New name added to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission
County Council reappoints Canice Harte, selects Joel Fine
As Canice Harte begins his second term on the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission later this month, he says he has a clearer idea of why he originally applied for a position on the seven-member board three years ago.
Harte said his previous profession required him to constantly travel and he did not have the time to volunteer. But once he sold his business, Waterbox, he felt obligated to “do something for the community.”
“I think it is this idea that you can be a part of your community and really help,” Harte said. “Being a part of the planning commission is far more rewarding than I ever thought it would be. Now having done it for a few years, I’ve been involved in some really exciting projects.”
Last week, the Summit County Council announced Harte’s reappointment to the planning commission. The terms of Harte and Commissioner Mike Franklin expired on Feb. 28. Franklin had reapplied for his seat, but later withdrew his application. Joel Fine will replace the two-term commissioner. Harte and Fine’s terms will expire on Feb. 28, 2020.
Last month, the County Council also interviewed Josh Hobson and Carol Cohen for the vacancies.
While on the commission, Harte has participated in decisions regarding several significant projects in the Basin, including Canyon Corners, which will feature a Whole Foods store as the anchor tenant, and the Silver Creek Village Center. Commissioners are also currently reviewing the master plan for Canyons Village at Park City Mountain Resort.
Harte represents the planning commission on the Blue Ribbon Citizens’ Advisory Committee that will be tasked with developing a preliminary neighborhood plan for Kimball Junction and the surrounding areas.
Harte said one of the “interesting disconnects” about the commission is that they rarely bring their personal opinions about a project into account.
“It’s not proactive. It is reactive,” Harte said. “The planning commission cannot arbitrarily say, ‘no’ to something. Property owners have rights and I think that is one of the challenges with Kimball and opportunities in that area. We have to look at each individual project and you miss how that fits in with other projects.”
Fine, who is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, has lived in the county for 12 years. He is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, serving in Summit and Wasatch counties. Fine is a member of the Sunrise Rotary and serves on the Recycle Utah board of directors.
Fine said he applied for the position because he is concerned with creating measured and balanced growth in Summit County, with respect to land use, zoning, subdivision development regulations and traffic patterns, among other issues.
“I want to make sure residents understand why and how decisions are being made by the planning commission, ensuring as much communication as possible,” Fine said. “I’m not convinced people understand why decisions have been made and how complex the issues are.”
Fine said he is hoping to help strike a “socio-economic balance” with development. He credited his experience as a real estate agent with familiarizing him with the developments that are currently here and may be coming online.
“We need to work smarter, think smarter and be more creative,” Fine said. “I’m not saying the commission is not doing that, but it’s such a challenge to try and strike that balance. I’m just here to get involved and understand the General Plan. I will do a lot of listening and asking questions because I just want to be a part of balanced growth and development in the Snyderville Basin.”
Harte and Fine will join fellow commissioners Bea Peck, Colin DeFord, Chuck Klingenstein, Thomas Cooke and Malena Stevens. Their first meeting will be Tuesday, June 13. The agenda includes a public hearing about proposed amendments to Chapters 10, 11 and Appendix A of the Basin Development Code.
Commissioners serve on a volunteer basis and are responsible for making recommendations to the County Council regarding zoning, amendments to the respective development codes and application reviews. To serve on a Planning Commission, commissioners must have resided in the planning district or within incorporated area for at least one year.
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.