State Law Prohibits County Government From Investigating Development Impacts on Schools

Mar 9, 2021

Credit Park City High School

During public hearings before the Snyderville Planning Commission, speakers have, on occasion, asked planners to consider how a proposed development will impact the local schools.

 

However, County Development Director Pat Putt reminds the public that, legally, the county can’t do that.

 

During his regular visit to KPCW, Putt said the planners are restricted by the Legislature.

 

“They can’t factor whether or not 100 or 200 or 500 children may be generated out of a particular development,” he said. “They can’t condition an approval based on mitigation factors for schools. That’s a tough pill for all of us to swallow, but that is a limitation that’s been placed on us by the state legislature.”

 

He said he’s not an attorney, but knows how the restriction affects him as a planner.

 

“I just know that, in practice, part of that state legislation, that’s the way we have administered those state laws for a very long period of time,” he said. “My hope would be at some point in the future, we would be able to engage our Legislature, with the help of our school districts and our policymakers, to re-think that. It’s an important factor. It’s hard to explain that to a neighborhood, or to families with children in those schools, what those potential implications could be. Unfortunately for the Planning Commission, that’s just not one of their yardsticks they can use.”