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Big housing project proposed near Pinebrook

Property owners rallied last week to tell Summit County officials they are against a proposal to build a 207-home subdivision at the entryway into Park City.

Those against the project are mostly concerned that the 70-acre subdivision would be too dense. The project would be situated near Kilby Road between Pinebrook and Timberline.

"It’s right on the entry corridor into Park City. It’s on the main highway that all the tourists and visitors use. There is very limited open space left there," Snyderville Basin resident Art Lang said. "I don’t think that is an appropriate place."

The housing project would cater to homebuyers with lower incomes, and land along U.S. 40 near Silver Creek is more suited for the development, Lang said.

The Weilenmann subdivision is proposed on a hillside near Parleys Summit, south of Interstate 80. Zoning on the 70 acres currently allows the builder to develop about four houses.

But the proposal before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission includes 49 houses, 62 townhouses and 96 senior-housing units.

"I can’t think of a single person who has been for this large increase in density," Lang said. "In every case that I can think of the neighbors are against it."

The Summit Park Homeowners Association expressed opposition to the project in a March 7 e-mail to Summit County planner Kimber Gabryszak.

"The new project, due to its density, would have an adverse effect on our local wildlife," Summit Park Homeowners Association President Don Jacobs stated in his letter. "While we understand and respect owner property rights, this developer knows the current zoning and should not expect county planning approval."

The development application is being processed under a set of planning guidelines meant to encourage affordable housing by allowing higher densities for builders who agree to construct work force units. Developer Glen Lent expects to earmark some of the homes for those earning less than 80 percent of the Snyderville Basin’s area median income, which is about $93,000 per year.

Even though the project may provide needed affordable housing for workers and seniors in the Park City area, the proposal is too large, Garbryszak said in a telephone interview Monday.

County officials may only be willing to allow Lent to build between 70 and 100 units, she added.

"[The developer has] been asking for a lot of density and they haven’t really reduced that density throughout the process," Garbryszak said.

Those against the plan are concerned about traffic impacts and whether the project would be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. The developer claims more density is needed to offset the costs of selling the work force units below the market rate.

"Obviously, there is going to be a community outcry to a density that is much higher than base zoning," Gabryszak said. "It’s natural for the Planning Commission, the public and the developer to feel frustrated. They want to see a project go through, but they want it to be a really good project so they are not bringing something negative into the community."

In a discussion May 11, members of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission said the proposal is too large.

"I think that was pretty much the consensus of the board," said Kathy Kinsman, chairwoman of the Basin Planning Commission.

But Lent claims his density is in line with what the Snyderville Basin Development Code allows.

About 75 percent of the subdivision would remain open space, Lent said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

"We moved a whole bunch of buildings to get them out of the view corridor," he said. "We moved a majority of our stuff into a saddle that you really can’t see from the freeway."

Officials need to be willing to work with developers if the goal is to provide more affordable housing on the West Side of Summit County, Lent said.

"The county created this code. A long time ago they decided they don’t want to build their own affordable housing. They wanted developers to do it. So they incentivized developers," he said. "But since then they have been afraid to work with developers because they are not used to working with developers."

Builders need market-rate homes to subsidize the cost of affordable units, Lent said.

"When you get a setback like this it just makes the project unfeasible to a certain extent," Lent said about objections to the density. "The county has claimed that they have a goal of getting 500 affordable units in the community Right now, I think it’s completely up in the air because I don’t feel like the Planning Commission is applying the code that they themselves created."


View Weilenmann subdivision in a larger map


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