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Snyderville Planning Commission Discusses Street Lights


  It’s an issue they can’t get away from, especially at night. The Snyderville Planning Commission on Tuesday discussed revising their code on lighting requirements.

Snyderville Commissioner Malena Stevens says they hope to have something finalized in a couple of months.

Stevens said the Planning Commission and their staff are looking to update the lighting code to reflect current technology.

“Right now, with the way our current code is written it’s become a little outdated when it comes to lighting. We’re trying to go through revamp specific pieces of the lighting code to bring it up to speed.” Stevens explained, “In the work session we focused a lot on how to avoid the new code becoming outdated quickly so whether or not we’re going to add specific types of lighting or if we’re going to have it a little bit broader. We’re still working through that we didn’t make any decisions or pin anything down specifically, but we had a really productive discussion on how to do that.”

She said that lighting is an important, sometimes controversial issue.

“In re-doing the code we just want to make sure that we’re protecting both the broader community and also giving flexibility enough for developers to be able to develop their projects without unreasonable limitations.”

Another question that came up Tuesday concerns light poles and their impact. Should the county code favor fewer poles, that are higher—or a greater number of poles but lower. Stevens said Planning Commissioners on Tuesday, were leaning in favor of the latter, but there’s still discussion to come.

“Just because the industry standard is 25 feet or something along those lines for the high poles. We’re not certain that would necessarily be a good thing that might add additional lighting.” Stevens continued, “We’re having staff look into that and just see what is the industry standard? What kind of impact? Would there be more light pollution if we had the higher versus the lower? So, we’re still looking into that.” Stevens says that the staff is working to limit light pollution. “The staff has already been working with multiple experts in this area as well as other jurisdictions that have implemented similar ordinances that we’re attempting to with our code.”

She said that holiday lighting is not currently covered by the code.

“The thinking was that, at least in the preliminary draft that we discussed last night, would be that holiday lighting would be allowed during certain months.” Stevens said, “I don’t have the report in front of me, but I would believe it was sometime in Mid-November through Mid-March.”

Another topic is the lighting at sports fields.

“There’s no new limits there.” Stevens explained, “That is another area that we’re going to delve a little bit more into. See if industry standards have changed, if there’s any way of decreasing any sort of light pollution that comes from those. Maybe separating municipal uses of sports complexes versus if someone wanted to put a basketball court in their house. Making sure that there’s a difference between those two things.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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