Ogden City Council moved to change zoning laws on Oct. 6 to allow for higher density housing than before.

The Ogden City Council passed new guidelines for building apartments and homes in the downtown commercial district that would encourage types of housing between single family homes and mid-rise apartment buildings. (Ogden Planning Commission)
The Ogden City Council passed new guidelines for building apartments and homes in the downtown commercial district that would encourage types of housing between single family homes and mid-rise apartment buildings. (Ogden Planning Commission)

For the past six months, the council has been investigating their zoning requirements and looking for ways to reform them to best suit the community. The planning commission put together several suggestions of ways to improve multi-family housing in Ogden. The commission looked at surrounding cities and counties and their buildings to redefine the zoning regulations.

The goal of the commission was to create competitive and economic housing that still provides the needs of the community. The commission presented these changes to the council after ratifying them with a vote of 7 to 1.

The commission representative Greg Montgomery feels this program is “the right move for Ogden right now,” Richard Hyer added. “We don’t want this to be the end of the conversation. But we were pleased with what we created in six months.”

The one dissenting vote was cast out of concern for the unknown implications.

“I’m worried that we don’t know how this will affect everything. We may be moving too quickly without looking at the full range of implications,” Montgomery said.

One of the changes is that the construction sites would no longer have a minimum size for apartment rooms. This would allow for the greater construction of single-room and studio apartments. Council member Luis Lopez was concerned with creating cheaper housing for lower-income workers; Montgomery noted that the new zoning is not a direct solution, but that allowing smaller buildings will help keep prices down.

The council accepted the new ordinance as amended in a unanimous vote at the end of the meeting.

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