East Side weighs 22,000-square-foot homes in Promontory, and a wind farm near Wyoming | ParkRecord.com

East Side weighs 22,000-square-foot homes in Promontory, and a wind farm near Wyoming

A rendering of what the land would look like with the addition of wind turbines. The nearest population center is Evanston, Wyoming, about seven miles away.
Courtesy of Enyo Renewable Energy

An effort to increase limits on home sizes to 22,000 square feet in a proposed neighborhood in the Promontory development failed to gain the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission’s recommendation last week, with Commissioners saying it would need to wait for action from the County Council.

The Summit County Council and Planning Commission have taken up the issue seven times between them, with an eighth scheduled in August.

The developer is requesting an amendment to the original developer’s agreement to more than double the cap on dwelling square footage. Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt said, to his knowledge, it was the only such cap on home size in the county.

During a public hearing at the County Council’s June 26 meeting, Councilor Doug Clyde told Promontory representatives “you open a development agreement at your peril.”

“When you come to us with a, I don’t know, 20-year-old development agreement, you’re going to be expected to perform to what we consider contemporary standards. We would certainly not approve 800-plus lots with 40 affordable housing units (now); that would be absurd.”

Councilor Kim Carson added the development was requesting an additional 432,000 square feet, and that the current affordable housing arrangement would not cover the amount of employees the homes would create.

The Council postponed its decision on the proposed amendment until its Aug. 16 meeting. Planning Commissioners also delayed a decision on a separate but related matter, Summit County planner Ray Milliner said. Commissioners said they couldn’t take action on a change to the subdivision plat until the Council decides the development agreement question, he said.

“The Planning Commission basically said it was premature,” Milliner said.

Commissioners also heard from the applicant for a proposed wind farm far in the eastern part of the county. It was the first time the project has come before the Commission, and the officials asked about the proposed height, how the turbines work, how it would affect the land and nearby residents, Milliner said.

The commissioners asked the applicant to come back for a public hearing in August, and to present a plan for restoring the area’s vegetation after construction crews come through. The closest residential center is Evanston, Wyoming, about 7 miles away, but Milliner said there are some people who live about 3-4 miles away.

Commissioners also asked about the shading from the turbines, which would stand about 500 feet tall measured from the tip of the blade to the ground. There was concern about a strobe-light effect that would come with fan blades spinning between a viewer and the sun.

Any wind project that is over 45 feet tall is subject to a conditional use permit, which the Planning Commission may approve as early as the August meeting following the public hearing.

It would not require approval from the County Council unless someone appealed the decision, Milliner said. A person would not have to live in Summit County to do so.

The applicant, Echo Divide Wind, LLC, is considering using up to 39 turbines spread over nearly 6,000 acres near the Utah/Wyoming border. It would create enough power for nearly 22,000 homes, and Echo Divide Wind already has an agreement with Rocky Mountain Power to connect to its grid.

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