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Summit County planner promoted to department director

Summit County Courthouse
Bailey Edelstein
Summit County
County staff offices are housed at the Summit County Courthouse in Coalville.

Summit County’s second-ranking planner, Peter Barnes, will replace retiring Community Development Director Pat Putt this August.

Barnes, the current director of planning, zoning and design, takes over the county’s top planning position Aug. 1.

County Manager Shayne Scott made the announcement at the June 5 county council meeting, and compared the succession to that of a fictional pirate ship’s captain in the movie “The Princess Bride.”

“When the Dread Pirate Roberts wanted to retire, what they would usually do is he would recruit one of his crew members to be the new Dread Pirate Roberts,” Scott recounted, “They would go down in the hold and switch masks and then the old Dread Pirate Roberts would call the new Dread Pirate Roberts, ‘Dread Pirate Roberts.’”

So it is with the retirement of the community development director, he said.

“We're trying to do something similar here in the county with the retirement of our Dread Pirate Roberts, aka Pat Putt,” Scott said.

Peter Barnes, Putt’s second-in-command, will take up the mantle beginning Aug.1. As community development director, he’ll approve or deny permits, advise elected and appointed officials and help applicants navigate the county’s development review processes.

Putt has been community development director since March 2013 and guided major development proposals through the county’s review process.

That includes Dakota Pacific Real Estate’s housing proposal for Kimball Junction and the Cedar Crest Village in Hoytsville, which Larry H. Miller Real Estate would develop. Both are still pending.

Putt said there is “no better person” to lead Summit County’s planning department into the next chapter.

“[Barnes] is a 40-year practitioner in community design and architecture,” the retiring director said. “But most importantly he understands people and problem-solving. He will succeed and this community will be better for it.”

Barnes said he's "flattered" to get the job.

"Continuity in the department is a good thing, but change is also a chance for opportunities for improvement," he said. "We as the planning department, try and encourage and address change on a daily basis as part of our job in the physical world. It's something that we should embrace."

Barnes has worked at Summit County since 2013 as well. He previously owned and operated the architecture firm Peter Barnes Designs in Park City for a decade and a half.

He got his start in architecture and planning in the United Kingdom, where he graduated from the University of Sheffield with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1987.

Updated: June 6, 2024 at 5:25 PM MDT
This report was updated with Barnes' comments.