Discovery development rejected
March 25, 2011
After two years of negotiations, the Snyderville Planning Commission voted Tuesday to reject the Discovery CORE rezone and development.
Discovery is a residential neighborhood proposed by Glen Lent, managing member of Alpine Development, near the Weilenmann School on Kilby Road near Timberline.
The CORE rezone application was a request to allow greater density within the project than is typically allowed in the Basin to add affordable worker housing to the neighborhood.
Summit County Planner Kimber Gabryszak is the staff member assigned to the proposal. She said Thursday the commissioners are supportive of a CORE rezone in theory so a developer can afford to build the worker housing by spreading the costs over more units. The problem with this plan was the density for the site, she said.
Lent asked to build 162 units, which was unacceptable to neighbors because of the traffic it would add to Kilby Road. The commission was also concerned about the visual impact of the development, Gabryszak said.
Because the site is located along a wildlife corridor and near wetlands, density was also an issue for conservation advocates.
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One commissioner, Bassam Salem, proposed 88 to 97 units. That number being too low for Lent, a proposal for 120 to 130 was debated. The units Lent said he would eliminate to reach that number were ones that made the least visual impact which would defeat one reason for decreasing density, she explained.
Salem said on Friday he liked the plan and felt it was a good fit for the site. Most of the commissioners agreed, he added. They rejected the proposal because Lent never consented to a unit number tenable for them.
Chairwoman Katharine Kinsman said they wanted Lent to eliminate the units most visible from Interstate 80.
"What we’d always told the developer from the beginning was that whatever number the commission recommended as a maximum was just that a maximum," she said.
Salem said Lent spent a lot of time and money "putting his best foot forward," but never addressed the community’s concerns about the high number of units.
"I think everyone in the room was disappointed that we couldn’t reach a density that worked for both parties," Lent said.
His company’s goal was to have a plan that both met the needs of the county and was also economically viable. But fewer units were not viable, he explained.
The commission’s decision is not the final word on the project, Gabryszak said. Lent may appeal the decision to the Summit County Council and Manager, and he said he planned to.
"This is the right location and we’re trying to do the right thing," he said.
View Discovery development in a larger map