"The objective is to try to continue to make that park a viable facility in Summit County," Summit County Community Planning Development Director Don Sargent said. "They are trying to get a master plan in place that will give them some ability to develop or improve in a planned fashion over time."
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission previously expressed concern about the proposal to develop athlete housing on the bench.
"It was the only area they had that was low enough so that athletes had access to Kimball Junction services. But it was still a little bit up on the bench," he said.
The Planning Commission was concerned about the visibility of the housing from S.R. 224 going into Park City.
"They asked if there was any way they would consider working with the county to see if there could be some kind of transfer or swap with the county to provide an opportunity for the housing to be dropped from the steeper plateau and nestled more into the land lower down, because the county owns about three acres at the bottom of Olympic Park," he said.
Moving the housing would require about five acres. In exchange for the county's property, the Utah Athletic Foundation is willing to give 11 acres to the county.
"The commission signed a letter of intent with the Olympic Park that said it was their intent to provide three acres adjacent to the existing Olympic Park," County Manager Bob Jasper said. "But the acres they are giving us are already conserved so you can't build on it."
Sargent explained the land was originally intended to be a secondary access or trail easement from that area to the Olympic Park.
"Very little will be developable," Sargent said. "For purposes of a trail, it would work, but not for any kind of structure. I think it's on a 30 percent slope. So I wouldn't say it's the most valuable piece of real estate in the Basin. That's why they are proposing more acreage for the acres adjacent to the park that's much more developable."
The land exchange was written as a clause into the development agreement.
The Olympic Park is currently being subsidized by the foundation, but eventually the funding will run out, Sargent said.
"So they are trying to make the park financially sustainable and create a sense of place for not only athletes but also for the community, tourists and locals to participate in," he said.