Could Planning Commission derail housing at Newpark? | ParkRecord.com
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Could Planning Commission derail housing at Newpark?

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff
Newpark spokesman Chris Retzer is shown near a site proposed for affordable housing near Kimball Junction. Photo by Grayson West/Park Record
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Developers of the Newpark Town Center at Kimball Junction are contemplating building income-restricted affordable housing in the area.

To comply with a development agreement with Summit County, at least 10 percent, or a minimum of 20,000 square feet of affordable housing must be built at Newpark, Summit County planner Michelle Devaney said.

"This is the first central affordable housing that’s been integrated into a project to our knowledge in Summit County or Park City," Newpark developer Jim Doilney said.

But plans to construct the housing near Newpark’s northern perimeter resulted in criticism Tuesday for Doilney and Newpark partner Marc Wangsgard from Snyderville Basin Planning Commissioner Kathy Kinsman, who says the housing should be built near the core of the project.

"We certainly don’t want to exclude someone from having affordable housing," concurred Basin Planning Commissioner Kurt Danitz in a meeting Tuesday.

Commissioner Mike Washington also insisted that developers better integrate the affordable housing into the project while alleging that there is not enough affordable housing planned to provide for even the future hotel workers at Newpark.

"There is going to be such demand It’s not going to reduce our deficit," Washington said.

Planning Commissioner Bruce Taylor says " we are, with these other big buildings, creating basically a circle of wagons and the poor people on the outside of that."

The Newpark Town Center, with its residences, retailers and unfinished hotel, is situated east of Kimball Junction near Interstate 80 and the Redstone Towne Center.

"We were excited to present an affordable housing project offering rents at below $500 per month, including utilities," Wangsgard said Thursday. "The rents would be controlled under federal guidelines for 99 years. We were surprised when the planning commissioners did not enthusiastically embrace the proposal. As a result, there is a good chance we will abandon the project."

Avant-garde architecture on existing townhouses at Newpark has earned the nickname "Toon Town" for the neighborhood after the Warner Brothers cartoons.

Doilney expects affordable housing at Newpark to consist of a building with 38 roughly 420-square-foot studio apartments that would only be rented to workers earning a fraction of the area’s average income.

Depending on the renter’s income, the units could cost between $438 and $584 per month, Newpark spokesman Chris Retzer said.

"We really are hitting a workforce-housing demand that heretofore wasn’t being served," said Phyllis Robinson, an affordable-housing expert in Park City.

Planning Commissioner Claudia McMullin said she supports the layout proposed this week for affordable housing at Newpark.

"Looking at its location, we need to look at it both within the project, but also within our region," Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille said about the placement of housing at the development.

"While this is a parcel at the edge of the project, it’s right next to the [recreation] center, it’s on a transit loop, it’s across the street from the Glenwild trailhead, it’s walking distance to a grocery store, it’s a lot of the things you would want to see in the location for an affordable-housing project."

The Planning Commission did not vote Tuesday on the matter.

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