County Council debates controversial Kimball Junction project ahead of public hearing |

County Council debates controversial Kimball Junction project ahead of public hearing

One councilor claims process has been rushed

Pamela Manson
For The Park Record
The Summit County Council on Wednesday discussed a developer’s controversial proposal to build a large, mixed-use project at the Tech Center, on land near the Skullcandy headquarters, shown. One of the elected officials claims the review process for the development has been rushed.
Park Record file photo

A deputy Summit County attorney on Wednesday presented the latest proposed draft of an agreement that would allow a large-scale residential and office development to be built in the southwest corner of Kimball Junction at the site of the Tech Center.

Jami Brackin told Summit County Council members at a work session that the draft addresses issues in a previous version that was presented on Oct. 27. The parties and a council subcommittee have been working on solutions, “and we are down to some basic but minor issues,” she said.

“When an application comes in to amend a development agreement, part of our job as attorneys is to prepare a document that in the event the council votes to approve it, is ready to go,” Brackin said.

Dakota Pacific Real Estate — which wants to build 1,100 residential units, a hotel, office buildings and commercial space on 58 acres that it owns at the site — is asking the County Council for a change in the land uses allowed there. A 2008 development agreement currently limits what can be built on the property, which is west of S.R. 224 and south of Walmart, to mostly tech-related office buildings.

Supporters say the project could lead to fixes for traffic issues in Kimball Junction, but opponents argue that it would negatively impact an already congested area by adding traffic and possibly thousands of new residents. Critics have flooded the council with emails objecting to amending the development agreement and started a petition on against the plan.

A meeting to get public input about the project is scheduled for Dec. 1, with the location to be announced. The meeting had been set for Nov. 17 but was postponed after the Park City School District had concerns about hosting a crowd at the original venue, Ecker Hill Middle School, due to the pandemic.

Council member Roger Armstrong, who said the project would lead to more sprawl, was unhappy that he didn’t have more time to review the draft agreement and other materials and that some changes had been added on Wednesday morning. He said Council Chair Glenn Wright was trying to rush the process.

“We get a 103-page document on Monday afternoon to be revealed to the public on Wednesday without them having a chance to look at it, without me having a chance to look at it,” Armstrong said. “We had a 300-page packet today that landed on our desk at 1:30 on Monday. To expect anybody to have digested any of that material, to have a discussion, we’ve got to stop doing this. If you want to ram it through, Glenn, ram it through but be honest about what we’re doing. This is not the way to do it.”

Other council members said they wanted the information to be in a format that would allow them and the public to compare the current development agreement with the proposed amended agreement. At their request, staff members will go through the agreements to create a side-by-side comparison of their pros and cons, traffic mitigation measures, the mix of living unit types, environmental impacts, sustainability and other factors.

Wright said consideration of Dakota Pacific’s application for an amended development agreement has been a very long process.

“Roger seems to be the one council member who’s completely against this project,” Wright told The Park Record on Thursday. “He seems to think we’re ramming it through but we’ve been talking about it for the last year. He just hasn’t been involved in some of the subcommittees that have been doing some of the direct work with Dakota Pacific because he’s been against it for the entire time.”

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