Summit County Council candidates take stands on development | ParkRecord.com

Summit County Council candidates take stands on development

Two candidates vying for an open seat on the Summit County Council are using their professional backgrounds to outline stark differences in their approaches to how future development throughout the county should be handled.

Doug Clyde, who is 64 years old and an Oakley resident, touts more than 30 years of experience in land use and resort-based development. He is running on the Democratic ticket and will go head to head against Republican candidate Colin DeFord during November's General Election. The two planning commissioners are seeking the seat currently held by Claudia McMullin who decided not to run for a third term.

DeFord, who is 44 years old and a Pine Ridge resident, highlights his professional background as a technical producer in the sports and entertainment industry. He has served on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission since 2012 and was elected chair in 2013 and again in 2014.

Clyde came to Park City from California in the 1970s and later became president of development for Park City Mountain Resort when it was run by Powdr Corp. He has had his hand in several large projects over the years, including spearheading Empire Pass and the expansion of the base-area development of Park City Mountain Resort.

"I have a lot of depth in master planning, primarily in resort and residential communities," the East Side planning commissioner said in an interview with The Park Record on Monday. "That is significant, but also the other thing that is significant is that my knowledge and understanding of the environmental impacts and mitigation that is needed.

"I know a lot about how complicated the problems are that we are currently facing and the things that are bothering us right now are traffic and water quality," he said.

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The incoming County Council members will face the development of as much as 3,000 residential units and millions of square feet of commercial space that has already been approved and is waiting to be built in the Snyderville Basin.

"Resort-based development in properly planned communities is something that we need to continue to work on to make sure that first of all it is available and that we do have properties to develop," Clyde said.

Within the county, there is generally only one significant resort development—Canyons Village at Park City Mountain Resort– Clyde said, adding that there are other hotel facilities and real estate development in areas such as Newpark that also need to be considered.

"The development at Kimball Junction started off about 25 years ago and that was obviously a haphazard and poorly considered development plan. But, it has some very bright spots and Newpark would be one of them," Clyde said. "You can't generalize the Kimball Junction area too much because has some very good development models going on and they have some questionable models as well. So how do you move forward on that is you have to try and work with the developer to see if there are any mutually beneficially goals."

Additionally, there is also a large potential for resort-based development on the East Side of the county, Clyde said. He added it is important to focus on providing resort activities on a smaller, more disperse scale. The suggested amendments to Chapters 3 and 4 of the East Side development code do not achieve this, he said, before adding it is why he vehemently opposed the changes.

"It is important to protect our mountain environment and the nature of that is that if development is going to be successful from a sustainability and infrastructure standpoint, we need to avoid a proliferation of sprawl on one-acre lots," Clyde said.

DeFord said he too would have voted against the amendments proposed for the East Side code. He said the new zoning districts risk turning South Summit into a bedroom community.

"You have to think about the long-term impacts. One of the big problems on the East Side is family retention. We need to find a way that family landowners can give property to their growing children and there is just no avenue to do that," DeFord said. "I think the new East Side zoning was attempting to solve a lot of problems"

DeFord said the East Side faces the same issues that the Basin did when it was developed, adding that there is a high propensity for similar development to happen. He said the key is to make sure the "right things happen in the right places."

"This is one of the reasons I am running and one of my priorities. I want to fix the zoning and start working on tools and ways to move these entitlements and densities to places that are more appropriate," DeFord said. "It's going to take some sort of tool similar to a transfer development right and development agreements with an entity or area that will allow for the movement of density into an area that needs more."

DeFord said development needs to be incentivized, adding that it would most likely come through increased density and a master planning process.

"One key difference between Doug and I is that I am not a developer and he is. He is a land consultant for developers," DeFord said. "I'm a problem solver and I have the ability to sit the fence and see both sides of the coin to find solutions to the problems that we have. That is the biggest difference between Doug and I. He comes from a development side and I don't."

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