Terms expire for four Planning Commissioners
March 10, 2015
The Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Planning Commissions could each have two new commissioners by the end of this month.
Four commissioners’ terms expired on Feb. 28 and the Summit County Council is conducting interviews for their replacements this week.
According to Summit County Secretary Annette Singleton, the members with expired terms will continue serving until they are reappointed or someone else is appointed in their place.
Eastern Summit County Planning Commission Chair Mike Brown and Commissioner Doug Clyde’s terms expired last month. Brown served three terms and is ineligible to reapply. However, Clyde is has expressed interest in serving a second term, Singleton said.
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission also has two vacancies. Chair Colin DeFord and Chuck Klingenstein’s terms expired, but both are eligible to reapply.
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.
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To serve on a Planning Commission, interested citizens must have resided in the planning district for which they are applying for at least one year. Applicants may also reside within incorporated areas.
Ambiguities on the county’s website about the requirements for residents wanting to serve on either Planning Commission sparked a debate at the recent County Council meeting about who should be eligible to serve.
A resident approached the County Council two weeks ago and claimed the website implied citizens who resided within the municipalities were ineligible to serve on the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission.
The requirement descriptions were deleted from the website and the advertisement for the vacancies was extended in local media for another week.
At the March 4 meeting, County Council member Chris Robinson said he believes "all citizens of the county have a vested interest" in county business.
"We are all part of the county," Robinson said. "And we get valuable contributions from persons living in municipal boundaries."
But County Council members debated allowing citizens from incorporated municipalities to serve, out of a fear of over representation.
County Council Chair Kim Carson said an effort is typically made to strike a balance on the Planning Commission, especially on the East Side of the county.
"They usually try and have three from South Summit and three from North Summit," Carson said.
For County Council member Claudia McMullin, a Planning Commission is "merely a recommending body."
"Whether you come from municipality or an unincorporated area," McMullin said, "It’s all a recommendation and we are the final decision makers."
The County Council will conduct interviews for the vacancies throughout the rest of March.
Robinson said while he doesn’t want any area to be overrepresented, an applicant’s zip code is not his only determinant when choosing commissioners.
"When I look choosing a Planning Commission, I’m looking for someone, regardless of where they live, they will do the best job in managing growth and designing and implementing our codes," he said.
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