Stop Accessory Building restrictions in Silver Creek & Snyderville Basin

Stop Accessory Building restrictions in Silver Creek & Snyderville Basin

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Eileen Galoostian started this petition to pputt@summitcounty.org, pbarnes@summitcounty.org, rmilliner@summitcounty.org, acaus@summitcounty.org

Draper in Park City aka Eradicating horses & equestrians from Silver Creek

We, the undersigned, are petitioning Summit County, UT to repeal the moratorium on accessory buildings and to withdraw the proposed accessory building code in Snyderville Basin. We are opposed to any code change for accessory buildings in Silver Creek and especially opposed to the March 31, 2021 proposed code change related to Ordinance 923 – Accessory Buildings (aka “code”). This proposed code change limits the size and number of accessory buildings in Snyderville Basin and specifically negatively affects equestrian neighborhoods such as Silver Creek and Ranch Place.

The proposed code is very limiting and will cause equestrians and those with other livestock to have to move in order to adequately enjoy their horses and livestock on their properties. The code favors the building of large dwellings and is biased against equestrians and livestock owners and those who enjoy being in a rural, equestrian neighborhood.

The proposed code is not based on need or requirements for rural and equestrian lifestyles and therefore cannot be considered. There was no consultation with agricultural professionals or equestrians when this proposal was created, per the Summit County Planning Department.  Therefore, the proposed code cannot be considered or ratified.

The SNYDERVILLE BASIN GENERAL PLAN (SB General Plan) Adopted by Ordinance 839 June 17, 2015 states that Silver Creek is an “equestrian” neighborhood. It further states:

"Because of the equestrian and open nature of the area, further development should occur in a manner that takes into consideration the need for equestrian uses, such as trails and other facilities."

This proposed code change directly opposes this SB General Plan and the current zoning of rural-residential neighborhood.

This code is a detriment to equestrian lifestyle and to the horses and livestock and indicates the beginning of eradicating equestrians, horses and livestock from Silver Creek because it limits the ability to have horses and livestock while allowing unlimited size of a dwelling.

Further, we state that the code change does not support Snyderville Basin Planning Commission’s purported "purpose", as stated in the Staff Report March 31, 2021 (Ordinance 923 – Accessory Buildings):

Stated Purpose: Visual impacts due to building size and/or design.
Rebuttal: Silver Creek is an eclectic, unique, equestrian neighborhood. Buildings are of all sizes and shapes and that is what gives the neighborhood its treasured character.
Stated Purpose: The effect that the building may have on the environment.
Rebuttal: No impacts were stated in the report. Large dwellings have more environmental impact than large accessory buildings.
Stated Purpose: The potential that the building may become a commercial use.  
Rebuttal: This is an enforcement issue, not a building size or amount limit issue.
Stated Purpose: The number of buildings allowed on a single property.
Rebuttal: Limits on number of buildings will limit the ability of property owner to enjoy their private property.
Most importantly:

The code adversely affects the welfare of the horse, the livelihood and lifestyle of the equestrians and non-equestrians who live here.  Horses require proper housing and care such as regular (and proper) exercise, clean feed and hay and a safe environment. Accessory buildings provide the ability to properly care for a horse and allow equestrians to safely operate the farm and enjoy horses year-round.   

1)    Separating hay barn from stables drastically reduces the risk of killing horses in a fire. (Hay is easily combustible and causes may barn fires.)

2)    Indoor arenas allow horses to exercise and move year-round in inclement weather (such as winter), which is especially critical for competition horses.  Limiting the arena size can cause injury to horses as it doesn’t allow for proper training of many types of equine athletes.

3)    Separate equipment buildings keep tools, tractors, implements from causing accidents to horses and people. Otherwise, they must be stored outside.

4)    Separate tack room allows the ability to climate-control the tack used on horses – reduces mold and other irritants to people and horses.

5)    Separate, closed feed room keeps horses who escape from overeating, which can lead to colic (very painful and sometimes fatal) and can reduce rodents infestation.

Summit County has long ignored the equestrian and equine needs.  Over a decade ago a group of Silver Creek residents approached Summit County about building horse-friendly trails in Silver Creek and a Horse Park in Snyderville Basin.  The residents were denied. To date, no public facilities have been developed to support horses and equestrian lifestyles in Snyderville Basin. Therefore, Silver Creek residents, volunteered hundreds of hours of labor to build miles of horse-friendly trails. They saved money to build stables, hay barns, tool and equipment sheds to support safe enjoyment of our equestrian sport and safety for our horses on their private property.

Now, Summit County, who has done nothing for equestrians and horses, apparently seeks to remove equines, livestock and equestrians from Park City in favor of allowing large dwellings. There is no local place to go if this happens. Developers are quickly purchasing farms and boarding facilities in Summit County and Salt Lake County and turning them into housing developments.

Silver Creek is a gem; an oasis of a zoned rural-residential, equestrian neighborhood.  It is surrounded by Glenwild, Red Hawk, Stage Coach, Promontory and Goshawk – all private, gated neighborhoods with massive homes. Silver Creek remains in the center as a modest, rural area with those living the equestrian lifestyle.  This proposed code change along with the proposed mixed-use rezoning in Silver Creek and the new road connecting Bitner and Silver Creek Road are all pointing to “Draper in Park City” – the urbanization of our rural neighborhood with massive homes and the eradication of horses here.

The Code was in place when everyone who lives here moved here. It was clear what could and could not happen in Silver Creek. Now a few want to change the code because they don’t like big buildings, horses and what goes with horse ownership. If the point was to reduce building size, then any change would have to include restricting dwelling size. This proposed code change does NOT prohibit dwelling size or garage size and bays. With this proposed code, one may have an acre-size home with a five car garage several “lock-outs” with the opportunity to AirBnB every lock-out space year-round, causing massive traffic, with environmental and safety concerns. Under this proposed code, one may not have a modest-sized home and a large indoor to support the welfare of the horse and equestrian lifestyle. Yet the opposite is possible and creates the same impact the proposal says it is working against.

The point has been raised about a riding arena turning into a hockey rink. This problem is enforcement. This code change penalizes equestrians because the County can’t properly monitor and enforce their own code.

Of other major concern is that the current architectural code does not appear to allow for a square or rectangle building so one would not be able to use the entire building space for an indoor arena.

Many of us moved to Silver Creek to fulfill dreams of having horses at our homes or be surrounded by them. Many built farms in phases, as money and time allowed. If this code changes is approved, so many of us will have half-built farms or no ability to have a horse farm. If this code is approved, Silver Creek will become just like the other surrounding neighborhoods with large, expensive homes: Draper in Park City.

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