County Council members commended applicant on mixed-use development
Project near U.S. 40 doesn’t fit under code
Summit County Council members were given their first glimpse of the Village at Silver Summit during the Wednesday meeting and commended the applicant on the mixed-use development proposed near the business park on U.S. 40.
The County Council had scheduled a work session to consider the applicant’s request to increase the height of several buildings beyond what is allowed in the Snyderville Basin Development Code for the project, which will be comprised of shops, restaurants, a bank, offices, community spaces with a small lake, and 48-studio apartments.
Clive Bridgwater, president of the Bridgwater Consulting Group and applicant, stressed the need for commercial services in the Silver Summit area. Bridgwater, who has lived in Promontory for more than 10 years, said he knows “all too well about driving across town for services.”
“We need to start focusing on the mixed uses the community will need 15 to 20 years from now,” Bridgwater said. “We have Promontory filling and now we will have the Silver Creek Estates moving forward adjacent to us. It is not a congested area and there are already existing development uses. What we are proposing would be great new services for this side of town.”
Bridgwater highlighted the county’s “desperate need” for studio and one-bedroom apartments in his plea to raise the height of several of the buildings. He proposes placing the units above the retail spaces and pushing part of the building into the ground.
“We are asking for the four feet of additional height in order to allow us to get the appropriate ceiling heights for the units and the retail spaces,” Bridgwater said.
A special exception would allow the height of the buildings to exceed 32 feet. However, the county restricts special exceptions to circumstances where site creates physical hardships or detrimental environmental impacts.
Doug Clyde, a county councilor, said the project is “one of the nicest” he has seen proposed for the Silver Creek Business Park.
“The complex issue for us is how do we get the justification for what would appear to be a better project than what you would get based on our code,” Clyde said. “I love that it is mixed use and I think it is a bold move to put people in this area.
“We just don’t have a way to approach this other than through a special exception and I don’t know that we can justify granting it,” Clyde said.
Kim Carson, a county councilor, expressed concerns about the number of affordable units that would be required under the county’s code and whether it would be enough. She suggested the county consider ways to leverage more.
Carson agreed with Clyde about whether a special exception is the appropriate process for the applicant to go through to achieve the additional height.
“I don’t see how, through my lens, that I could justify that,” Carson said. “I think we have always fallen back on special exceptions being truly a special exception. It’s unfortunate because I do like the project.”
Council members advised the applicant to consider the master planned development process county staff are currently reviewing. Pat Putt, Summit County community development director, said “it would be an appropriate tool for this.” However, the language for the process has not been publically vetted yet.
“A vast majority of what this project is trying to achieve could be accommodated through that process,” Putt said. “The master plan process is that design tool aimed at flexibility to get the appropriate and interior design in exchange for deed restriction housing, for example.
“What is unique about this situation is where we have been developing that master plan process, we have also taken a look at creating new zones,” he said. “The process offers flexibility or incentives to get the better design.”
Amir Caus, a Summit County planner, said the applicant’s only options are to redesign the project to comply with the code requirements or to wait for the upcoming master planned process language to see if the project could be considered under it. He added, “The language has not yet been finalized, so we could not guarantee this process or timing at this time although we would like to complete the language within six months.”
To view the planning department’s staff report for the project, including renderings and site plans, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/4427.
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Summit County officials declared their potential conflicts of interest, with Councilors Doug Clyde and Chris Robinson offering the most extensive lists on the County Council.