New Church Plan Coming to Snyderville Planning Commission

Feb 11, 2020

The Mountain Life Church in Silver Creek is going to a public hearing before the Snyderville Planning Commission Tuesday night, with a proposal to expand the church and its parking lot.

The application comes shortly after the Summit County Council decided on a public road connection that goes along that property.    But County Development Director Pat Putt says that the Council’s decision and the Church’s proposal are separate issues.   

The Snyderville Commisison meets at 4:30 on February 11th at the Richins Services Building.

The application from the Mountain Life Church is the third item on the agenda.

The Church, located on 7375 Silver Creek Road, is asking to expand its square footage by nearly 26,000 square feet—for a total of over 44,100 square feet.   They are also asking to expand their parking lot, onto an adjacent parcel they recently acquired.   The Church would more than double the parking spaces they have now, resulting in a total of  351 spaces.

According to the staff report, in late 2017, the applicant asked County Council if they could get an exception, so that they could expand the site onto what is restricted open space under their original approval.    A formal vote wasn’t taken, but the Council indicated they were not inclined to change the open space.

The staff said the Church latest proposal would expand the church in its existing footprint, going vertical.    They said the redesigned parking area would use the existing lot, except for a small  portion that arguably  might intrude into the open space.

In January, the County Council decided that what they called the Church Street alignment, passing by this property, would be the route that connects west to the Bitner frontage road.

Pat Putt said the two items are related, but not directly tied together.       

“The expansion of the Church and the parking area would have been able to probably been designed either way, whether the right-of-way was involving the Mountain Life property or not.  I think the biggest hurdle that we’ve been trying to get over with Mountain Life Church is more the technical aspects of the existing original approval.”

Putt said the Church’s original approval goes back many years.   It was approved by the Summit County Commission in the year 2000.       

“When that project was approved, it went through a process by which, through the Specially Planned Area, there were hard boundaries of open space required.    Part of what was entitled in that original approval through the SPA was this dedication of open space, or open area that created a hard boundary.  The ability or potential ability to expand the building and expand the parking, meet the necessary setbacks, meet the wetland setbacks, was complicated.  And I believe we probably have a proposal that from a code standpoint, black and white, addresses that.”

We asked Putt if the Church’s application will get any consideration in return for helping the county create the Church Street alignment.    Putt’s answer was “No.”         

“This isn’t part of a negotiation.   This isn’t a deal point.  Again, what is in front of the Commission on Tuesday night is a step-back with the Church,  and moving forward, a plan that was based on their original proposal that goes back probably more than a year.  And again, the time associated with  really has more to do with overcoming those code hurdles and those old SPA hurdles and what was the most appropriate mechanism to move forward.”

The application is noticed for a possible decision.   But the planning staff recommends the Snyderville Commission take input and continue the proposal to a future meeting.

`        Before the Mountain Life Church item, two items involving the Silver Creek Village Center are on the agenda.

First up is a public hearing and possible decision on some proposed amendments  to Lot 80 in the Village Center.   The changes would measure building height from a modified grade; change the allowed maximum height from 32 to 45 feet; remove the maximum lot size; and allow the parcel to have a mix of 65 percent affordable units.

Second, the Snyderville Commission will hold a hearing on what would be called the Neighborhood Village Green Park.   The park, which is required in the Development Agreement for the Village Center, would be about two-and-a-half acres, and include an amphitheater with at least 300 seats, a splash pad and other amenities.   It is required to be completed  by September of this year.