Summit County Council introduced to Kimball Junction plan |

Summit County Council introduced to Kimball Junction plan

(Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

The future design and flow of the Kimball Junction area will be determined by the decisions elected leaders make over the next several months.

Those decisions will govern how the remaining 45 percent of development approved in the area, or about 1.7 million square feet, is constructed.

Summit County Councilors were introduced this week to the Kimball Junction neighborhood plan, a 20-page document intended to guide future development and redevelopment of the area. If approved, it will be included in the Snyderville Basin General Plan as an amendment.

A citizen’s committee comprising community members with varying interests and diverse backgrounds spent the previous year and a half developing the document. Most members of the committee attended Wednesday’s meeting.

Pat Putt, Summit County development director, said the neighborhood plan gives elected officials an opportunity to rethink how development is built.

“That is what this is about,” he said during the meeting. “It names our expectations and hopes for what that development can look like in order to address community issues that we have been hearing over and over again.”

The neighborhood plan explores how the areas east and west of S.R. 224 interact in greater detail than the current General Plan. It emphasizes a need for connectivity and the creation of gatherings spaces that people can easily access without a car.

The Kimball Junction area has become the retail hub of the Snyderville Basin over the last 15 years. Residents throughout the county visit the area to shop or dine. It serves as the entrance into the greater Park City area.

But, many people involved in the plan say, it is not without flaws.

Roger Armstrong, Summit County Council chair and member of the committee that created the plan, said the deficiencies of the Kimball Junction area are obvious.

“It’s not the prettiest place,” he said. “It’s a bit disjointed and there are issues of connectivity, mobility and walkability.”

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission sent the document to the County Council in February after spending just two meetings on it. Armstrong said the County Council will likely spend a significant amount of time with the plan.

“This is just the start of the discussion process with the broader community,” he said. “This won’t be a quick process.”

Doug Clyde, a County Council member, said public involvement needs to be robust moving forward. He emphasized, “This won’t be something we do in two meetings.”

Clyde also took the opportunity to address a growing concern among residents in Newpark that the plan includes a rendering of a proposed building north of the Newpark Hotel. He said he has received several calls from residents concerned about the possibility of a building there and an overall increase in density within Newpark.

“There is this perception that we will be building new buildings,” he said. “I don’t think this plan says that. We are not adding development or density.”

The County Council heard from several members of the committee that created the document and took some initial public comments. Elected officials spent nearly two hours discussing the matter.

County Councilor Glenn Wright commended the committee for the vision it came up with. But, he encouraged the rest of the panel to consider the plan as it may relate to the rest of the Basin.

“In isolation, it sounds like a great idea,” he said. “But, the whole plan has to come together with what’s happening in the rest of the county.”

County Councilor Kim Carson said she is looking forward to delving into the plan in greater detail. She said Kimball Junction has “so much potential, but we have this mess there now.”

“How do we articulate that?” she said. “How do we move forward from this point to get to that vision of where we want to be? I think that is just as critical. I’m definitely not clear on that. It’s hard to envision how it can all come together.”

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