New Barker Park Amphitheater Good for North Ogden

Thursday , May 17, 2018 - 12:00 AM3 comments

OUR VIEW

Progress and change is never easy, particularly in some of our area’s long-established neighborhoods, but we agree with District Judge Noel Hyde’s Tuesday decision that work on the new Barker Park amphitheater in North Ogden should proceed unhindered.

Hyde ruled this week that three homeowners that live near Barker Park did not have standing to be granted a temporary injunction halting construction of the new amphitheater, which is set to be debuted on July 4 during North Ogden’s Cherry Days festivities. The town has a concert and fireworks planned for the event to unveil the new structure.

The homeowners had argued the amphitheater violated a warranty deed governing the land that calls for the property to be a “traditional” park. They said the new, larger amphitheater – which is replacing a smaller venue currently at the park -- fell outside the scope of the 2000 deed, and that its construction should stop immediately until a final decision is reached in their lawsuit.

In ruling against the homeowners’ request, our reporter noted Hyde said “there is no single use that defines a traditional-type city park. The court declines to adopt any definition of the term traditional city park that gives specific precedence to one particular type of use.”

Indeed. Seeking a legal remedy for the matter at this juncture, with construction of the amphitheater’s initial phase nearly complete, was a longshot, at best. North Ogden officials noted the amphitheater upgrade plans had been discussed at 15 to 20 public meetings, and that the entire process had played out publicly dating to 2015.

Along with discussion by council and its various boards and commissions, we have kept on top of the amphitheater development, yet the first word of any opposition to the amphitheater came late last year. The homeowners’ lawsuit was not filed until February.

That’s not to say that if the plan didn’t meet legal standards, or that the city didn’t handle something properly, that the courts shouldn’t step in. Here, however, it appears everything was done by the book, and that’s all we can ask our public officials to do.

We are pleased to see work on the amphitheater proceed, and hope North Ogden’s Cherry Days festivities are a big success. Along with investing in an upgrade to the area’s future, the amphitheater will be a drawing point for future community activities. And in today’s society, where interaction among neighbors is not as strong as it was in previous generations, we should be utilizing every tool possible for getting out and learning about those around us.

The new amphitheater will help encourage that type of community interaction.

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