County Watch | ParkRecord.com

County Watch

Compiled by Patrick Parkinson

Boyer Company Chief Executive Officer Steve Ostler says the firm is working diligently to close a deal to purchase more than 400 acres of land owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

But Ostler wouldn’t say how much The Boyer Co. offered for the prime development property situated west of State Road 224 at Kimball Junction.

"It’s a piece of property we have been interested in for a long time," Ostler said in a telephone interview.

Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer told The Park Record the LDS Church agreed to sell the land to The Boyer Company based in Salt Lake City. But a church spokesman wouldn’t confirm whether the property has sold.

Church officials rejected a roughly $25 million offer from the Basin Open Space Advisory Committee that could have preserved the land near Utah Olympic Park.

Allowing a developer to build 800,000 square-feet of residential and commercial real estate at Kimball Junction would be a "disaster," said John Tuerff, president of Citizens Allied for Responsible Growth, a development watchdog group in Park City.

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"If that doesn’t have an impact on the health, safety and welfare of this community then I can’t think of anything else that would," Tuerff said in a telephone interview. "We believe it’s a reckless and irresponsible proposal that will do great harm to this community and we will do everything in our power to oppose this proposal as it was last presented."

Gridlock already plagues the nearby intersection at Landmark Drive and S.R. 224, he explained.

"There has been more than one study that has shown that intersection on its way to being a failing intersection, an F," Tuerff said. "You can’t get off the highway because the exit ramp is backed up all the way down to [Interstate 80.] That’s a very scary experience."

Park City Fire District suggests tax hike

Taxes for the Park City Fire District have already jumped significantly but firefighters want more money.

Budget projections show a proposed 17 percent tax increase for property owners in 2008.

Homeowners in the Snyderville Basin and Park City would pay about $7.70 more per $100,000 of property value if officials approve the hike, according to the Park City Fire District.

Taxes cannot increase until fire officials conduct a truth-in-taxation hearing, which is scheduled at the fire station on Canyons Resort Drive Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

Assisted living in Snyderville

Members of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission acknowledged the need for assisted living for seniors but panned a proposal that includes nearly 500 housing units and 78,000 square-feet of commercial development near the bank of East Canyon Creek in Jeremy Ranch.

"Obviously, we have a need for assisted living," Planning Commissioner Kurt Danitz said.

But officials must examine the impact of the project on traffic before approving a development agreement, Danitz said.

Builders tout the Village at East Canyon Creek as full service retirement living on 30 acres of property. Last week, the developer told the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission that clustering buildings on the site would allow 70 percent of the property to remain open space.

But a small portion of the units would be priced affordably for the elderly, Planning Commissioner Kathy Kinsman said.

"I’m confused about what this project is," Kinsman lamented, adding that many units are priced at market rate. "What I’m seeing here is a small town center and I think that this is a totally inappropriate spot for it."

Last year, planning commissioners denied a plan for assisted living on Rasmussen Road mostly because of density and design issues, Summit County Planning Director Don Sargent explained.

"What is the draw to this location for supposedly assisted and senior housing?" Kinsman asked. "I don’t really understand how you can honestly say that you are preserving the viewshed corridor and enhancing it by putting all this density right there."

Danitz countered that the location near Jeremy Ranch Elementary School could be appropriate.

"Maybe even some elementary kids could go over and see their grandparents," he said.

According to Planning Commissioner Julie Hooker, "the next great challenge facing us is senior housing."

But the current proposal would bring "heavy duty impacts," Planning Commissioner Mike Washington said.

"I don’t think this is compatible with the current neighborhood plan," Washington said.