University Board Votes Against Land Sale for Gondola Plan

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LAYTON, Utah (AP) -- Weber State University says it wants to keep 120 acres for future development rather than sell it to a developer who wants to build a gondola and resort.

The decision is the latest blow to developer Chris Peterson's plan. But trustees stopped short of saying the land would never be sold and suggested they would consider future proposals for the land, including Peterson's.

"Any future land proposals would need to be evaluated in the context of Weber's master plan," said Weber State President Ann Millner.

The university Board of Trustees, meeting at the Davis campus in Layton, voted unanimously Tuesday to incorporate the 120-acre hillside parcel into the school's ongoing campus master plan.

The land parcel is extremely valuable to the future of the university, said Trustees Vice Chairman Barney Chapman.

Weber State has 17,013 students enrolled this spring. In 20 years, enrollment is expected to be 33,700, according to Utah Higher Education Commissioner Rich Kendell.

Weber State officials have discussed putting 10 three-story buildings, along with parking structures and roads, on the land. Because of the slope of the land, only 58 of the 120 acres is feasible for development.

An economic study presented Tuesday valued those 58 acres at $10 million, based on 2006 market value for undeveloped residential property.

The university hasn't received a proposal from Peterson regarding his project to buy the land from the university as part of a larger resort, residential and gondola development that would include his purchase of Mount Ogden Golf Course. The gondola would run from the development up Mt. Ogden.

Peterson's gondola project is considered key to Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey's hopes that a second gondola system be built from the university to downtown.

------ Information from: Standard-Examiner,

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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