Summit County’s proposed changes to the East Side code are still unclear to some
The Summit County Council appears to be inching closer to a decision on the changes for the East Side Development Code, nearly two years after a proposal was forwarded from the Planning Commission.
Summit County Council Chair Kim Carson said one of the main issues the Council has been concerned about is water quality, as well as the health, safety and welfare of East Side residents. An example she gave was the creation of a network of trails so “kids can recreate safely and we don’t have to worry about them being on a crowded highway.”
But, she also acknowledged “what we have probably isn’t going to make everyone happy.”
More than 200 people attended the latest public hearing at the South Summit Middle School in Kamas on Wednesday after 13,309 notices were mailed to property owners on the eastern end of the county prior to the hearing.
Dozens of residents commented during the hearing, with many expressing particular interest in how the changes will personally affect them as individual landowners. The Council took public comment for nearly five hours before closing the hearing. While it seemed highly likely the County Council was going to make a decision on Wednesday, a vote was not cast.
The hearing covered the proposed amendments to Chapters 3 and 4 of the development code. The amendments include revisions to the zoning district and requirements, as well as the applicability of master planned developments, which the County Council has spent nearly two years considering.
The new zoning districts that are being proposed are:
Agriculture (AG-5): one unit per five acres
Agriculture (AG-10): one unit per 10 acres
Agriculture (AG-20): one unit per 20 acres
Agriculture (Ag 40): one unit per 40 acres
Agriculture (AG-80): it replaces the current AG-100 zone
While many East Side landowners have regularly attended the meetings since the changes were in the hands of the Planning Commission, some elements of the proposed code are still unclear as questions remain.
Susan Crapo, a Park City resident with property in Woodland, said she “thinks there are going to be changes” to the zoning for her property. But, she’s not sure.
“I don’t understand it and I think a lot of people find it confusing,” she said.
Like Crapo, Richard Maben, who lives on Upper Loop Road in North Summit, said he’s uncertain whether his two lots will be grandfathered in or subject to the new zoning. He added, “They could have simplified this presentation.”
“One of my lots is 1.2 acres and they are proposing it to become five acres, essentially, so what is the impact of that on my 1.2 acres?” he said. “It’s unclear to me whether that is the case. That is the question most of us have. We are not planning experts and some of those people aren’t either. They could have made it simpler to say, ‘Those of you who have current zoning are not impacted’ and no one has ever said that this evening.”
Gary Beroset, an Oakley resident, said he attended the hearing because he is concerned about the highway corridor zone, a zone that extends outwards from the main roads in the county. The proposal considers eliminating the highway corridor designation and replacing it with a residential 2.5-acre zone that would allow one unit of development for one home within 2.5 acres. The changes do not directly affect Beroset.
“I was just worried about that,” he said. “I want the development to be more within the municipality and within the city. I think they will help hold that back a little bit by eliminating that corridor.”
Overall, Beroset said he supports zoning and the proposal regarding an updated code. He said it could help mitigate some of the development on the East Side.
“It is going to happen and it’s coming our way, and everyone is afraid it is going to end up like Park City,” he said. “I care about the land, even though I’m not a great landowner, and I care about what happens to the land. I don’t care about the money part. Maybe I would if I had 1,000 acres, but I doubt it. It’s more about maintaining this rural culture and lifestyle.”
The County Council finally closed the hearing at around 11:30 p.m. Council members Chris Robinson and Doug Clyde were scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss some of the concerns raised during the hearing. The findings will be presented to the County Council during a work session on April 18.
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