Legislature approves new boundaries for Summit County legislative districts
County split into 4 Utah House districts and 2 Senate districts
For The Park Record
The Utah Legislature has approved final legislative boundaries for the state, with Summit County being split among four House districts and two Senate districts.
The new maps were drawn as part of the redistricting process that occurs in Utah and other states every decade and will take effect for the 2022 elections.
The Legislature also approved boundaries for congressional districts and state school board districts. No proposals from the state’s new Independent Redistricting Commission were used, which drew complaints from some Utahns — especially regarding the congressional map — that the Republican-dominated body had gerrymandered the districts.
In Utah, there are 75 House districts and 29 Senate districts, some of them with new numbers. Summit County for the last decade has been part of three House districts and two Senate districts, and the new legislative maps do not represent a significant departure from the current boundaries.
The new districts are as follows:
• House District 4, which covers Summit County’s East Side and a chunk of the Snyderville Basin, including Kimball Junction, Pinebrook and Jeremy Ranch. The district stretches north to the Idaho border and also includes Morgan.
• House District 23, covering only a sliver of Summit County: the Summit Park neighborhood. The bulk of the district is in Salt Lake County.
• House District 59, which includes Park City proper, much of the Snyderville Basin and all of Wasatch County.
• House District 68, which includes a large chuck of unpopulated land in Summit County south of the border with Wyoming.
• Senate District 3, covering neighborhoods like Summit Park and Jeremy Ranch, as well as the municipalities in North Summit. The district reaches as far as North Ogden.
• Senate District 20, including Park City, much of the Snyderville Basin and the South Summit municipalities. The district stretches to Wyoming’s southern border and Colorado’s western border and also includes much of Wasatch County, Vernal and Duchesne.
Summit County Democratic Party Chair Katy Owens was not pleased with the boundaries. She said she believes Utah was gerrymandered “at every level.” The seat of House Minority Leader Rep. Brian King, whose current district is similar to that of the new House District 23 will remain Democratic because most of his district is in Salt Lake County, but the other districts that include Summit County will likely stay Republican, she said.
“I think this was very deliberate to dilute our voice up here in Summit County,” Owens said of the boundaries selected for the area. “We would love to be able to have the opportunity to elect the representatives that we want but these maps have been deliberately drawn to prevent that.”
She also said many local residents would like Summit County to be put together in a single Utah House district, but the county was divided into its current three House districts in 2010 and now will be in four.
“We would love to have a representative from Summit County,” Owens said, noting that the three House members and two senators whose districts include parts of Summit County live in Salt Lake, Weber, Morgan, Wasatch and Duchesne counties.
Karen Ballash, vice chair of the Summit County Republican Party who also is serving temporarily as chair, said it’s hard to make everyone happy when redistricting but that the boundaries are fair.
The map-making process was open and anyone could present a map, she said.
“I have traveled Summit County since I was elected last March,” Ballash said. “I’ve gotten to know the people and I really do think that we have communities of interest. I think we have common needs as a people and that it’s good that we represent all people in the district.”
The red, white and blue transit buses that allow commuters, skiers and visitors to easily travel through Parleys Canyon will be reduced starting next Sunday, but a new agreement spearheaded by a county agency will ensure the critical connection remains intact.
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