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Snyderville Planning Commission to Talk Affordable Housing and Livability Tuesday

Following the program they’ve set recently, the Snyderville Planning Commission will start off its Tuesday meeting with the debate over changes to the general plan and code, including the perennial issue of providing workforce housing.


The Snyderville Commission will begin their virtual meeting on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. First, they will discuss possible general plan amendments on trails and recreation.


County Development Director Pat Putt says after that they will talk about code amendments dealing with affordable or attainable housing. He said the meeting will also be attended by Jeff Jones, the county’s Economic Development Director; and Pat Matheson, director of the Mountainlands Community Housing Trust.


KPCW asked Putt one ever-present question in the affordable-housing debate: How can the community create the housing if everyone doesn’t want it in their backyard?


Putt said he doesn’t know that they can ever solve the issue. But they can figure out ways to better manage it.


He said the issue is tied to the community’s values.


“I’m not stating a conclusion,” Putt said. “I’m just simply saying that housing is more than just simply providing an opportunity to have our workforce close to where they work. It’s bigger than that, it’s broader than that. It’s social equity, it’s community diversity, all those things rolled together.”


Putt said their code has set down the important goal of creating such housing throughout the community.


“Sometimes that word ‘integrated’ is so over-used,” he said. “But really, the concept is, is to have a variety, a mix, a diversity throughout the community, not simply just in one known location. And the built environment of the county is such that oftentimes it kinda makes that difficult. We are running out of land resources relatively quickly, and so the opportunities lie right now with, one, either redevelopment opportunities within existing developed areas, or those pieces of property that, for whatever the reason, haven’t been built on. Those properties that haven’t been built on, to date, there’s probably a reason why they haven’t.”


He said they need to do a regular “gut-check” on the important questions of affordable housing.


“Number one is workforce housing, attainable housing an important value in this community, yes or no,” Putt said. “I think there’s a spectrum of opinion on that. But is that something that we need to help manage and address, yes or no. If the answer is yes, let’s take a look at what the characteristics of the areas that would best accommodate, and where we can place, to first integrate these types of development opportunities. Then, once we define those characteristics, let’s put in place some reasonable expectations, some reasonable codes that take down the barriers to achieving those units in those areas.”

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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