East Side zoning map reflects requests
The anger and frustration from a recent hearing had dissipated enough by last week to allow Eastern Summit County planning commissioners to finish readjusting the boundaries for the new zoning districts that are being considered for the East Side.
At the Dec. 3 hearing, planning commissioners approved, 5-2, an Agriculture (AG-6) zone that would extend 1,000 feet from the center of Chalk Creek Road from the eastern boundary of Coalville to the Wyoming state line. Doug Clyde and Ken Henrie cast the dissenting votes.
It was the third hearing that has been held over the last several weeks as commissioners have tweaked the district boundaries for the areas surrounding the five East Side municipalities. Chalk Creek Road was the final area to be addressed after the Nov. 17 hearing was continued following a heated discussion where several accusations were thrown at commissioners.
Eastern Summit County was initially divided into four distinct areas: Henefer to Coalville, Coalville to Wanship, Wanship to Oakley, and Oakley to Woodland. However, as the process has evolved commissioners have distinguished more between North and South Summit and focused on requests from individual property owners, overwhelmingly honoring the requests of those at the hearing.
"I just feel we have gone overboard with this in terms of approving those ‘I want this and I want that’ requests," Henrie said on Dec. 3.
Officials are attempting to create several new zoning districts to increase allowable density in unincorporated areas by lowering the acreage to provide more flexibility for property owners.
The new zoning districts being considered are:
- Agriculture (AG-1): one unit per acre
- Agriculture (AG-6): one unit per six acres
- Agriculture (AG-20): one unit per 20 acres
- Agriculture (AG-80): it replaces the current AG-100 zone
The following rezone opportunities are also being considered:
- Rural Residential (R-R): one unit per one acre
- Residential Subdivision (RS): three units per acre
- Recreation Commercial (RC)
The districts will include the new Agriculture (AG-1) zone that will extend 500 feet from the center line of all county roads to replace the current highway corridor, except along Democrat Alley and Boulderville Road in Oakley and Rob Young Lane near Peoa.
At the last meeting, commissioners agreed Boulderville Road would be excluded from the extended highway corridor and Lincoln Highway near Echo would have an AG-6 zone to the north and AG-1 zone to the south, among several other changes to the zones encompassing individual properties. None of the decisions were unanimous.
Commissioners will now begin crafting new language for Chapters 3 and 4 of the Development Code to uphold the new districts before ultimately making a recommendation to forward to the Summit County Council.
"We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us to bring all the information together and correlating everything we have done into one package that we can deliver," said Peter Barnes, Summit County planning and zoning administrator. "But the heavy lifting has been done and now it will just be a process of reading and correcting what we see in the language."
The map of the zoning districts is a visual representation of the language in the Development Code, Barnes said.
"The map can’t stand on its own. It is supported by the words," Barnes said.
Some staff members have been critical of the on-the-fly decisions being made during the hearings because of the implications the boundary adjustments could have on the number of future units.
The zone proposals have also sparked mixed reactions from property owners as more North Summit residents have supported the changes than those in the Kamas Valley. Several hundred people have attended the hearings and provided input since the process was introduced to the public last year.
At least two more public hearings will be held at the council level once a recommendation is forwarded. County Manager Tom Fisher attended the most recent hearing.
The next public hearing and regularly scheduled Eastern Summit County Planning Commission meeting will be held Thursday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m., in the County Courthouse, in Coalville. To view the map when it becomes available, go to http://summitcounty.org/590/Eastern-Summit-County-Planning-District.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.