Snyderville Basin Planning Commission to hold an open house addressing the General Plan |

Snyderville Basin Planning Commission to hold an open house addressing the General Plan

Angelique McNaughton

Officials with the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission don’t want to overwhelm people as they roll out the second phase of the General Plan, so they are holding a community open house on Tuesday to provide an informal setting for members of the public to candidly express their thoughts and concerns.

The Planning Commission will host the open house Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building, 6505 North Landmark Drive, in Park City.

Seven stations will be set up and manned by both the commissioners and the staff from the Community Development department to discuss topics such as sustainability, transportation, land use and open space.

"So this is what we are calling Phase 2. We put Phase 1 to bed earlier this year," Colin DeFord, Snyderville Basin Planning Commission chair, said. "Phase 1 was a rewrite and redrafting of the old General Plan. Phase 2 is basically adding what we think is missing in the old document that’s why it is so important because we are adding things like land use, which is a big topic that is primarily missing from the older plan.

"We are redrafting the Basin General Plan to basically establish a mutually agreed upon vision for the future," he added.

The open house is supposed to serve as a precursor to upcoming public hearings in January, Community Development Director Pat Putt said.

"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. "It’s absolutely important that the most critical users of this have a chance to weigh in a meaningful way, because the General Plan is what will give us the ability to turn the community’s vision into actual code language. It is the enabling language that drives the code."

The Snyderville Basin is becoming the heart of the community and the commission is trying to get people to re-imagine what their community can be, Putt said.

"This whole planning and zoning thing ends up being some sort of combination of ‘what does my community look like’ or ‘there is going to be a new development in my neighborhood that is going to affect me’," Putt said. "All of those are really important, but we are trying to get people to seize their imaginations because what we do is build a community and we’re really at a crossroads when it comes to that.

"For instance, open space and the value it creates is a huge economic driver and protecting it is absolutely vital," Putt said.

Another significant issue is how to account for the anticipated growth in the region.

"A key pillar of this plan, which we have been upfront in explaining to the commission and the public, is that we are not suggesting creating any new development rights," Putt said. "This plan says we are not going to do that. We are going to draw that line in the sand and deal with the current development rights first, before we create more, to help reinforce the neighborhoods that we have.

"We need to focus on infill before we think about creating more on the edges," he added. "The General Plan is that legitimate explanation document about why create rules and zoning ordinances and community utility plans. We have a theory that if we make our individual neighborhoods more desirable to live in and we maintain these open spaces, we think we will build a better community rather than just continuing over the next 25 years without considering these issues."

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission is charged with drafting the document and making a recommendation to the Summit County Council. Officials plan to have a draft to the council sometime in February. After the document is forwarded to them, the council will go through its own series of public hearings before adopting it as the governing document for future development for the next 25 years.

The Snyderville Basin General Plan draft can be found online on the Summit County homepage,