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Planning Commission Will Consider Many Changes To City Code This Year

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Park City Planning Commission meets Wednesday to discuss upcoming changes to the land management code. 

In the past five years, Park City’s land management code has been amended 38 times. The city council has already approved changes this year regarding affordable housing developments. Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says the planning department’s goals for this year include deregulation, simplifying processes and cleaning up contradictions in the code.

“The land management code is designed to be a little bit elastic so that it can move into gray zones, because we can't outguess all 7,000 of our residents and all two million people that come and visit us every year," Erickson said. "All we can do is put a land management code together that's clear and capable of dealing with what we see.”

Erickson says one of the biggest amendments relates to wildfires. The planning department wants to improve code to protect the wildland urban interface, where nature meets residential and is particularly susceptible to wildland fires.

"If you were in one of our subdivisions on the edge of town, and there was a limited disturbance, and we spent two years arguing about which trees to cut down, and then the trees may or may not be a wildland fire hazard, we need to figure out how to take care of the trees that are in the way without affecting the natural environment," Erickson said.

Another amendment will better support solar panels. Erickson says the current code requires rooftop solar to end one foot from the edge of the roof, to give firefighters space to address fires.

“That is not correct information, so we’re going to allow the panels to extend to the edge of the roof,” Erickson said.

The planning commission will have additional meetings to discuss specific aspects of the code. This week’s work session is 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Marsac Building.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.
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