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Snyderville Basin Planning Commission seat opens

Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Crystal Simons with daughters Wren, 6, and Ivy, 15 months.
Crystal Simons
Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Crystal Simons with daughters Wren, 6, and Ivy, 15 months.

Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Crystal Simons announced she will not apply for another term, opening a seat on a governing body that has major influence on regional development.

Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioners evaluate proposals for new building projects, write the development code that guides growth in the Basin and provide citizen oversight for the often-overlooked processes that determine how, where and what kind of things are built.

After an announcement Tuesday night, it appears there will be an open seat on the commission starting early next year.

Crystal Simons, joining the meeting via Zoom, told her fellow commissioners that she would not seek a second term when hers expires in March.

“It’s just too much in my current lifestyle with small children. Which — one is right here in the room with me, as she has just announced,” Simons said as the voice of a child could be heard in the background. 

Simons was appointed in 2019 and her term is set to expire in 2022. She said she needed to prioritize her family, and with two young children, the time commitment had become challenging.

Commissioner Chris Conabee’s term will also expire next year. Conabee told KPCW he hadn’t discussed the matter with the County Council or county staff.

“If I’m needed I am happy to reapply,” he said.

Planning commissioners are appointed to three-year terms by the Summit County Council. The commission generally evaluates whether projects comply with the county’s development code — if parking and snow removal plans pass muster, for example. The commission is often a recommending body to the County Council, which is not bound by the commission's decisions.

Occasionally, the commission is the final land-use authority for permits and approvals. It can also act in a legislative capacity. It did so last year when it forwarded a negative recommendation about the Tech Center development proposal at Kimball Junction.

Planning commissions can springboard officials to broader elected office. County Councilors Doug Clyde and Malena Stevens are both former planning commissioners.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.