Guest editorial: Dakota Pacific — build what you bought |

Guest editorial: Dakota Pacific — build what you bought

No matter how long you’ve called the Park City area home, we are all bound by core values of resilience, strength of community, and the protection of our mountain town.

Eric Moxham, Van Novack, Bonnie Park, Jeff Revoy, Mitch Solomon, and Fred Vallejo Friends for Responsible Development for Greater Park City (
Park Record guest editorial

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, Salt Lake City-based Dakota Pacific (DPRE) will formally present to Summit County Council its latest development plan for the Tech Center property at Kimball Junction. It’s imperative that the community turns out again with the message: Dakota Pacific — build what you bought!

History is relevant, but let’s start with a simple analogy. Assume you buy and build in a new single-family residential community that was evaluated and zoned by the local government. A few years later, someone buys a couple of lots and decides they can make more money building a multifamily unit. Over several years, they overtly seek to get zoning approval for an apartment building and commercial space. They make arguments like the community needs affordable housing, it’s close to a bus stop or they can help “fix” local traffic problems. The entire time, you are perplexed how these discussions are even happening when the lots were subject to a development agreement.

This Kimball Junction parcel of land has been the subject of numerous development applications since 1995, when Property Reserve Inc. (PRI), the development arm of the LDS church, proposed a 570-acre master planned project. That plan included residential areas and a broad range of other commercial, civic, and institutional uses.

After careful consideration and significant debate, Summit County rejected it.

In the early 2000s, the community and county spent considerable time evaluating how the land could best deliver an overwhelming community benefit. At the time (as well as now), the community had plenty of approved zoning for residential; however, Park City/Summit County was clearly overly dependent on the tourism industry.

In 2008, a development agreement was reached with Boyer Company that included the county purchasing a percentage of the property for open space (lower Olympic Park) and the remainder designated for a commercial technology center. Boyer Company achieved this rezone to Community Commercial through the approval of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission and the County Commission. Boyer’s Tech Center was celebrated as a major win for the community by providing the following: A new major contributor to Summit County’s economic growth; higher paying tech jobs to stabilize and add diversity to our service-based tourism economy; and it capped further residential growth at Kimball Junction

Over the next few years, Boyer put virtually no effort into recruiting tenants for the Tech Center. Likely, Boyer was focused on recruiting companies to their massive technology development along I-15 in Draper. Unfortunately, the county had limited mechanisms to incentivize Boyer to take a more active role in the timely developing of the Tech Center.

In 2018, on a gamble, DPRE or its CEO purchased the Tech Center site from Boyer under the existing zoning restrictions. While Boyer at least made some effort building out the Tech Center (Skullcandy, Visitor Center, and required affordable housing at Liberty Peak Apartments) prior to selling, DPRE’s sole intention was to amend the Tech Center’s development agreement.

DPRE rolled out their plan for a residential/mixed use community on the site, the likes of which had been rejected for good reason years earlier. It’s no surprise that the Snyderville Planning Commission provided a negative recommendation to County Council (5-2 vote) on DRPE’s project and the community came out in force in December 2021 to oppose it.

No matter how long you’ve called the Park City area home, we are all bound by core values of resilience, strength of community, and the protection of our mountain town.

County Council will hold a work session on Wednesday, Feb. 1 to hear DPRE’s new proposal. Regardless of what residential option DPRE proposes, the community’s message should be consistent: Dakota Pacific – build what you bought!

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