In this week’s episode:
- A potential increase in the regulation of short term rentals in Summit County
- The continued conversation about Emergency Medical Services throughout the county
- And general updates on countywide events taking place in the coming weeks
SHORT TERM RENTALS
Let’s kick things off with a hot topic among resort communities like ours—short-term rentals. Did you know that Summit County has the highest percentage of short-term rentals in the State of Utah? A full 21.5 percent of housing in the County consists of short-term rentals.
Even though these types of rentals are so prominent throughout the state and especially here in Summit, both state and local regulation of short-term rentals is really limited.
At Wednesday’s Council meeting there was a discussion as to whether the Council wishes to enhance short-term rental regulations in the County by amending both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Development Codes.
Several issues with short-term rentals were discussed including street parking issues and rental cars being unfit to access certain neighborhoods in winter conditions. There was also talk of safety issues with these rentals. There is a lack of safety regulations around the rentals themselves, but also visitors are not as aware of local dangers, and can unknowingly engage in activities that could, for instance, cause a wildfire.
Staff also spoke about the positive results that would come from enacting regulations that help mitigate the issues involved with short-term rentals. There is less housing available for full-time or longer-term residents, our workforce, etc. Short term rentals reduce housing inventory, making inventory more scarce, and driving up the overall cost of housing. Nightly rentals are competing with the lodging industry which pays much more in taxes than a property owner holding a business license does. They suggested these types of strategies would help increase housing stock and allow the workforce to live here.
Ultimately, Council asked the Attorney’s Office to prepare a draft ordinance for review that would suspend the issuance of any new business licenses for the purpose of short term rentals for the next 6 months until they can establish what set of regulations they want to pursue.
Some sets of regulations they may choose to explore will require public hearings, so stay tuned in the coming months for opportunities to provide your input to the Council on this issue. We’ll keep you updated through this podcast, on SummitCounty.org, and on Summit County’s social media channels when these opportunities are coming.
Up next, the Council convened as Park City Fire District to discuss their Emergency Medical Services proposal and the future of EMS licensure in Summit County.
Chief Zanetti of Park City Fire, spoke about the cost to run his district, as well as the effects providing EMS services to Eastern Summit County has on their budget.
It was agreed that the fire service districts need to be amended and that we need to establish an understanding of the full cost of providing EMS in different areas of the County. The big question is: “What does it cost to provide these services in North Summit, in South Summit and in Park City?”
There is currently an RFP out to hire an outside consultant who will help with this by conducting a master planning process to decide how the County should provide EMS moving forward.
In terms of what’s next, the Council emphasized that they want to have significant communication with the community about this process to understand what they want to be done and their needs. They called for the next meeting regarding this issue to be scheduled within the next 45 days. Council requested that the baseline EMS report from 2020 be updated and presented publicly again to understand the basics of current EMS service provision in Summit County. So, stay tuned for more in the near future.
On a similar topic of emergencies….let’s switch to emergency preparedness and response. At Wednesday’s council meeting, Kathryn McMullin, Summit County’s Emergency Manager, and Shauna Mechem, with Mountainland Association of Governments, presented the 2022 Mountainlands Association of Governments Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan. The plan identifies mitigation goals and actions to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property in Summit County from the impacts of future hazards and disasters.
Basically, they took a look at natural disasters and their potential impacts (think: wildfires and earthquakes). Then, they made mitigation plans for ALL of these emergencies should they happen.
These plans were approved by Council.
DAKOTA PACIFIC DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT
We also have a brief update on the Dakota Pacific Development Agreement. Community Development Director, Pat Putt, and County Manager, Tom Fisher, shared that they have had an initial meeting to hear some of Dakota Pacific’s ideas of what their amended proposal will include when they bring it to the Council next.
It was estimated, at its earliest, that the new proposal could come in front of Council in July. We know this is a hot button issue in the community and we will keep you updated with more information as we receive it.
ANNEXATION DECLARATION AREAS
Back in March, we reported on some proposed amendments to both development codes in Summit County that deal with annexation declaration areas.
To review: an annexation declaration area is the planned area beyond a municipalities current city boundary where they reasonably plan to have land use authority over in the future. In other words, where the city boundary will plan to expand to in the future and where city services could be provided to in the future.
The proposed amendments included:
- An annual commitment to review the annexation declaration areas with the individual municipalities, and
- A noticing requirement for the County in the event development permits are being applied for within those 88 areas.
Since we last spoke about the topic, the amendments were formally adopted for both the Snyderville Basin and Eastern Summit County Development Codes.
These proposed code changes are an effort to increase and improve communications between the County and the cities. If the County receives a development application for an unincorporated area that a city has planned to annex at some point, we want them to have the opportunity to weigh in on concerns or flag issues that would impact them.
COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
Heads up, Summit County! The next Council of Governments meeting is happening on Tuesday, May 17th at 6 pm. If you’re interested, you can join on Zoom or in-person at Ledges Event Center. Highlights from the upcoming agenda include:
- A discussion regarding health equity
- Two public works discussions related to right of way preservation project funding and transportation sales tax project applications
- Update on regional planning
ENGINEERING OPEN HOUSES
The Summit County Engineering Dept. is hosting TWO events this month to provide residents with the opportunity to learn about a variety of projects outlined in Summit County’s Long Range Transportation Plan which spans the next 30 years.
At these events, residents can speak directly with County engineers and provide their ideas and feedback on future projects, specifically those taking place over the next decade.
The first is tailored to Eastern Summit County and is happening on May 18 at the Kamas Services Building: We highly encourage residents who live on the East Side of SR-32 between 2700 N. and the NE corner of Main St. and E 300 N., to attend this meeting to learn more about the scheduled construction of the pathway this summer.
The second Open House is happening the following day, on May 19, at the Richins Building in Kimball Jct. This meeting is for Western Summit County residents to provide input on projects such as the separation of Kimball Jct. at Ute Blvd. + Olympic Pkwy., a trail along Old Ranch Road, and MORE!