Election of Doug Clyde leaves vacancy on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission | ParkRecord.com

Election of Doug Clyde leaves vacancy on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission

Clyde will step down to join County Council

Doug Clyde speaks with Lisa Yoder, Summit County sustainability director, on Wednesday at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville. Clyde will be sworn in as a County Council member in January, creating a vacancy on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission.
(Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

When Doug Clyde is sworn in as a Summit County Council member next month, it will create a vacancy on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission.

Clyde joined the Planning Commission in 2012, serving two terms on the seven-member board. During his tenure, commissioners have rewritten the development code and proposed new zoning districts for that part of the county.

Those meetings drew hundreds of residents and the issue proved to be very divisive among the commissioners. Clyde ultimately opposed the proposal.

‘The vast majority of my time that was not spent in individual planning commission meetings was spent in subcommittee meetings regarding the rewrite of the code,” Clyde said.

Last month, Clyde defeated his challenger Colin DeFord in the general election to earn a four-year spot on the County Council. He will continue to serve on the planning commission until he is officially sworn in as a councilor on Jan. 4. Once he vacates his seat, the county will advertise the opening and begin accepting applications.

“He’s still a sitting member until he is sworn into a new office,” said Julie Booth, the county’s public information officer. “The day he is sworn in the commission will operate with one less member.

“The vacancy won’t occur until he steps down, but after he is sworn in it is a same-day transaction. We will immediately put the notice out,” Booth said.

The position will be advertised for one month, Booth said, before the County Council, including Clyde, will begin conducting interviews. She said more than 20 applications were received the last time a seat was open on the commission.

Commissioners serve on a volunteer basis and are responsible for reviewing applications and making recommendations to the County Council regarding zoning and amendments to the development code. Commissioners serve for three years and are eligible for three terms.

Interested citizens must have resided in the planning district for at least one year. Applicants may also reside within the municipalities. However, only two commissioners are allowed to live in a municipality. Clyde’s replacement will be appointed for the remainder of his term, which expires in February 2018.

Clyde said the issues he has faced while on the commission have been “pretty routine and not terribly controversial,” excluding the decision to refuse Rocky Mountain Power’s request to upgrade its transmission line.

“That was truly the only controversial issue we ever served up to the County Council,” Clyde said. The decision resulted in an appeal with the Summit County Planning Department. “Essentially all of the issues that are outstanding are all related to the finalization of the rewrite of the development code. Any new commissioner will be faced with the full review and rewrite of the code.”

Clyde encouraged interested applicants to ensure they have the availability to commit the time and effort to “understand the job of the planning commission and their role in making recommendations for legislative action.”

“They will be primarily enforcing the Eastern Summit County Development Code,” Clyde said. “Then, secondarily and no less important, is making recommendations to the County Council on legislative actions and the principal one, of course, is the rewrite of the development code.”

Clyde’s departure is occurring one month before commissioners Chris Ure, Sean Wharton and Ken Henrie’s terms expire on Feb. 28. Wharton is the only commissioner who will be eligible to reapply. Henrie and Ure are in their third terms.

For more information about the East Side Planning Commission go to http://summitcounty.org/590/Eastern-Summit-County-Planning-District. To view an application once they become available, go to http://www.summitcounty.org/321/Volunteer-Boards.

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