County planning board reviews development code, zone request
The county development code guidelines on sewers prevented a zone map change request during Tuesday's regular meeting of Carbon's planning and building departments.
Brent Barker approached the board on behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Price Stake. He was requesting that approximately 16.23 acres of land located west of State Road 96 between Scofield and Clear Creek be changed from water shed zoning to a recreation forestry and mining zone.
According to Barker, the Stake currently used the property for activities but wanted to build nicer facilities.
Some of the anticipated changes included adding a 20,000 gallon water tank and three 1,500 gallon septic tanks to accommodate a 16 shower and restroom facility.
Campsites would also be developed, along with a large pavilion to be used for girls camp, family reunions, scouting activities and other recreation.
"We've never utilized this south end of our property," Barker stated. "We'd like to get the whole property so it's usable."
The zone change ran into a snag, though, when the commission addressed sewer requirements in the area.
Barker assumed the septic tank drain field met code requirements because its location was 150 feet away from a stream in the area and the health department only required 100 feet.
However, as the council pointed out to Barker, the Carbon County development code dictates that: "No dwelling or septic tank drain field shall be located closer than three hundred (300) feet from a perennial or intermittent stream channel ..."
"We required everybody up there to do 300 feet and, if we don't stick to that, we'll get nailed," remarked Commissioner Mike Milovich, county government's representative on the board.
Another concern brought to the discussion by board member Lynna Topolovec was the high water contamination already existing in the streams.
The board member feared the project could exacerbate it.
"I have more than just the sewer issue," said Topolovec. "You're gonna cause erosion."
But Barker assured the board that precautions would be taken to avoid causing erosion and that little change would be taking place in the highest problem areas.
In the end, Milovich pointed out the commission was trying to assure that the water was protected on the stream bed.
The commissioners needed to be strict with the 300 foot guideline because they had already required two previous developers to observe it, added Milovich.
After some discussion and evaluation of the project plans, Barker said he would have his maps reworked so that the drain fields would not be within 300 feet of the stream, but inquired as to getting the plans approved before the next meeting.
According to Barker, if the project was not approved soon, construction would be begin too late in the summer to get everything done.
Milovich questioned whether Barker could actually get everything he needed completed before the next meeting of the commission.
Barker said he bet that he could.
"I wouldn't bet on it the way engineers work," Milovich joked.
However, Barker was given assurance that, if he could gather the needed material and information, a special meeting of the county and zoning panel would be called to review the plans.
In closing, Milovich also recommended that Barker consider at other sewer disposal alternatives rather just a septic tank.
The commissioner pointed out that, with a little additional research into options, new technologies might offer a better solution that would get both the commission's and Barker's needs met.
In other zone change business, the council approved changing the zone map for approximately two acres in Emma Park from water shed to a mountain range zone.
Brian Wood of Everygreen Operating Corporation was seeking the zone change so Evergreen could operate a gas well.
In addition to the zone change, Wood also requested a conditional use permit for the construction, drilling and future production and operation of the gas well.
After assurances by Wood and his associates that the well would not be in plain view and erosion control had been addressed, the members of the county planning and zoing council approved the permit.