” — would be bounded by Washington Boulevard to the west and Jefferson Avenue to the east, between 24th and 26th streets. The district area would extend west to Historic 25th Street, north to The Junction, and east into the east-central neighborhood.

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The sector would include dedicated connections between each of those locations, supported by arts-based infrastructure.

A resolution to adopt the district has been drafted and Ogden City Council Policy Analyst Amy Mabey said the council is scheduled to vote on it at 6 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Ogden Municipal Building, 2549 Washington Blvd.

The plan was discussed Tuesday at a city council work session.

According to council documents, the first phase of the plan, which will begin to be implemented soon after the resolution is adopted, will include the following: a gateway art installation, a food truck hub, a new plaza on Ogden Avenue, an art/play installation at Lester Park, new signage and lighting, green infrastructure and traffic calming measures.

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The food truck hub and the gateway art would be established somewhere in the 400 block of 25th Street, according to council documents. The gateway project would combine street art mural with a lighted, overhead arch installation, signifying the main district entry point.

The first phase also includes the establishment of a “Creative District Zone” that allows higher density and mixed uses in certain areas within the district. The city will also consider an overlay zone that authorizes more home-based businesses.

It will likely take three years to complete the first phase of work. Two additional phases — which include a plaza at Kiesel Avenue, a redesign of Lester Park and the $79 million Ogden Bus Rapid Transit project — are scheduled to be completed in the next 6-12 years.

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The arts hub is part of the city’s Adams Community Reinvestment Area — a redevelopment district that includes a 150-acre section of Ogden between 23rd and 28th streets from Washington Boulevard to Jefferson Avenue. The area includes both commercial retail and residential buildings and many historic properties.

The city will use tax increment financing to help fund approximately $124 million worth of construction projects associated with the CRA.

You can reach reporter Mitch Shaw at mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23 or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/MitchShaw.StandardExaminer.

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