Guest editorial | ParkRecord.com

Guest editorial

Resident takes issue with Basin planning board decision

Steve Dowling, Park City

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission forwarded a positive recommendation for a Low Impact Permit to Pat Putt (Community Development Director) last week, before hearing all of the facts. The lot size is over 12 acres and they opted for a building envelope on top of the lot that allows the structure to break ridgeline by nearly 20 feet. There are other material facts — listed below — staff and commission should consider before giving a recommendation on this Low Impact Permit. It is important to analyze all facts and all concerns before taking a vote.

At the 03.14.17 commission meeting, the professional engineer was not allowed to discuss alternate driveway design — which would have enriched the dialogue if the commission allowed it during the meeting, as they said they would at the beginning of the meeting.

The planner on this project mentioned other properties in the area that have applied for a LIP and received permits, perhaps for comparison purposes in the meetings. However, the other neighbors (to the North) the LIP was for a remodel/additions to an existing structure and was never built. Moreover, existing structures have different requirements than a LIP for new development. The other neighbor (to the West) applied for a LIP for a three-sided barn for horses, not a dwelling. Most importantly, the structure does not break the ridgeline. These two comparisons staff has used in recent discussions are not relevant.

Another discussion point that should have been properly vetted in the meetings is the TZO. There is a TZO (Temporary Zoning Ordinance) — countywide grading ordinance discussion involving new development. This is relevant discussion that would be applicable to this LIP review and not discussed at all by the commission or the staff during the meetings.

Further, there is an anticipated road connection between Silver Creek and Bitner Road that is already funded in Summit County's capital road improvement budget — not discussed by the staff or the commission during the meetings. If discussed properly and fairly, the road connection could provide a plausible solution for this LIP application.

Moreover, the applicant is required to apply for a variance because the total area of disturbance is greater than 20,000 square feet. Applying for a variance in the Ridgeline Overlay Zone (ROZ) is ludicrous.

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Historical facts:
1. Prior to purchasing the vacant lot, the applicant inquired to Summit County about possible building areas on the lot.
2. County staff at that time made it very clear that building of a new structure is prohibited anywhere near the top of the lot; ridgeline overlay zone (ROZ).
3. Adjacent neighbors to this lot had to follow the rules of the Low Impact Permit process when requesting a building permit on their lots. There was not any belabored discussion about it, with a staff report and work session, and public hearing – they followed the rules and built the structure where permissible.
4. Driveways to access these neighboring structures, while not ideal, were long to comply with the rules and the process in place. The Low Impact Permit process has not changed since that time.
5. Any new development on important ridgelines would result in a very bad precedent for Summit County.
6. One could ask, "What area in the county is next?"
7. All ridgelines in and around the Park City area would be in jeopardy and result in greater pressure for new development throughout the Summit County, creating negative impacts to visitors and residents alike.

Please contact Pat Putt directly at pputt@summitcounty.org, or (435)336 3124, to express your concern over this issue. Request that he reviews all of the facts before rendering any decisions on the Low Impact Permit application that will allow a new structure to break ridgeline.