The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission may be a volunteer board, but the decisions it makes regarding the future of growth and development can have profound ramifications. This week, Summit County determined the appointees for three vacancies on the Planning Commission.
Mike Franklin and Greg Lawson, who currently serve on the Planning Commission, were reappointed, and Ted Levy, a vice-president of a private equity firm, filled the third spot. Chris Hague, a long-time citizen watchdog of the community, was the fourth to be interviewed but did not get a position.
Franklin did not respond to requests for comment. Lawson said he is especially looking forward to the work that the Planning Commission has upcoming on updating the Snyderville Basin General Plan, which is currently in Phase II.
Lawson said he was motivated to continue on with the Planning Commission to help update the Development Code, as well.
In terms of balancing future growth with the community's desire to protect open space, Lawson is pragmatic.
"There are certainly obligations based on past approvals for development in the future there are also options on how best to accomplish that [growth]," Lawson said. "We're working on that the next year and I'm optimistic we can reach a balance between future development and still achieve the goals and objectives in the General Plan."
Levy said he saw the vacancy for the Planning Commission advertised and "thought it would be something interesting" to undertake. He added that he went to one of the Mountain Accord's public meetings and was awed by the "expected extraordinary rate of growth in our area."
"There are lots of issues [with growth and development], and many conflicting issues," Levy said. "Hopefully I bring some experience and judgment."
Levy said he does not have a concrete idea yet of how growth will be managed and he hopes that people think about and discuss that issue.
"If we don't plan for events, we are often overtaken by them," Levy said.
Although Hague did not make it onto the Planning Commission, he said that he, too, was motivated to join in order to work on the updates to the General Plan and Development Code.
"The Development Code process requires that whoever is working on it understand what community values are and makes sure what is written in the Development Code reflects those values," Hague said.
Hague added that it is crucial for planning commissioners to be "fair and reasonable" in their treatment of development applications, approving those projects that meet code requirements but also mandating that the developer make changes should there be conflicts with the code.
Franklin, Lawson and Levy will all serve terms that are set to expire Feb. 28, 2017. The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission is scheduled to meet next on Tuesday, March 11, at 6 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building, 1885 W. Ute Boulevard. For more information, visit summitcounty.org.