Council approves annexation
February 14, 2012
The Summit County Council remained silent last Wednesday when asked if any members objected to Park City annexing 29-acres of land at the intersection of U.S. 40 and State Road 248 as part of a multi-million dollar settlement with landowner Greg Erickson.
Erickson and his firm, the Quinn’s Junction Partnership, are planning to build a 374,000 square-foot movie studio complex and hotel on the parcel in conjunction with Raleigh Studios. The land is in an unincorporated part of Summit County but surrounded on three sides by Park City.
Summit County Manager Bob Jasper said that when the County Courthouse got close to settling their lawsuit with Erickson over his building rights on the property, Park City stepped in.
"Park City wanted to be able to control how the movie studio was developed," Jasper said. "This annexation idea was not a sudden thing. Some time ago we had toyed with the idea of zoning the area based on Park City’s zoning laws so that it would fit in with the surrounding area and one day Park City would take control of it."
In late January, the Park City Council accepted a petition from the landowner and approved an annexation agreement, beginning the process of annexing the land into city limits.
If the annexation process falls through, Erickson is still allowed to build the movie studio on his parcel, according to Summit County’s settlement agreement.
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Council member Chris Robinson said that Park City has had portions of Quinn’s Junction, including Erickson’s parcel, in its annexation declaration for a long time.
"The land is surrounded by the city so we always knew it did not make sense for us to be providing services to this island of land," Robinson said. "We are pleased that Park City agreed to annex the land as part of the settlement because in general, I feel that higher density developments should be within city limits. The natural inclination is to try to get as much as we can in the county, but this development belongs in the city."
Robinson added that the county will be losing some tax revenues from the project by having it built in Park City limits but said it is not enough for the county to be concerned about. The county will still receive property and transient room taxes from the development.
Looking back, Jasper said he is glad the County Courthouse settled the lawsuit with Quinn’s Junction Partnership when it did.
"We had to go down to the Capitol the other day and had all the high powered legislators tell us about the five or so bills that were going to make us allow a movie studio in the area, and luckily, we could tell them we already were," Jasper said. "If we had not resolved the lawsuit and allowed the studio, it would have been a horrible battle."
The annexation agreement will soon go to the Park City Planning Commission for consideration before returning to the City Council for final approval.