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Group Home For Teenage Girls Granted Permit to Put Down Roots in Snyderville Basin

The Snyderville Planning Commission on Tuesday night voted to grant a conditional use permit for a group home in Highland Estates intended to help teenage girls facing mental health and emotional issues in their lives.


The commission hammered out the decision at the last minute, given that the applicant was up against a deadline of her own.


The application is asking to convert an existing 13,000 square-foot facility on Highland Drive (including a home, accessory building and barn) for the ROOTs (Retaining Our Original Truth) program.


Program director Kami Black said the facility would be designed for girls between 14 to 18 years old struggling with depression, anxiety, traumatic disorders and other mental health conditions.


The facility would accommodate up to 30 girls as well as seven staff members. The tenants stay for 9 to 12 months.


A public hearing heard from nearly 20 people, ranging from concerned neighbors asking for mitigation measures to past participants in the program and industry professionals in support of ROOTs.


At the tail end of a long agenda, the proposal had the Snyderville Commission meeting past 10 p.m. A motion was made to continue the item to their next regular meeting on March 23.


But Black said that on March 23, her option to buy the property expires. She said after waiting several months to get before the Snyderville Commission, she was hoping for a decision Tuesday.


A significant concern from neighbors and planning commissioners was the impact of converting a single-family residence into a facility holding up to 37 people.


Ultimately, the Planning Commission’s approval called for a compliance review after a year, which would look at the number of tenants, plus issues like water, the septic system for the facility and trash. There will also be no parking on Highland Drive and no sub-leasing of the property.


Black said she will be putting up a privacy fence. And lights-out at the facility will start at 9:30 p.m.

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.