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Summit County Council Hears Concerns About Senior Housing

It wasn’t on the official agenda for Summit County Council Wednesday, but in the Public Comment segment, three residents pointed out the need for senior-living space in the county.

One of the visitors estimated that the need for senior living comes to about 120 beds.

Council member Chris Robinson told KPCW that he’s sympathetic. But he’s not sure what impediments exist for senior housing.

“I’m not totally versed as to whether it’s a conditional or permitted use in our zones. I think generally group homes, like we had one along Highland drive known as the Beehive home which is just 16 rooms. It’s governed by federal and state fair housing laws. That basically allows them, regardless of whether it met our zoning or not, to come in. I’m very sympathetic to the need. I’m not sure what the impediments are to it and which of those impediments are within our wheelhouse to solve.”

Robinson said some of the obstacles could be economic.

“Are they economic impediments like we have in affordable housing where you can’t afford to build it? Because when you add everything up it’s too expensive?” Robinson questioned, “There’s a spectrum of economics in that demographic, some are well-to-do and could afford to pay the freight. If we’re talking about low-income senior living that might be a different story.”

Looking at another topic not on the agenda, Robinson reported briefly on the Central Wasatch Commission, saying that group has just about approved new seats on the panel for Park City, Alta and Millcreek.

That means there could be a seat with the group, with Summit County, and Robinson, representing the Wasatch Back.

“What would happen is, as soon as Park City has a seat in its own right; then the interlocal agreement between the city and the county would be amended to make it so the Wasatch Back seat is coming from the county.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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