Politics

Eastern Summit County Planning Commission considers improvement code adjustments


The Summit County Courthouse.
Park Record file picture

The current uptick within the variety of purposes for agricultural worker dwelling items has led the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission to contemplate potential amendments to the event code.

The Planning Commission has been reviewing a big variety of purposes over the previous few weeks, and though the requests meet the technical necessities of the code, county staffers at the moment are questioning if the purposes meet the intent of the code.

Under the event code, agricultural worker dwelling items are meant to accommodate agricultural employees for 30 consecutive days or longer. The items are supposed to be everlasting, residential dwelling items for one single-family both throughout the identical constructing or as a indifferent unit on the identical lot as the primary residence.



However, county workers suspects that some items are being constructed as visitor homes or rental items due to the extra sq. footage that’s allowed. An accent dwelling unit might be as much as 1,000 sq. ft, whereas one on an agricultural property might be as much as 2,000 sq. ft.

After the Planning Commission lately reviewed one utility, efficacy issues had been raised by county workers, in accordance with Ray Milliner, county planner.



Applicants should show that they’ve a “viable agricultural operation” on-site to acquire an agricultural worker dwelling unit allow, however Milliner stated the first subject is the code’s language. The definition for “agricultural operation” was eliminated in 2017 and changed with language defining “agricultural activity.” This might embrace tilling the soil, elevating crops and the forage, grazing and elevating animals or fish for agricultural functions.

Staff is required to analysis whether or not a property has greenbelt standing, which the proprietor qualifies for if they’ve 5 acres of land in lively manufacturing for no less than two years. If the manufacturing is happening on a 5-acre farm, the property proprietor is eligible to use for an agricultural worker dwelling unit.

According to the workers report, there are only some 5-acre farms in Eastern Summit County that require full-time employment so the agricultural exercise standing permits the property proprietor to construct a bigger unit than what could be allowed on a similar-sized lot.

“It’s not meeting the intent. No cowboys are flying in from Montana,” stated Marion Wheaton, a Planning Commission member.

Changes to state regulation additionally require accent dwelling items throughout the identical constructing because the single-family dwelling to be allowed in residential zones with no measurement limitation. In distinction, items in a indifferent constructing are extra strictly regulated.

Commissioners thought-about whether or not to take away agricultural worker dwelling items general or amend the items so as to add extra necessities.

Milliner really useful that the Planning Commission remove each the agricultural worker dwelling items and the sq. footage requirement for accent dwelling items inside a single-family house. The indifferent items could also be given an additional 200 sq. ft to accommodate mechanical gear and stairwells. Milliner additionally stated they need to require accent dwelling items to be rented for no less than 30 days.

Planning Commissioner Don Sargent stated there are lots of sturdy opinions surrounding agricultural worker dwelling items. Although they used to work nicely, he suspects they’re now being abused. Sargent stated he hopes commissioners can transfer in the fitting route as a result of the items might be “the best affordable housing option in rural Summit County.”

The panel questioned if the accent dwelling items might be used to unravel the housing downside, particularly on the East Side, and the way the impacts of water and sewer could be mitigated whereas stopping the items from turning into an excessive amount of like duplexes.

Bill Wilde, one other board member, stated he’s conscious of a barn that had six folks dwelling upstairs. He additionally expressed issues about elevated water and sewer use.

The Planning Commission opted to assessment the amendments and proceed discussions earlier than taking motion.

“I like it as a way to solve the problem, but it could open Pandora’s Box,” stated Planning Commissioner Alex Peterson.




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