Summit County Partners With Wasatch

Feb 12, 2021

Credit Summit County

The Summit County Council had a fairly short list of items on Wednesday.   But they did take an important step forward in regional planning with their neighboring county to the south.

The Council held a joint electronic meeting with the Wasatch County Council and approved a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on transit.

Council Member Doug Clyde said it’s the start of talks between both groups on items that affect them.       

“Transit is high on that list.   It’s part of the evolution of the county, perhaps, becoming ultimately part of the larger transit district that will serve more people who are susceptible to transit.”

As a possible change, we asked if the bus on the Black route to Kamas should service the residential areas along Highway 248, which are in Wasatch County.     Clyde was agreeable with that, if it could attract enough people.

On a related issue, Summit Council Members briefly discussed the Salt-Lake-to-Park-City bus route, wondering if the service is worth what the county pays into it,  over $300,000 yearly.   Clyde said they will look into that.     

“Specifically we’re going to ask one of our transit advisors to take a look at that as well, and help us evaluate whether that is a good use for our monies.  And also, I think the suggestion was made that it’s maybe time to talk to the resorts about how valuable is that service is to them.”

On a different topic, a citizen e-mailed Council Chair Glenn Wright, asking if the county can contact Vail, and coax them into opening up the gates into the backcountry.  The resort closed those, following two recent avalanche deaths.

Clyde said the Council firmly rejected that idea.      

“It’s a life-safety issue that is a private matter and completely beyond our scope.”

He said they don’t have control over the resorts, and they shouldn’t.      

“The resorts, especially in the Park City area, are somewhat unusual in that they are all on private land.    There’s no Forest Service involved.  If you’re running a resort on Forest Service land and you have a special use permit with the Forest Service to run that resort, then the Forest Service as the landowner certainly has considerable say in the concept of whether you allow people to essentially exit the resort into national forest land.  That is not the case here.”

Finally, the Council had on their agenda an appeal from the Whileaway Ranch, a proposed equestrien operation in lower Silver Creek.   Clyde said the appellant’s attorney ultimately decided it was more expeditious to refer the item back to the Snyderville Planning Commmission.    The County Council passed a motion for that.