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Snyderville Planners Asked To Think About Issue Of Avalanche Fencing

Snyderville Basin Planning Commission

The controversial approval given last year for avalanche fences at the Colony may well be water under the bridge for Snyderville Planning Commissioners.

But the Planning Commission Chair says this may prompt them to look at changes in the Code going forward.   

The avalanche fences weren’t on the agenda Tuesday night for the Planning Commission.    But in Public Comment, they heard again from Basin resident Seth Dromgoole.    He said that since the planners are studying the General Plan, they should look at the zoning for critical lands.       

“Cause I think that’s why we’re in the position we’re in.   With that avalanche fencing, there’s just not a lot of regulations in the county.  Still a lot of private land approaching the ridge, all in Park City, the Snyderville Basin.    So I think it would behoove the county government to really look at that for projects like the Colony, building homes and then putting avalanche berms in to divert slide paths.   Maybe that stuff won’t be happening going forward.”

The fences were approved as a Low Impact Permit, or LIP, which doesn’t require public input.    Dromgoole said after a good briefing from Development Director Pat Putt, he feels there should be better public notice for those approvals.      

“Basically what I found out is, short of having some sort of clairvoyance, I would have never have known that permit was approved anyway, to appeal it within that 10-day window.   I’d like to just throw it out there that maybe the Planning Commission can look at revamping how public notices are done, cause in my opinion I still believe that Low Impact Permit should never have been approved, due to the viewshed issues with it.”

We asked Snyderville Chairman Thomas Cooke if, in retrospect, the Planning Commission should have heard from the public.        

“My personal feeling is that this project should have had a public hearing.  I would have preferred that we had a chance to hear from the public and have everybody understand.   But I’m not gonna question the Director’s decision on that.  It’s water under the bridge at this point.  We are gonna look at that in an upcoming work session, and discuss, do we think LIPs need to have another layer of public input.”

Snyderville Planning Chairman Thomas Cooke.

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