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Summit County Council Takes Field Trip To High Uintas

The Summit County Council this week took a field trip up to the High Uintas neighborhoods, near Wyoming, to see some summer-residential development that is becoming an issue. Rick Brough has more from our recent conversation with Council member Doug Clyde.

The Council on Wednesday visited Uintalands, Manorlands and Wilderness Acres near the upper Mirror Lake Highway. Council Member Clyde noted those became summer-cabin areas before the county even had a planning code. They developed without paved roads or a water system.

He said that owners often park trailers up there for the summer, visiting them on weekends. But in recent years, they’ve found as many as 8 or 9 trailers parked on one lot.

“And these are small lots,” Clyde said. “Some of them do not have proper sanitation. Their water supply is water that they pack in essentially. The whole scenario raises some health, safety and welfare concerns.”

He said they can take two courses of action.

“One is some, more enforcement, although that’s difficult because we have a huge county and one enforcement officer,” Clyde continued. “The second is we need to consider some changes to our code that would put some limits on what people can do on a lot in terms of parking trailers. That is complicated because their trailers are essentially temporary structures. Temporary structures only receive minimal regulation by the county. So, we’re going to have to think hard about how we deal with that. But it’s clearly a problem that is just going to increase. Because there are lots of these lots scattered all over the Uintas. The trend of not building cabins but dragging in trailers is simply going to increase.”

He said the current planning codes don’t deal with this kind of situation.

Clyde said a proposed code change would have to start, in this case, with the East County Planning Commission. He said in the near future, owners from the Highway 150 area will likely appear before the East County Commission

On another topic, the Council was very pleased, as they approved a five-year contract Wednesday with the University of Utah for Mental Health and Substance Abuse services. It replaces the county’s previous contract with Valley Behavioral Health, and the cost is over $4 million a year.

“The bulk of which comes from the state and the feds,” Clyde explained. “Then we have to do a Medicare share. I believe our share is about $450,000 somewhere in that area.

“Has that transition then between that former provider Valley Behavioral Health been made now,” KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher asked.

“It’ll be made on September 1,” Clyde answered. “However, it is in progress right now because the U. has been reaching out to Valley providers, assuring that those people who are critically involved right now will be maintained, and/or find other providers to fill their tasks. I think they’ve been generally successful at developing relationships and maintaining current providers as well as greatly expanding our provider network, so that we have over 70 people that will be available for them to contract with.”

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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