Commission trying to develop uniform approach to municipal buffer zones

Commission trying to develop uniform approach to municipal buffer zones


James Tilson

Staff writer



MANTI—The Sanpete County Planning Commission are looking at a plan for dealing with the “buffer zone” issue with Sanpete cities.

At a meeting last Wednesday, Jan. 11, Commission Chairman Loren Thompson informed the commission that he and Leon Day, a commission member,  had been in discussions since the last meeting about what information the commission would need from Sanpete cities to have a uniform standard for “buffer zones” around all of the cities.

This issue had been in front of the commission for most of last year, as representatives from Spring City, Mt Pleasant, Ephraim, Manti and Gunnison had requested clarification of the county’s policy.

The commission has been wrestling with how to coordinate the county’s land use ordinances with the land use and zoning ordinances of all the cities in the county. Often, the commission has to approve a new development that is adjacent to a city, without the authority to apply that city’s ordinances to the development, even though the city may be planning to annex the property some time in the future.

Thompson told the assembled commissioners that he and Day had agreed on six items that the planning commission would need from the cities.

  • First, they would need an annexation plan from each city, with a map showing the plan.
  • They would also need a future zoning map, indicating how the city intended to grow.
  • The commission would also request a plan for how the city planned to provide utilities for persons living in the buffer zones.
  • The cities would need to develop and provide a transportation plan, showing where future roads would be located.
  • The commission would want each city to show a plan for how it would develop infrastructure in the future.
  • And finally, the commission would want the cities to review the county’s master plan, and offer any suggestions or questions.

Thompson and Day assured the members that these items would be “requested” from the cities, but there would be no obligation for the cities to participate.

After discussing how much time would be needed to gather this information, the commission agreed that to ask to have the information back by the beginning of April, so that it could discuss it at the April meeting. Thompson said he would contact the members to assign cities for them to contact and request the information.

Thompson also said the commission would need to create a definition of “buffer zone,” hopefully by the time of the April meeting.