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Snyderville Planning Commission Approves One Silver Creek Project, Votes Down Another

During their meeting on Tuesday, the Snyderville Planning Commission looked at two projects in lower Silver Creek. 


For one of them, the Planning Commission sent a negative recommendation to County Council for the second time in recent months.


During a non-voting work session, the Snyderville Commission was introduced to a proposal from Anaya’s Market, which is moving from Park City’s Bonanza area to a site in lower Silver Creek northeast of the Bell’s gas station.


The two-building project which would include a market, café, deli, small retail, offices and affordable residential units, is looking for a plat amendment, low impact permit and conditional use permit.


Commission Chairman Ryan Dickey said his group was receptive to the plan. However, he said the proposal would combine two lots, and he has some concern about what an approval might lead to in the future.


“That’s a concern I continue to have any time we talk about combining lots, is that we’re creating an attractive target for a big-box store when we do that,” he said. “And generally, we’d like a greater diversity of commercial where we have it. So what we asked is that staff, when it comes back, to include a specific condition related to an inability to put one single large structure on the parcel. So I expect it to come back with that condition next time.”


Next, an application for the Whileaway Ranch Indoor Riding Arena and Horse Boarding Facility came back to the Snyderville Commission.


In November, they voted against a conditional use permit for the project. The applicant appealed to the Summit County Council. Last month, the council sent the project back to the planning commission, after Whileaway’s owner agreed to make some changes to colors and material.


But on Tuesday, the planning commission again sent on a negative recommendation. Dickey said they found that the plan didn’t comply with a “human scale” required from county code. He noted that is a subjective concept.


“There is a provision in the code that buildings and structures ‘shall provide a human scale, consistent with adjacent development, and appropriate to residential uses and consistent with other development in the zone,” he said. There’s a question about this one of, when we talk about adjacent development, what are we talking about? Are we talking about just residential development in the Snyderville Basin. Or are we talking about adjacent, the neighborhood, the street, a true adjacency. And then we talk about human scale. What do we mean. It’s something that’s obviously very subjective. And it matters where you’re standing—if you’re standing in the street, if you’re standing next to the building, what do you see, how does the scale feel?”


He said it’s a narrowly decided issue, and the Snyderville Commissioners came down with a divided vote, 4-2. The dissenters in favor of the ranch were commissioners Joel Fine and Bruce Carmichael.


“Probably the through-line of those who said ‘no,’ meaning the barn provides a scale that’s just too large compared to the neighborhood, was that we felt that this part of the code is talking about adjacent development,” Dickey said. “It’s talking about this part of Silver Creek. There are parts of Silver Creek that have much larger parcels, where scale could be quite a bit different and where adjacent development is different, but that what was being proposed here as an accessory building was just really quite different and at a much larger scale than what’s up and down the street, and around that part of the neighborhood.”

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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