The Snyderville Planning Commission, meeting on June 9th, had a lengthy discussion. But they still haven’t arrived at a decision on the proposal to convert the former Colby School building into a Bed and Breakfast.
They’re still struggling with a “threshold” issue—how the applicants will supply an ‘owner-occupied unit’ at the Inn.
The Snyderville Planning Commission deferred a decision until their next meeting on June 23rd. That was done in large part because the Colby’s attorney, Robert McConnell sent a letter to the Planning Commission—and apparently, for whatever reason, it only got to them on the verge of the meeting on Tuesday.
The Planning Commissioners said they think a Bed and Breakfast is appropriate on the Colby property off Highway 224. But they have spent three meetings now discussing how to define an owner-occupied unit”, which is essential for the project to be approved as a B and B.
The property is owned by Hoffvest LLC. Several Planning Commissioners said the resident in the unit has to be a bona fide owner and at the same time has to be a resident with the interest of the neighborhood in mind.
Planning Commissioner Malena Stevens said they need to define an ‘owner/occupant” and not just be guided by a feeling. Snyderville Chairman Ryan Dickey in response, noted two factors.
“Those are two very concrete factors. Do they have the interest of the property, do they have control of business. And then I’d say it’s incumbent upon the applicant to show that they have met—that they have cleared that bar, give us information to evaluate the interest and the control. And we don’t have the information. So that to me is where it doesn’t clear the bar. (Stevens) Well I guess my concern with that is, if we’re saying enough interest and enough control. But what is enough? Like if we’re not saying, “Okay, well it is certain percentage or it’s any percentage.” I mean, they could come back 5, 10 times with different variations that we would then say, Yes or no to for what reason.”
Attorney McConnell said that his letter to the county pointed out that Hoffvest is an entity created in Utah, and that it holds the deed of ownership to the property.
“We’ve indicated that it will occupy the property as its principal place of business. We’ve indicated that there will be an onsite manager, caretaker, whatever you want to call it, that will reside in the premises as its principal residency for purposes of your code. That’s another definition that’s not in your staff report that I’ve included in my letter.”
Attorney Rob McConnell who added that the county has been aware for several years that they need a better definition of “owner/occupant” but didn’t address it.