© 2024 KPCW

Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center
PO Box 1372 | 460 Swede Alley
Park City | UT | 84060
Office: (435) 649-9004 | Studio: (435) 655-8255

Music & Artist Inquiries: music@kpcw.org
News Tips & Press Releases: news@kpcw.org
Volunteer Opportunities
General Inquiries: info@kpcw.org
Listen Like a Local Park City & Heber City Summit & Wasatch counties, Utah
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Summit County adopts resolution with new rules for spending open space bond money

The Kamas Valley in Summit County

The Summit County Council met this week and approved some new rules for how the open space bond money can be spent.

The resolution first showed up on the county council agenda the previous week. It was added to the regular meeting agenda just hours before the legal deadline - agenda items must be publicly posted for at least 24 hours before a meeting in order to give the public time to receive the information.

Summit Land Conservancy executive director Cheryl Fox took exception to some of the language in the proposed resolution, and after she expressed concerns to the council last week, it postponed taking action on it.

This week the resolution was back with changes made to address Fox’s concerns, and was approved. The council removed a section that would have required any sellers to have owned their property for at least two years to be eligible to sell its conservation rights.

Another piece of the resolution was altered that would have required sellers to deal directly with the county rather than groups like Summit Land Conservancy when negotiating conservation. That was softened so that third parties can participate.

Council member Malena Stevens said the county has a lot of choices for partners in conservation work.

“I believe the intention is that we would really like to work with land conservancies, land trusts, private, you know, private owners that potentially have would like to sell to the county,” Stevens said. “There's a variety of options. I think the more that we can be in partnership with our land trusts, the better. We have a lot of expertise within our county with multiple.”

The resolution requires all potential land acquisitions using public open space funds to follow a process laid out by the open space advisory committee, called OSAC. It prohibits that money from being used for bridge loans during real estate transactions, and reiterates that property deals will be discussed in closed session in accordance with the state open and public meetings act.

Also at the meeting, the council approved members to serve on OSAC. Members represent three geographical areas of the county, which encompasses nearly 2,000 square miles.

The county is setting up frameworks to spend $50 million in open space bond funds that voters approved by a wide margin last November. During that campaign, the county highlighted that it was looking at the East side of the county, including the Kamas Valley and Weber River corridor.

The Kamas Valley’s open spaces could be of interest to developers, and the Weber River is a source of culinary water to Utahns and also feeds the Great Salt Lake.