Developers are asking for input on their plan for an entirely new neighborhood at Kimball Junction | ParkRecord.com
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Developers are asking for input on their plan for an entirely new neighborhood at Kimball Junction

Developers are holding Zoom open houses this week to gather input on their plan to build a new neighborhood at Kimball Junction.
Courtesy of Dakota Pacific Real Estate

More information on the proposal, including registration for the open houses, can be found at HeyKimballJunction.com.

The online open houses are scheduled to be held on Zoom from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, and from 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16.

Residents will have a chance to weigh in on the future of Kimball Junction as the developer seeking to build a new neighborhood across from Redstone is kicking off its public engagement process with two virtual open houses in the coming week.

The open houses are scheduled to take place on Zoom from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday and from 2-3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16.

A Salt Lake City firm bought the mostly vacant site on the west side of S.R. 224, south of Walmart, in 2018. The county had entitled the land with more than one million square feet of development rights, but it’s bound by a 2008 development agreement that limits what can be built there to mostly technology or outdoor business uses.

So far, only about 90,000 square feet of the allotment has been built, between two buildings — the Park City Visitor Center and the Skullcandy headquarters. The site is ready for development, though, with some core infrastructure already in place. The previous owners also satisfied an affordable housing requirement by building the nearby Liberty Peak Apartments.

Dakota Pacific Real Estate, the new owners, are seeking to amend the development agreement and build a mixed-use neighborhood with shops, businesses, apartments and homes encompassing 1.6 million square feet, 335,000 of which are set aside for 306 affordable housing units.

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission has held several meetings on the application, reviewing the developer’s original “aspirational” plan, a history of the land and entitlements and the latest scaled-down application presented at the end of April.

A public hearing is expected in the coming weeks, something the chair of the commission, Ryan Dickey, said will be a welcome addition to the process.

“I am beyond ready to get to public comment on this,” Dickey said. “We need to hear what people have to say about it. Needless to say, the question of what is the ‘right thing’ here is not straightforward.”

The planning process has been slowed by the pandemic, with months passing between the last presentation to the commission in December and the April virtual Planning Commission meeting at which the revised plan was presented.

“You could argue in some ways it set us back four months,” said Jeff Gochnour, Dakota Pacific director of development. He added that the goal is to have a recommendation from the Planning Commission in time to have the matter decided by the Summit County Council by the end of this year.

“We’re probably at the 50-yard line,” he said.

Gochnour said he was not worried about the pandemic impacting the overall feasibility of the project, commenting that financing for most of the aspects of the project should not be difficult to obtain, except perhaps for a planned hotel.

The purpose of the public engagement portion, Gochnour said, is to inform neighbors about the project and hear feedback about aspects they like or don’t like.

“We’re doing everything we can in this COVID-19 period to let them know about it so they can … give us feedback that we take into account as we’re really fine-tuning our design,” he said. “The feedback can be positive or negative. … (We’ll) see if we can’t adjust things they’re not happy about.”

Already, the public relations firm hired by Dakota Pacific has held three focus groups with people from around Summit County and eastern Salt Lake City, home to many workers who commute into Summit County.

Gochnour said the feedback they’d received to date largely matched with what they’d heard from the Planning Commission and what is in the Kimball Junction neighborhood master plan, with key issues being transportation and workforce housing.

Dakota Pacific’s original plan included an underground transit hub, pedestrian walkway over S.R. 224 and gondola connections, amenities that were not included in the revised proposal.

Gochnour said those items are not off the table, however, but that the revised application only deals with the land Dakota Pacific owns.

The developers have also created a website with information about the project and links to proposal documents and to register for the open houses. It can be found at HeyKimballJunction.com.


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