Silver Creek businesses out of compliance
February 26, 2013
The Summit County Council is considering rezoning the Eastern portion of a Silver Creek plat, Silver Creek Estates Unit I, to bring businesses within compliance of county zoning.
Currently, several businesses are located on the plat, which is located north of the Interstate 80 and U.S. 40 intersection, even though the zoning is currently rural residential.
"The development was created in 1965, prior to any zoning in Summit County, which started in 1977," explained Roger Armstrong.
A note on the subdivision plat suggested that prior to the county’s establishment of zoning, the plat was intended for heavy residential, commercial and industrial use.
Because of this, over the years the county has recognized commercial uses on the plat.
In 2011, a property owner requested advice concerning zoning compliance of their business from the Office of the Utah Property Rights Ombudsman, an independent government entity that advises citizens and government agencies concerning land use and property rights laws.
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The Ombudsman determined that the plat was out of compliance of the zoning laws, and that all future development applications would have to comply with the rural residential zoning.
Following the determination, more requests for advice concerning other commercial properties on the plat came to the Ombudsman, which then determined that current uses in line with the plat note should be allowed.
Two property owners then requested a zone change to guarantee their properties would be conforming.
"Rather than allowing development take place on an ad hoc basis, staff thought it would be better to get their arms around it and rezone it commercial," Armstrong said.
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission reviewed the issue on Dec. 18 and discussed whether the plat should be zoned neighborhood commercial or community commercial.
With a split 3:3 vote to rezone the property to community commercial, the Planning Commission was unable to forward an official recommendation to the Summit County Council.
"This issue with neighborhood commercial is that some of the existing uses, such as auto repair shops, would be nonconforming," Armstrong said. "They could continue to operate but not expand."
However, commissioners also expressed concern that community commercial would allow large-scale commercial uses.
Regardless of commercial zoning type, the Planning Commission recommended the eastern portion of the plat be rezoned commercial, but not the west side.
"The land on the west has some water and wetlands issues that probably make it so we don’t want to address it with a commercial rezone. But on the east side of the road, it makes a lot more sense," Armstrong said.
The Summit County Council discussed the issue during their Feb. 20 work session. Despite no formal comment period during the meeting, a few spoke in favor of rezoning the land to commercial.
"Nobody spoke in opposition to it," Armstrong said. "One man spoke in favor of a commercial rezone because he has a commercial office there."
The Summit County Council is planning to hold a formal public hearing concerning the rezoning of the Silver Creek Estates Unit I sometime in March.
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