Development Issues In Rural Zoning Are Being Pondered By Summit County

Mar 18, 2020

Credit Summit County-Pat Putt Community Development Director

Last month, the Summit County Council was visited by Old Ranch Road activist Debbie Scoggan, who said some of the lots in her neighborhood were getting out of hand with the number of accessory buildings put up by owners.

County Development Director Pat Putt said that’s an issue the Snyderville Commission has struggled over.    

Putt told KPCW that areas such as Old Ranch Road and Silver Creek were zoned Rural Residential when the county first began a planning code back in 1977.        

Those areas were considered Agricultural, but now have evolved into a kind of low-density residential.   That raises the question of the size and number of buildings on those residential lots.       

“Is it a use problem?   Is there a difference between two buildings, each 20,000 square feet in size, one is a barn.   Maybe the other one is a riding arena, or indoor play facility.  We had a project approved, couple projects approved in the last couple of years out in Silver Creek where these structures were over 20,000 square feet.    One was I think, an indoor soccer pitch, and the other one was an ice sheet.  If the building looks generally the same, they’re 20,000 square feet, is one a bigger impact than another.

Putt said limiting the accessory buildings could lead to outdoor displays of boats or RV’s.    He added the county may have to deal with the issue of size. 

“We do have processes in place now that have size thresholds.  If it’s accessory buildings over 2000 square feet, it goes through an administrative Low Impact Permit, which we could take to the Planning Commission if we saw there were potential issues with that.  Buildings over 10,000 square feet are a Conditional Use Permit.  We don’t have a cap on that.   I think that’s probably something that we  need to seriously consider is that, is the cap number.”

County development Director Pat Putt.