Rentals Aren't the Only Accessory Units Causing Headaches in the Basin

Jan 25, 2021

Credit Summit County

Complaints have appeared in the Snyderville Basin about two different types of “accessory” development.

 

In his latest visit with KPCW, Summit County Council Member Chris Robinson discussed the two issues. 

 

County Council Members Doug Clyde and Glenn Wright expressed concerns last week that a proliferation of accessory dwelling units are not fulfilling a need, as county officials hoped.

 

Chris Robinson noted that a bill proposed to the current Legislature could relax oversight for the small dwelling units, sized around 1,500 square feet.

 

“With no restriction, instead of being a solution to our affordable-housing crisis, they become just a nightly rental,” Robinson said. “And then the proposed bill is to take further restrictions off them, which could exacerbate the problem. The theory is if you have these accessory dwellings, that workforce could stay in, could rent for a reasonable amount of money and have long-term leases, six months or a year, as opposed to a week or a night, then that would alleviate some of the pressure. But the leases follow the money and the nightly rental is more lucrative.”

 

A different topic, he said, is accessory buildings for ranch or agricultural use. He said those are stirring concerns in neighborhoods like Old Ranch Road, where he lives.

 

“The buildings that a lot of people complain about are the big barns or indoor arenas or other buildings that start out being some kind of an AG use and then the next thing you know, they’re housing something that may smack of a commercial use or that a big percentage of the land is being encumbered by hard surfaces, by these buildings,” Robinson said. “And that’s a phenomenon that happens in Silver Creek and maybe in my neighborhood to some degree.”