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Summit County Council Meets Wednesday: Development and Private Campgrounds on Agenda

James Hoyt

The Summit County council meets Wednesday afternoon into the evening for a lengthy session tackling the Highland Flats housing development and a proposed ordinance to regulate private campgrounds.

Review of the proposed Highland Flats housing development is part of the council’s work session, which begins at 2:30.  Action items start at 4:30 p.m. and then the public hearing portion of the meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Highland Flats developers are continuing to seek a zoning change from rural residential to higher density to allow construction of a 410-unit rental complex at the intersection of I 80 and Highway 40. Development of the 40-acre parcel would increase the amount of affordable housing in the area. But the plan has sparked ire among neighboring homeowners, who turned out in force to oppose the project’s density when the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission considered it. That commission sent a negative recommendation to the Summit County Council.

County Manager Tom Fisher said the council will weigh the planning commission’s recommendation as it considers the developers’ request.

"The planning commission as the advisor to the Council on this type of project, now is the is the authority," Fisher said. "So, I think the council will take the Planning Commission's recommendation into account. But as you know, they have the ability to relook at this and look at it a different way if they choose to, you know, it will be judged on its merits. This is an introduction to the council about this project. There will be further discussion as well as a public hearing held on this as the council goes through their deliberations."

In the Eastern portion of the county, residents have been at odds about the prospect of an ordinance that would limit noise, off-road vehicle traffic and campers parked in yards. The ordinance is being considered to address concerns over sewage dumped in streams or on the ground along with noise and visual impacts from RVs.

Those concerns were raised by residents of Samak, Manor Lands and Weber Canyon areas. County staff meetings with residents and HOA associations, along with input from previous public hearings, reflect significant opposition to an ordinance, and a desire to let the health department handle issues related to sanitation and related problems.

A particular concern for some residents is the ordinance’s proposed limit on what are termed private campgrounds – private homes with more than two RVs parked on their property for an extended period. Many have said they bought their property to be able to host multiple RVs for family.

"There is a divide of folks and even between different neighborhoods up in the Uintas, some want free access and multiple campers alone on properties and some don't," Fisher said. "And a lot of it comes down to, you know, the same thing we deal with sometimes down in our regular subdivisions in the valley where it's sometimes just too busy and other health and safety reasons. So I'm think we're going to review that again, see what staff has come back with with some revisions. And then we're going to hear from the public again."

Also on the agenda is a proposal to consolidate two county jobs – the county clerk and auditor – into one for efficiency purposes.

To provide public comment to the council, email publiccomments@summitcounty.org by 1 p.m. Wednesday. Find the council's agenda here.