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Salt Lake County – Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone (FCOZ) Revisited David J. Gellner, Planner Salt Lake County PDS.

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Presentation on theme: "Salt Lake County – Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone (FCOZ) Revisited David J. Gellner, Planner Salt Lake County PDS."— Presentation transcript:

1 Salt Lake County – Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone (FCOZ) Revisited David J. Gellner, Planner Salt Lake County PDS

2 FCOZ – Implemented in 1997 FCOZ was adopted to address development in sensitive areas Provide for Watershed protection Preserve the natural character of areas critical to recreation and quality of life Salt Lake County Planning Division won a Utah APA Achievement Award in 1998 for Ordinance Development for FCOZ

3 Salt Lake County – FCOZ Areas

4 FCOZ – Southwest Areas Not the focus of this presentation Southwest areas – not the same as the Wasatch Canyons areas – different vegetation – not watershed – different mindset and development desires Will come back to this at end

5 FCOZ – Wasatch Canyons Main focus area of this presentation Primary Watershed areas for a large portion of the Salt Lake Valley Developed recreation – private property – public land – conflicts at times Area that provides an “Identity” to the Salt Lake Valley

6 Wasatch Canyons – FCOZ Areas

7 Where are we now? 13 Years have passed since the initial adoption of FCOZ Have things changed? If so, what has? “Rear view mirror” – How are things working? Are there problems or issues? Validation or a starting point for “Where do we go from here?” OR “We are on Track!” (Self-reflection)

8 Slope Regulations – Salt Lake County Zoning established in 1968 for canyons FR and FM zones created in 1973 Hillside Protection Zone adopted in 1985 The Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone (FCOZ) replaced Hillside in 1997

9 Purpose of FCOZ FCOZ Ordinance seeks to protect and preserve natural and sensitive areas while also balancing private property rights and public safety. (Lofty goal – sometimes easier said than done!)

10 Basic FCOZ Restrictions In brief FCOZ looks at streams, wetlands, slopes and vegetation preservation Development prohibited on slopes in excess of 30% - Waivers - Lots of Record Variance - slope development over 40% Stream and wetland setbacks – also subject to Waivers and Variances Limits of Disturbance (LOD) Vegetation protection and replacement

11 FCOZ Review Process Land use review process – multi-agency review process (Format may be changing.) Land use approval finalized Building and Construction phase LOD – separate inspections from SLVHD may be required for waste systems Replacement of vegetation & Bonding

12 Regulatory Authority (I.E. - We’re from different branches of the Government but we’re all here to help you!) Overlapping jurisdictions and regulations Salt Lake County – private property Salt Lake City – Watershed ETJ Salt Lake Valley Health Department U.S. Forest Service – own plans and rules Utah Division of Water Quality U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

13 Regulatory Ground Zero FCOZ often seems like it is “Ground Zero” for being the intersection of regulatory restrictions, private property rights and special interest groups Water quality vs. environmental vs. open space vs. developed recreation vs. casual recreation vs. private property rights

14 What has changed (if anything) in the last 13 years?

15 Societal Changes More concern about watershed and public health issues Realization that we are in an arid region with a rapidly growing population – water is important to our survival Change in development patterns Change in landowner desires

16 So, how has it been working? Depends on your point of view Some happy – some not so much Question - What is the difference between an environmentalist and a would be developer/new owner? Balancing act between development rights, regulations and preservation.

17 What are some of the issues? Marginal Lots Larger Houses More Year-Round Houses Demand for Services Fire Service Demands Garbage Collection Issues

18 Marginal Lots The “easy lots” are often gone Remaining have constraints – sometimes “reasons” they haven’t been developed! Waivers and Variances – allowed Sometimes seen as an “end run” to the Ordinance by public and other groups

19 Marginal – Stream Setbacks Many older cabins were built right “on the stream” (literally) Required setbacks – for water quality and health considerations Old cabins being expanded or replaced by bigger ones – hard to move away from stream – modern setback rules apply with some exceptions for existing

20 Marginal – Stream Setbacks



23 Stream Setback Waivers Why a “Yes” Answer? Non-conforming rights and Waivers for existing structures Sometimes our “only mechanism” to get them to hook up to sewer – upgrade septic system – abandon outhouses Balance – allow expansion closer to stream if other things get upgraded – in best public health interest (overall)

24 Larger Houses Can lead to other issues – size pushes into more constrained areas of site Putting “houses” on small lots that would accommodate “cabins” Old lots – often small – some “tent lots” Smaller dwelling could fit on lot without Ordinance deviations

25 (Much) Larger Houses Tear Down – Silverfork Area - BCC

26 Larger Houses Replaced with a new “cabin”

27 What is a Cabin? (The very name invokes warm and fuzzy feelings!) Definition is changing and evolving Larger – more use year round – extended family – coming from farther Sometimes more of a “second home” Certain materials make it a cabin instead of a house Commercial implications – possibly built for rental purposes – current issue

28 Cabins (Typical – from another era) Cabin – Mt. Haven areaCabin – Silverfork area

29 Cabins “Typical” Cabin – Forest Glen Area

30 Larger Houses Newer “Cabin” – Forest Glen - BCC

31 Larger Houses New “Cabin” – Silver Lake - BCC

32 Larger Houses New “Cabin” – Silver Lake - BCC

33 Larger Houses New “Cabin” – Silver Lake - BCC

34 More Year-Round Houses More year round houses = a greater need for critical services (Emigration Canyon)

35 Year Round and Other Services? More full time residents – lifestyle changes – work from home – physical location less relevant Some areas becoming more “urban” – full time residents but in the Foothills rather than city Future implications? More commercial services? Other conveniences needed?

36 Fire Service Demands More development necessitates better fire protection in the canyons New Fire Stations in Emigration Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon – one built – one under construction Permitting for stations under FCOZ rules – some difficulty – setbacks and development standards

37 Big Cottonwood Canyon Fire Station – Under Construction

38 Emigration Canyon Fire Station

39 Fire Station “Danger” (Emigration Fire Station Construction)

40 Fire Station “Danger” Cont’d (Sometimes you just can’t win!)

41 Garbage Collection Issues (Emigration Canyon – Killyons – Burrs Fork) Steep lots and driveways or access roads – hard to move cans up and down Leads to small “can farms” left down by the road all year long Winter – conflicts with snow removal Cans get hit and ruined – garbage spread out – traffic issues Looking for a better solution

42 Garbage Collection Issues (Emigration Canyon – “Garbage Can Farm”)

43 Garbage Collection Issues (Emigration Canyon Community Container Sites)


45 Other Issues? Conflicting agency restrictions – Health, SLCPU and Salt Lake County Sewer vs. Septic in Forest Glen Geothermal heat pumps – new issue – growing concern Led to a better dialogue and inter-agency cooperation – Watershed Coordination Mtgs. Trying to get on “same page” – don’t send down a “box canyon” with no way out! Also conflicts on vegetation and WUI with UFA and FCOZ – need some “alignment”

46 Problem Cabin – Forest Glen Proposed Cabin – Forest Glen - BCC SLC – wouldn’t allow a sewer line to cross their property to service the lot SLVHD – too steep for septic system What are my options? (in a “box” canyon) Other platted lots in same area – also undeveloped – same conditions - implications? Better process & coordination in future?

47 Not the Desired End Result!

48 Problem Cabin – Forest Glen (Finally under construction!)

49 Other Issues? – Ski Resorts Ski Resorts – not “pristine” wilderness – very developed areas - what standards should they be held to? Current standards of FCOZ are often burdensome and cumbersome for ski resorts – already subject to other plans Are the same development standards Fair? Reasonable? or even Realistic?

50 Solitude Mountain Resort - BCC Developed Recreation areas – 3 ski resorts

51 Other Issues? – Southwest Different ecosystem – drier – vegetation less developed – still fragile Not a critical Watershed area Different demographic/property owner Horsing/Ranching/Open Range Mentality How do they fit into the regulations? Should they be considered differently?

52 What about the future? I.E. - “Where do we go from here?”

53 Directions/Ideas/Regrouping Wasatch Canyons Tomorrow process – with Envision Utah – working on new “vision” for Wasatch Canyons Updated “Wasatch Canyons Master Plan” to be produced by Salt Lake County in near future Ordinance changes – possible rewrite of FCOZ in near future

54 Possible FCOZ Amendments Substandard lot consolidation – issues with old plats – comprehensive approach Grading standards – septic and other – discrepancies need to be fixed Tree and Vegetation – removal – replacement – WUI - other Trails and recreation development – what standards?

55 FCOZ Amendments Cont’d Ski resorts – elimination from FCOZ regulations? Stream corridor and wetlands protection – some discrepancies to be addressed LOD calculations – methodology and percentage? Back to “Self reflection” and “Next Steps”

56 Questions? Thank you for your time! and On behalf of the Organizing Committee - Thank you for attending the Utah APA Fall Conference! David J. Gellner, Planner Salt Lake County PDS

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