Bitner Road development goes back before the Summit County Council | ParkRecord.com

Bitner Road development goes back before the Summit County Council

The Summit County Council will once again consider whether a housing project on Bitner Road with nearly 70 percent of units deemed affordable warrants an override of the Snyderville Basin General Plan's restriction on new development.

The project, known as Lincoln Station, will go back before the County Council on Wednesday. The matter is listed as a public hearing. It is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Sheldon Richins Building. It will be the third time elected officials have reviewed the proposal.

Lincoln Station, proposed by Crisco Development LLC, a Park City-based development firm, would be comprised of eight townhomes, 36 one-bedroom apartments and 32 two-bedroom apartments, with 52 of the units deed restricted as affordable housing. It would also have 5,000 square feet of commercial space. The site is east of the Park City Fire District's Administrative Offices.

The application the County Council is reviewing on Wednesday requests to rezone the property from rural residential to community commercial to allow for more development. The property is currently zoned to allow one residential unit per 20 acres. In a community commercial zone, multi-family residential units are allowed through a conditional-use permit process.

"It has been a very long process and our enthusiasm has remained steadfast as we continue to move the project forward," Vincent Criscione, the developer, said in an email. "We will answer any outstanding questions with the goal of continuing to move the project forward to a vote of approval by the Summit County Council at either this meeting or subsequent meetings."

The County Council is cautiously approaching the request because of the precedent it could set for future projects in the Basin. Lincoln Station is among the first development applications that has been considerably vetted to determine whether it violates the General Plan's Policy 2.3 that restricts new development or if the affordable housing element is enough of a "countervailing public interest" to warrant approval.

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Elected officials concentrated their focus at the last meeting in July on the affordable units and wanting to ensure they would remain deed restricted in case the property were to ever change hands.

"We agreed to place deed restrictions on 52 of the 76 units," Criscione said. "The deed restrictions will run for a period of 60 years and require that the units not be sold individually and must remain as for-rent units during that entire period."

Criscione said he is working with the county to provide a management plan where workers in the area are given preference for the units.

"We have a tremendous need for entry-level housing," he said. "We're not just providing affordable housing units, but striving to do so in a manner that addresses three objectives: transportation, affordable housing and sustainability."

County Council Chair Roger Armstrong said the Council will weigh the need for affordable housing against the General Plan's clause that restricts new development above what is currently entitled.

"That policy was intended to make sure we restrict additional density, except to the extent where that satisfies a compelling need," he said. "We will have to determine if this project does or if it doesn't. We also want to make sure the units will always be restricted in a meaningful way. We don't want to house Salt Lake City's or other communities' workforce and end up making our traffic worse. We want it to remain affordable housing over the long term, particularly for our workers and their families."