Foothills, Canyons Commission Holds First Meeting

(KCPW News) Wednesday marked the first meeting of a 15-member commission tasked with revising Salt Lake County’s Foothills, Canyons Overlay Zone or FCOZ, an ordinance that regulates building and development in those parts of the county. Public Works Director Patrick Leary notes the original zoning ordinance was adopted in 1997, and construction technology has changed since then.

“But even more so, state law has changed in that time, and that has impacted how we interpret the code itself and the ordinance itself, so we really want to make sure we’re in compliance with state law, but also meeting today’s needs and demands, and of course protecting the watershed,” says Leary.

The blue ribbon commission includes conservationists, local government representatives, property owners and developers.

Leary says creating a new FCOZ ordinance is important to more than just residents who live or recreate in the canyons and foothills.

“A big portion of this is also where we get our water that serves our water that serves our community, and as population is expected to double within this valley over the next 20 or 30 years, that is going to become increasingly important, and so how we develop in these very sensitive areas and how we balance those competing interests is going to help drive how we grow as a community,” he says.

Salt Lake County hopes the commission will have a new ordinance ready for the county council to consider by the end of the year. Public comment will be accepted at future commission meetings.