Mixed Use Zone Isn't Cooked Yet

May 7, 2021

Credit Leslie Thatcher

The Summit County Council, meeting on Wednesday, again didn’t come to a decision about their proposed Neighborhood Mixed Use Zone.   

But they did agree to have a sub-committee work on unraveling the issue that seems to be blocking a resolution.

The sub-committee consists of County Council Members Chris Robinson and Doug Clyde; Development Director Pat Putt; Senior Planner Peter Barnes; and Deputy County Attorney Dave Thomas.

Robinson told KPCW that the Zone could offer multi-family housing—a strong economic incentive for developers—and so the sub-group will develop some high standards to provide affordable housing.      

“I don’t know exactly what it looks like.    I have my opinions, which I’ve shared in the past and can repeat now.  But in general, we have an inclusionary ordinance that says if you wanna build retail, if you wanna build office or even residential, you have to have 20 percent inclusion.  This NMU is incentive zoning, so it’s separate from the inclusionary, and it needs its own provisions.”

We asked him why the Council doesn’t hold off on the new Zone, until the county implements a makeover for its Affordable Housing Section.   

Robinson said, for one thing, that revamp will require a needs assessment, and changes to the Snyderville General Plan and Planning Code.    He said that process could take up to a year.    A second reason is legal advice they’ve received.      

“As Dave Thomas pointed out, our chief civil attorney, the inclusionary Chapter Five language is really separate, needs to be kept separate from this incentive zoning.  This NMU is a discretionary action, and it’s awarded based on the developer receiving, doing things in exchange for an incentive.  And in this case, the multi-family is the incentive.   And I think it should be kept separate.”

County Council Member Chris Robinson, who said that hopefully the sub-committee can come to a resolution in one meeting.