Public hearings for the general plans of both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County are happening now, but the two plans are far from similar.
Summit County Planner Kimber Gabryszak said public comment on the Eastern Summit County General Plan was positive. Although there have been deep-seated tensions between landowners and the county in the past, she said the public overall supported the direction the plan was taking.
"The Basin's plan talks about open space, recreation, the resort economy. They're under a lot of pressure for development," Gabryszak said. "The East is more aware of its agricultural nature, natural resources and the need for economic development. It's less focused on open space and recreation."
Part of a major update to the East Side is that agriculture is no longer the core tenet. Farming land on the east side of the county is prime by Utah standards, Gabryszak said, but compared to arable land in the Midwest it doesn't measure up. Therefore, the plan is setting the stage for diversification of the economy away from agriculture.
The Basin and the East Side of the county have had separate general plans and commissions since 1996, Gabryszak says, but she adds, Eastern Summit County's plan has not been completely updated since then.
"There were several amendments from 2008 to 2010, but just to one chapter [of the plan]," Gabryszak said. "We need to make crucial updates and modifications to the plan.
A potential for development in the east side is in a zone called the Highway Corridor Zone, according to Gabryszak. The zone includes space 250 feet on either side of the center line of designated county roadways. It allows for higher density development and was popular with developers up until 2004. After then it was scaled back but later caused issues such as driveways on busy roads.
Gabryszak says there is pressure on the East Side for growth from both investors and families. There is much room for development as the majority of the property is low density usually one unit per 40 to 100 acres. An option currently being discussed is a residential zone, Gabryszak said, and one that accommodates growth but that is in concert with the development code.
The Eastern Summit County Planning Commission will hold a work session on the General Plan on Wednesday, July 31. A public hearing will then be scheduled for Wednesday, August 14, at the Summit County Council.