Residents flock to open house for General Plan
Droves of Summit County residents concerned with the Snyderville Basin General Plan’s effect on their individual neighborhoods and the future of transportation came out Tuesday for an open house hosted by the Planning Commission.
Officials estimate more than 150 residents made their way around the Sheldon Richins Building at the General Plan Open House, to glean information from the Planning Commission and express their concerns. The Planning Commission is charged with drafting the document and making a recommendation to the Summit County Council.
Clusters of people surrounded the individual tables manned by both the commissioners and the staff from the Community Development Department, while looking over maps and neighborhood development plans. Note cards were also available for the public to provide feedback. Some of the displays included information about: sustainability, transportation, land use, and open space.
Lamar Nichols, a Jeremy Ranch resident, said he attended the event to learn more about the potential development that is being considered in his neighborhood.
"I need to know what is going on and be aware of what is going to happen," Nichols said.
Most comments and questions posed at the open house concerned either transportation or the General Plan’s impacts on the 15 individual neighborhoods, Community Development Director Pat Putt said.
"We had people who were there and primarily interested in what the plan was for their subdivision or mainly for transportation information," he said.
The overall goal of the General Plan is to protect, preserve, and enhance the important characteristics of the Snyderville Basin by considering open space, recreational opportunities, and the economics of recreation and tourism, according to information provided at the open house. After the document is forwarded to the County Council, it will go through a series of public hearings before adopting it as the governing document for future development for the next 25 years.
Aspects of Phase 2 of the General Plan specifically address land use and zoning, with the inherent goal of not approving any new entitlements beyond base zoning until existing entitlements are significantly reduced.
The spectrum of residents who attended the open house represented much of the West Side of the county, from Jeremy Ranch to Old Ranch Road, including residents from Park City.
"I couldn’t have been more pleased to see that many people come out,"Putt said. "If we would have had half that amount, I would have considered it a success."
Bill Humbert, a Park City resident, said he was interested in how sustainability pertains to the General Plan and whether the plan considers development for the next 25 years.
"I just wanted to put a little bug in the right ears about considering technologies for alternative energy," Humbert said.
Other Parkites who attended the open house said they came out because they travel through the Basin either to work or shop on a regular basis, Putt said.
The event served as a precursor to upcoming public hearings in January.
"People really need to be educated before the public hearing so they can come and provide well-thought-through and well-informed input," Putt said in a previous interview with The Park Record.
"I think Tuesday was a great opportunity to get people ready and educated," he said.
A public hearing on the General Plan is scheduled Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. Officials plan to have a draft to the council sometime in February.
Many of the questions, comments and feedback from the open house will help frame the primary topics of discussion for the hearing, Putt said.
"People really care out there and from a planner’s perspective, that’s a source of a lot of energy and it’s exciting," Putt said. "This community has a real thumb on its pulse and they came out on Tuesday night to prove it."
The Snyderville Basin General Plan draft can be found online on the Summit County homepage, http://summitcounty.org/.
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