Summit County, Utah

Summit County, population 30,000 (2000), begins 15 miles east of Salt Lake City. At the western end of the County, the popularity of Park City and surrounding ski areas, (venues for the 2002 Winter Olympics), helped to double the County?s population in the 1990s.

The Plan for this part of the County, Snyderville Basin, allows density bonus incentives to development projects that voluntarily provide additional community benefits including affordable housing, public facilities/amenities, environmental enhancement and open space. The developer may elect to offer cash in lieu of actual participation, which the County can use in its Density Transfer Program. The Plan also allows flexibility for maximum density in two planning designations, Village and Resort Center, to projects that further the goals and objectives of the Plan.

To implement the Plan, the County has formed a TDR committee that, as of early 2003, was preparing review criteria for TDR projects. Although no transfers have occurred yet under the auspices of the TDR committee, transfers have been approved through individual development agreements. For example, in The Canyons Ski Resort, density bonuses were granted in return for preservation of two significant open space areas.

Summit County imposed density transfer requirements on the development of The Canyons Ski Resort, shown here.

In the example of The Canyons, staff, the County Planning Commission and the County Commissioners acted as a TDR committee, evaluating the ?meaningfulness? of sending areas and the appropriateness of increased density in the receiving areas. Approval of additional density in The Canyons contributed to the preservation of the Swaner Nature Preserve approximately two miles away. The Swaner Nature Preserve contains more than 1050 acres of rocky mountain meadow that protects the watersheds of three creeks and provides habitat for various species of native plants and wildlife.

Density bonus in The Canyons also protected Iron Mountain, an undeveloped peak just west of the ski resort. Iron Mountain adds an important link in a planned trail system that will ultimately provide a walking route from Utah Olympic Park to Park City and beyond, over one of the ridge lines of the Wasatch Mountain Range.

Swaner Nature Center

Iron Mountain

In addition to the TDR provisions in Snyderville Basin, Summit County?s Eastern County Planning District uses an ad hoc TDR provision in the Agricultural Cluster Bonus. In this area, developers can propose master planned developments in which TDRs are offered to allow increased density through development agreements. As of early 2003, the County was in the process of creating a TDR committee for the Eastern County to evaluate TDR proposals.