Beatrice Peck picked for Planning Commission
Snyderville Basin resident Beatrice Peck was successful after making a second attempt for a Snyderville Planning Commission opening, and was appointed to the position on March 13.
Peck has been an attorney since 1988. Her primary practice is in business and real estate, along with trust and estate planning.
"As an attorney I’ve been involved in various aspects of real estate," she said in an interview. "I’ve been involved in eminent domain and zoning issues, and I had completed a conservation easement for a client in conjunction with Park City and Summit Land Conservancy. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it. It kept my interest in growth, the balance of development and maintaining open space, and in the unique characteristics of the area piqued."
Peck said she’s been looking for an opportunity to get more involved in the community.
"I try to stay well informed of the politics of the area," she said. "And I’ve lived here for 17 years, so I’ve certainly watched the growth and growth patterns here."
Peck said that as an attorney, she has good analytical skills and the ability to find solutions.
"I look for good solutions and try not to aggravate the problem," she said. "I also have a good temperament for working with a group in stressful situations."
The Planning Commission is currently undertaking an upgrade of the Basin’s General Plan, as well as the Development Code.
"It is a big task because this is a large area with different aspects, maybe more so in this area than in Salt Lake County," Peck said. "There are the unique characteristics here of combining open space, agricultural and ranching lands, and trying to keep suburban sprawl limited in such a way that it’s inviting to live here."
However, Peck said, there is a fine balance between limiting suburban sprawl and respecting residents’ ability to best use their properties.
"But I think there is a concerted effort among the County Council, the Planning Commission, property owners and those with real estate interests to find harmony and a good balance," she said. "That takes a lot of effort and dedication to find good solutions. It takes a lot of thought. You’re trying to get the best for everybody, and sometimes that takes compromises for everybody."
Another challenge facing the Planning Commission is the changing economy, Peck said.
"I don’t think we’re solely based on a ski resort economy," she said. "I see so many other businesses coming here. They appreciate the atmosphere and the environment, but they aren’t related to the ski industry, and they aren’t dependent on snowfall or ski tourists, but are more year-rounded. And I’m not so sure with snowfall the way it is, that we shouldn’t be looking to diversify."
Peck applied last December for a previous opening, made available through the departure of Martyn Kingston, who had taken a job in Colorado.
During the first round of requests for applications by Summit County for the opening, no one responded. The second time, media publicized the opening and the county received seven applications. The spot went to Mike Barnes, a home builder and real estate developer.
This time, Peck went up against only one person, incumbent Bruce Taylor, who has served on the Planning Commission for 12 years.
"She threw her hat in the ring again, and Bruce had served for 12 of the last 15 years," Summit County Council Chair Claudia McMullin said. "Twelve of 15 years is a long time to serve for anybody. A fresh look and attitude is always a good thing on any board."
Members of the Planning Commission are typically limited to three terms of three years each, but Taylor served three terms on the Planning Commission before taking a break and coming back.
"I felt like it was time to give someone else the opportunity. And I didn’t want her to have a go a third time when I knew I wanted her," McMullin said.
McMullin added she liked that Peck is an attorney.
"She has a land use law background, so I knew she could come in and hit the ground running, and that she’s familiar with reading codes and understands what the purpose of the General Plan is," she said. "And with the first phase of the General Plan close to being finished, we could move onto the second phase with new blood."
McMullin added that the county has not had a lawyer on the Planning Commission since Sibyl Bogardus resigned in 2011 prior to the end of her term, citing scheduling conflicts.
"I really wanted to get a legal mind on the Planning Commission because I think that’s an important skill to have on it," McMullin said.
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