Guest Editorial, November 17-19, 2010
November 17, 2010
The Tuesday, November 9, 2010, meeting of Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meeting illustrated two things wrong with the planning along the scenic mountain corridor near Parleys Summit.
The first reason was expressed by thirty-one citizens at the meeting who spoke against the proposed Weilenmann CORE, Rezone and Major Development on the west side of the Interstate 80 near the Parleys Summit. These people expressed concerns ranging from the impact on the frontage road which is already overly congested because of the Weilenmann School, especially with a major emergency, no public transportation, lack of regard for environmental and wildlife impact, the fact that project is designed on seven acres that belong to the houses on the frontage road, disregard of Summit County Master Plan in creating a code for this development, inaccurate accounting by the developers to reduce the population density figures, building on land designated for open space, lack of planning for snow depths in development, no guarantees that the builder has enough money to complete the project, and no public input on the project until now. People could only respond to provisions of the code.
The developer of Woods at Parley’s Lane, across the freeway, testified that the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission required that neither their houses nor roofs could be seen from the freeway. They built high berms at great expense to that development. A Timberline resident testified that three times in the past, Timberline had asked the commission for variance in zoning. Timberline asked for a sound wall, a medical office building and townhouses similar to the ones in the Weilenmann plan. Timberline was denied all three requests because the projects would spoil the mountain view entry to Summit County along Interstate 80. Now Weilenmann is proposing 168 housing units in that area that will be visible from Interstate 80.
The second thing wrong: When asked about the traffic congestion the development would cause on the frontage road, Snyderville Basin Planning Commission Chairperson Katharine Kinman responded that Summit County had nothing to say about the building of the Weilenmann School and traffic congestion from it. Katharine stated that the State put the school there. Weilenmann School lacks parking, access for patrons’ cars and patrons blocking the frontage road as they drop off and pick up their children. The school is closer to the stream than the three feet required by Utah law. This is wrong. How was the State of Utah able to build the Weilenman School without Summit County control and citizen input? Someone should investigate this.
It is my understanding that 38% of the students at Weilenmann School come from Salt Lake Valley, 30% from Park City and 32% from Kamas and Coalville areas. The developers and Snyderville Basin Planning Commission express the need for affordable housing in Summit County. One question is whether this development would provide affordable housing for Summit County workers.
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission should not rezone this area and should deny approval of the Weilenmann CORE Development. This development is wrong!