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Snyderville Commissioners Ponder Code Changes For Lawns, Landscaping

Pat Putt

Members of the Snyderville Planning Commission, along with county staff, are working to revise their code on landscaping and change how we use and manage water.

But Development Director Pat Putt says the county isn’t coming to rip out your existing lawn.   

During his recent visit with KPCW, Putt said that Snyderville commissioners had a good discussion in August about the code governing landscaping and riparian features.

He said they intend to have another work session in late September.       

“What we’re trying to achieve through this is a code that’s more predictable, easier to use, creates an expectation up front for both property owners, our landscape designers, our landscaping firms.   And the idea is to, to the best that we can as a community, be more efficient on how we water.”

Putt said their existing code is pretty vigorous at governing landscapes for commercial areas or multi-family projects.     But it’s been silent on single-family housing.

One resource he’s looking at, he said, is Utah State University, which has recommended a drought-tolerant plant list specifically for Summit County.     

“Is it gonna ultimately require people to remove all their existing turf and look like something that’s out of the Maricopa County, Phoenix area?  We don’t believe so.”

Putt said there are several neighborhoods that have shown a way forward for low-water-use landscaping.   One of those is Promontory.      

“Promontory, through their HOA and their design guidelines, have developed what I think is a very viable low-water-use landscaping irrigation plan that they use inside sorta their public rights-of-way and their public facilities.  It’s a combination of both drip low-water-use irrigation systems, and an idealized kind of plant list.    There’s a lot of native grasses and plants that thrive under a low-water-use environment that are actually quite colorful.    And those colors change throughout the seasons.”

Putt said the county will need to call on water providers, HOAs and residents to be responsible stewards.       

“And the idea is to set some expectation now, as we move forward, incentivize people to make the existing changes in their existing yards, but for new construction start from Day One.   So we think we can get there.”

County Development Director Pat Putt.

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