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Snyderville Planning Commission to Review Bed and Breakfast Regulations at Tuesday Meeting

Snyderville Basin Planning Commission

The major item for the Snyderville Planning Commission in its regular Tuesday meeting is a proposal to amend and clarify the code language for bed and breakfast inns — a commercial use that has prompted a lot of discussion before county planners in recent years.


The Snyderville Commission will begin the session on Tuesday, July 13 at 6 p.m. The meeting is being held virtually, but staff will be available in person at the Richins Services Building.


The county staff is recommending that the Planning Commission hold a public hearing and consider approval for two amendments. The first will clarify the requirement that a bed and breakfast Inn must be “owner-occupied.” 


The report said several applications for conditional use permits have been stalled for a number of years, especially on the issue of who will live in a bed and breakfast.


Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson declined to comment on whether the proposal was a reaction to the recent debate over the Colby School bed and breakfast application.


In 2020 the Snyderville Commission and the Summit County Council, on appeal, denied the Colby bed and breakfast application on the grounds that the plan from the applicant, Hoffvest, didn’t qualify as an “owner-occupied residence.” But earlier this year, Third District Court Judge Teresa Welch ruled that county code didn’t define “owner-occupied residence” and the Hoffvest plan would not violate it.


She sent the project back to the Snyderville Planning Commission, which issued an approval.


To prevent problems in the future, the county staff are proposing a revised definition which says a bed and breakfast is used as a primary residence by the owner. The provision also says an owner is a natural person who holds a legal, fee simple title to the Inn. An owner is not a public or private corporation, firm, or association.


The second amendment will change the process for handling special exception requests. That is the case where a lawmaking body, like the Council, is asked by a person for a special dispensation so the law doesn’t apply to them—for instance, to be allowed a ridgeline violation. 


Currently, a special exception denied by the Summit County Council can be appealed to the district court, or if the county development director doesn’t forward the request for an Exception, that decision can be appealed to the County Manager.


The amendment would say there is no appeal option. Decisions by the development director or council would be final.


The Summit County Attorney’s Office advised that because the council’s decision is “discretionary” — it can approve or turn down an exception for any reason — an appeal process would be inappropriate.

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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