New East Side zoning district maps nearly done
The new zoning districts that are being considered for eastern Summit County are almost ready to be unveiled.
Chris Ure, East Side Planning Commission chair, said a map depicting the potential zoning districts is about 90 percent complete. He said any remaining work sessions on the topic, including the Planning Commission meeting next week, will be dedicated to ironing out the map’s details. But the potential district locations have been determined, he said.
"It’s just little things that I’ve noticed going over it," Ure said. "We’re basically trying to get a map that we feel is where we want to go and we’re almost there and I’m very happy with what we’ve got. We’ve listened to the public and we’ve made considerable changes."
Summit County Planning Department staff and Planning Commissioners have been working on reconfiguring the zoning districts for the eastern part of the county for nearly two years. A public hearing on the topic in February attracted more than 50 residents who were overwhelmingly in favor of the changes being suggested.
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
- Rural Residential (R-R): one unit per one acre
- Agricultural Residential Overlay: three units per acre
- Residential Subdivision (RS): three units per acre
- Recreation Commercial (RC)
The new designations would allow for expanded commercial zones and an extended, AG-1 Highway Corridor along all county roads, except Democrat Alley in Oakley and Rob Young Lane near Peoa.
Since the February hearing, nearly every Planning Commission meeting agenda has included a work session on the drafts of the zoning districts. The maps haven’t been presented to the public again, but are available on the Summit County website.
Ray Milliner, Summit County planner, said the hearing gave staffers direction on how residents were most interested in proceeding regarding density patterns.
"Some have said they would like to see more density, but at the same time people have come in and said ‘Don’t make it too dense so that it takes away from the character of the East Side,’" Milliner said. "So the maps are a mix of both."
- For the purpose of reconfiguring the districts, Eastern Summit County has been divided into four distinct areas:
- Henefer to Coalville
- Colaville to Wanship
- Wanship to Oakley
- Oakley to Woodland
Throughout the process, county staff and Planning Commissioners have focused on creating development rights based on compliance to reduce the number of nonconforming properties, which nearly 75 percent of the properties are.
"The biggest thing is we are working to try and bring conformity to a lot of the lots," Ure said. "You have the Highway Corridor along county roads, where about 80 percent of the parcels in the AG-40 zone are seven acres or less, so we’re trying to match up with what’s on the ground."
The new districts will make the process easier for property owners to manage their land, Ure said.
"That’s all this is. We’re trying to make the process simpler and easier for the common Joe to come in there and do what he wants with his ground," Ure said. "We’re trying to allow more flexibility so when people are faced with situation, they can go through the process and have it done in a matter that benefits them and the county."
As the districts are being considered, one of the most important issues that still needs to be addressed is how traffic and transportation will be impacted based on the new zoning, Peter Barnes, Summit County planning and zoning administrator, said.
At the next Planning Commission meeting Thursday, August 6, Derrick Radke, Summit County Public Works director, is scheduled to appear before the commission to begin this discussion.
The additional public hearings that are required at the commission level could take place as early as the end of August. Once the hearings are held, the Planning Commission will be tasked with forwarding a recommendation to the Summit County Council, the final authority on the proposed zoning districts.
"I’m hoping that by October we are forwarding a recommendation to the County Council for this and unless we have some catastrophic disaster, that’s the path we’re on," Ure said.
Ure encouraged all eastern Summit County property owners to attend the meetings to "tell us if we are on the right path or the wrong path."
"We keep hearing things that people don’t want to see zoning changes, but are scared to come to the meetings," Ure said. "That’s BS. Come whether you’re for or against it. We need to hear the other side, too."
To view the drafts of the zoning district maps, 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.