Additional Changes Being Made to the Sweetwater County Zoning Regulations

Additional Changes Being Made to the Sweetwater County Zoning Regulations

SWEETWATER COUNTY – Residents of Sweetwater County will now have 45 days to comment on recent  changes to the county’s zoning regulations.

In 2014 the Sweetwater County Commissioners approved new zoning regulations for the county. This marked the first time since 1979 the regulations had been extensively looked at and updated.

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At Tuesday’s commission meeting, County Land Use Director Eric Bingham said as they worked through issues this past year they noticed there were several things which needed additional work. Since then, Bingham said they have been working with the Sweetwater County Planning and Zoning Commission to make the new changes.

Bingham discussed some of the things which they changed this time around. The first issue discussed was lot splits. Bingham said they hoped the land division standards would address lot splits  but an issue arose this past year which showed it needed a little more work. To do this, lot split development standards were added.

Other changes included making the process more streamlined but adding consistency in items such as the violation process.

Another change included the fire code. Bingham said they have changed to process so that instead of fire code issues going to the state to be appealed, the appeal process would go back through the county commissioners. Commissioner John Kolb emphasized that even with the change, the appeal process could still be taken to the state if there are continued disputes. By making this change, the commissioners will have a say on issues facing the county.

Other things changed included the addition of several conditional uses in zoning districts, more flexible time frames with conditional use permits, giving staff the ability to approve smaller issues to speed up the process, the addition of hardship exceptions and some changes to the nuisance regulations.

On the nuisance regulations, Bingham explained he sat down with the Sweetwater County Attorney’s Office and together removed all things which were civil in nature from the regulations.

Commission Chairman Wally Johnson thanked the department for all the work they have done on this the past couple of years.

“It has made a tremendous improvement,” Johnson said. “My phone hardly rings anymore with issues from downstairs.”

Kolb, who is also the liaison to the county Planning and Zoning Commission, stressed throughout the entire process it has been said several times this document is a living document which will continue to change as times change.

“I think we are going in the right direction,” Kolb told Bingham. “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Residents will now have 45 days to comment on the changes. After the 45 days, they will move to approve the changes.

Bingham said residents who would like to see the changes can get a copy at their office at the Sweetwater County Courthouse in Green River. The new document and changes can also be found on the Sweetwater County Website here.