Guest Editorial: Care about our Quality of Life? Speak up NOW |

Guest Editorial: Care about our Quality of Life? Speak up NOW

Cheryl Fox, Executive Director, Summit Land Conservancy Board of Directors

The Summit Land Conservancy recently engaged in an extensive community listening session as part of updating our strategic plan. We surveyed our members, our partners, and some people who don’t always support us and our work. Over 140 respondents, from all of these groups, delivered one common message: there is too much growth.

Clearly, the Summit Land Conservancy will continue to build and nurture the partnerships that can save the remaining open spaces in the Snyderville Basin (and elsewhere in Summit County), but we felt we should share the collective voices of our community, especially in reference to section 2.3 of the draft Snyderville Basin General Plan, that says no new entitlements will be granted until existing entitlements are substantially built out.

While Section 2.3 asks for patience from landowners who wish to increase their density, it also asks for patience from our elected officials. It asks for time for everyone to wait to see what life will be like when a "substantial" portion of the 6,000 approved units are built; when a "substantial" portion of the hundreds of thousands of approved square feet of commercial are built. Issues and problems associated with growth are not and cannot be clear until the already-approved projects are in the ground. Once these units are built, we will know what the traffic impact is; we will know where people are trying to go, and then we can decide where additional entitlements might work.

Years ago, the house next to me was purchased by a young family. Within weeks of moving in, the new family boarded up a door and made it a window, hoping this would force visitors to a different side of the house. Sure enough, the UPS man did go to the other door, but the family regularly accessed their backyard by crawling in and out of that window. The point here is that until you live with the reality of a situation, it is difficult to know where you need a door or a window, or maybe a fence.

If you are interested in growth and how it will be managed in the future, please attend the Summit County Council public hearing on Wednesday June 17th at the Sheldon Richins Building. The agenda is listed in the Park Record’s Notice Section.