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Snyderville Planning Commission Ponders Changes For Lawns, Landscaping In Code

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The Snyderville Planning Commission is discussing new landscaping requirements for the Basin Development Code, affecting everything from lawns to berms near businesses, to possible restrictions on sprinklers. 

At their most recent meeting, Snyderville planning commisisoners discussed landscaping in a work session.     It’s part of their effort, going back several months, to revise and update several chapters in the code.

Snyderville Commissioner Crystal Simons said as the Basin grows out, they want to be responsible, not just to property owners, but to the current environment with droughts and water shortages occurring across the country.    She said that’s their objective as they focus on the landscaping chapter in the code.      

“What that chapter articulates is how new development, particularly right now commercial but questioning, should we expand this into additional new development or changes in different zones, not just commercial, to be responsible about how we’re using water in our community and in our region.  Where is that water coming from?  Is it going to be there forever?  Will requiring in the code, for example, medians and parking lots are lawn.  Is that a responsible decision to say, they must be lawn, but we don’t have the water to maintain them.  I think the aesthetics of our landscape in Park City matter to our community.  And we wanna look at this language to make sure we’re not putting things in there that might tie our hands, that we might have to double back on sometime in the future.”

She said they’re looking at expanding requirements beyond commercial, to new, large residential developments, such as Silver Creek Village.   Simons said they’re looking at vegetation along roadways, parking lots and around residences.

KPCW asked if they would ban sprinklers.   Simons said that’s not on the table, but it’s worth talking about what a prohibition would mean.     

“What are the implications of something of that scale, and then we can back it out from there and have a conversation around what kinds of technologies are out there that help us do this without it being an excessive burden to homeowners or developers, for example.  There’s a lot of technology out there for water conservation within landscaping.   And I think the question is, where do we find that balance in having a nice aesthetic landscape within our community that plays into the Park City ideology and landscape and visual, while balancing our responsibility as global citizens to maybe not excessively use water.  So we’ll be looking back at that again, and considering what technologies and what provisions in the code would make sense.”

Snyderville Planning Commissioner Crystal Simons, who said at this time, they’re not talking about making landscaping restrictions retroactive to older development.

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