Dakota Pacific project to reappear before the Summit County Council | ParkRecord.com

Dakota Pacific project to reappear before the Summit County Council

Development firm to provide formal update on Tech Center project since reworking original plan after public opposition

Dakota Pacific Real Estate, a development firm proposing the hotly contested project at the Tech Center, is slated to appear before the Summit County Council on Wednesday to provide a formal update.
David Jackson/Park Record

The development firm proposing a hotly contested project at the Tech Center is slated to appear before County Courthouse officials this week to present its revised plan, more than a year after public opposition forced the developers to consider the alternatives.

Dakota Pacific Real Estate on Wednesday is scheduled to provide the Summit County Council with an update on its Summit Research Park project, where the firm is proposing a large residential and office development. The project has been scaled down twice since a marathon public hearing in Dec. 2021, but the County Council has yet to hear a formal presentation from the Salt Lake City-based developer – and an opposition group hopes the community turns up to show their continued dissatisfaction with the project.

The work session will allow Dakota Pacific to go over the details of its latest plan, which was reworked in October and includes a 30% reduction from the original. Developers are expected to highlight how the plans have changed as well as the project’s benefits.

Dakota Pacific proposes building 727 residential units under the new plan, which is estimated to take up 979,000 square feet. The figure is down from the 1,100 units first proposed. The decreased density included reductions in the number of workforce housing units for people making at least 60% of the area median income. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units increased by nearly 18%.

While the overall number of residential units decreased, the developers adjusted the number of market-rate units available for rent for people 55 and older from zero to 93 to help address the lack of senior housing in Summit County. Market rate condos and townhomes also increased slightly, while 422 for-rent residential units were removed from the plan.

Commercial space has been reduced, too. 

The developers opted to eliminate a proposed hotel, instead allocating around 75,000 square feet to other commercial uses. The overall density was lowered to 1.3 million square feet compared to 1.75 million in the original plan. Dakota Pacific also increased open space by more than four acres.

Staffers expect the County Council will discuss the findings with the developer and provide insight on the plans, but no decisions will be made. The County Council could direct Dakota Pacific to go back to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission for a recommendation if officials feel the proposal has changed significantly, effectively restarting the process.

Community Development Director Pat Putt also indicated a separate work session will be held on Feb. 8 to go over a traffic impact study. The county recently received a completed third-party analysis that shows how the proposed traffic model would work at the development site. County staffers are currently reviewing the study. 

Those in opposition to the Tech Center project argue Kimball Junction, which is already congested, will be negatively impacted by more people living and traveling to the area. Supporters say it could ultimately help fix the community’s traffic issues while also addressing concerns about workforce housing.

Dakota Pacific currently owns 58 acres at the Tech Center site. The firm first asked the Planning Commission in April 2020 to rezone the land, leading to contentious debates among county officials and the public throughout 2021. A 2008 development agreement limits what can be built on the property, which is west of S.R. 224, to mostly tech-related office buildings.

Hundreds of community members attended a Summit County Council meeting in Dec. 2021 to oppose the Dakota Pacific Real Estate proposal at the Tech Center site, prompting the developers to rework their plan. The firm on Wednesday is slated to provide its first formal update to the County Council since then.
Park Record file photo

An opposition group, known as the Friends for Responsible Development for Greater Park City, has argued Dakota Pacific purchased the land under the existing zoning restrictions and affirmed the developers should build what it bought. 

The group has called on the public to attend the work session, which is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the Richins Building, 1885 W. Ute Blvd in Park City. Public comment will likely not be allowed. There will likely be several work sessions before a public hearing is scheduled for the community to weigh in on the revised project.

Jeff Gochnour, the director of development for Dakota Pacific Real Estate, said in November that the firm is excited to meet with the Summit County Council to present its revised plan.

“We’ve made significant changes to the plan in response to community feedback that we believe strikes a great balance across the various interests,” he previously said.

To join the Zoom webinar, visit https://zoom.us/j/772302472. The County Council meeting will also be live on the Summit County Facebook page.

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