June 28, 2011
The county council is expected to put a moratorium on Core Rezone developments at Wednesday’s meeting while the program’s guidelines are clarified.
Core Rezone developments currently allow developers to apply for additional density in their developments based on the inclusion of extra workforce housing. The county council has had difficulty clarifying what density standards to allow based on the core method since it is not one set formula and wants time to work on modifications according to Snyderville Basin Planner Kimber Gabryszak.
"The council is hoping to finalize a consistent way to determine max allowed density under the Core Rezone," said Gabryszak. "It needs to be simplified."
The council is considering a six-month moratorium on any core rezone projects, including the Discovery project, located on Kilby Road, which is currently in a two-year-long process of approval.
The Core Rezone code was created in 2008 after a comprehensive overhaul of Summit County’s affordable housing practices following a needs assessment study.
"No projects under the core program have been approved, that is partially why the moratorium is being put in place," said Gabryszak.
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Of the three core projects that have been brought before the county planners or county council, two have dropped out. Gabryszak is unsure if this is due to the "stagnant process" or if they just victims of the financial downturn.
"The market is not conducive to developments in general right now, we haven’t seen a core project or another type of development be built," Gabryszak said.
"We’ve had three applications under the existing core program which was approved by our predecessors," said County Council Chairman Chris Robinson. "There has been ambiguity and inconstancy with all three. We don’t want other parties to submit under it until we have decided it says what we want it to say."
Council member David Ure said the moratorium is a good idea so that the council can make sure they are not holding different developers to different standards based on varying interpretations of core rezone.
Core Rezone projects are required to be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods and are allowed to have up to double the density of neighborhoods within 1,000 feet. According to Gabryszak, this has caused some of the confusion since it’s been hard to clarify exactly what constitutes as a neighborhood.
"For the Discovery project, we have calculated that the allowable units could be as low as 70 or as high as 170," said Gabryszak.
"When you have reasonable people reach half a dozen different interpretations of a single application, it needs to be reworked and clarified," said Robinson.
If the moratorium on core rezone is passed on Wednesday, Gabryszak said the county planners and council will together during the six months to find a "consistent and repeatable system to use on projects going forward."