Developer wants to amend agreement to accommodate Whole Foods Market
May 15, 2015
An announcement by Whole Foods Market revealing plans to build a "flagship mountain store" in Park City in 2017 on Landmark Drive may have been premature. The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission has reservations about requested amendments to the Canyon Corners Development Agreement, which controls approximately 8.5 acres where the store will be located.
CenterCal Properties, a California retail development company, is asking the Planning Commission to amend the existing Development Agreement for that property to accommodate two buildings instead of seven. The property is located at 6622 North Landmark Drive, across from the Ruby Tuesday restaurant and the Tanger Outlet Mall.
The square footage proposed for the two buildings is 61,000 feet, with 268 parking spaces, consistent with the existing agreement. But recently proposed uses are for a 43,000-square-foot grocery store, with general retail and restaurant uses, and 18,000-square-feet for general retail.
The amendment request coincides with Whole Foods Market’s May 6 announcement. According to a press release, the store will be the "first Whole Foods Market in Utah to feature its own taproom with local beer and wine on tap."
The new uses being proposed and the new occupants for the space left the commissioners with more questions than answers at a recent public hearing on the topic. The purpose of the hearing was to provide staff and the developer with instructions on how to proceed with the application.
"It’s been about two months since we last saw them and then they showed up to the meeting with a boatload of new information," Planning Commissioner Chuck Klingenstein said.
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Commissioners say they were unaware that the new uses would include Whole Foods as a future occupant of that space until the meeting on May 12. Klingenstein said the Planning Department staff report was being drafted when Whole Foods made its announcement.
"All of a sudden, all the work was based on this commercial food grocer," he said. "Now we have these new uses. It’s time for everyone to really nail things down now."
Klingenstein said the biggest concern commissioners raised is the impact a Whole Foods Market store would have on traffic on Landmark Drive.
"Traffic was the big issue," he said. "They talked about things like an onsite bus stop, a bike program and employee mitigation. And these are all good ideas, but what we need is rock solid information, data and commitment so that becomes a part of the final agreement. Right now we just have all these conceptual ideas."
"If these developers want to build these two buildings and if we are going to approve it, we have to make sure the traffic works," Klingenstein said. "We only get one shot at this."
The developer is also in discussions with Community Development Director Pat Putt about their responsibility toward affordable housing. According to the Snyderville Basin Development Code, all developments are required to provide affordable housing in some capacity.
While the item was scheduled for a public hearing on May 6, commissioners treated it more like a work session topic to try and iron out the details.
"If we are going to recommend to the County Council that they approve this new project and amend the agreement, we have to make sure we are very comfortable with what they are proposing," Klingenstein said. "They showed up with 60 pages of new information and we had not addressed the fact that now it’s a Whole Foods, which changes all the calculations in traffic and it definitely changes the affordable housing calculations.
"I compliment the applicant on a lot of good, new information and pretty pictures, but we still have a lot of work in front of us to make this project work," he said.
The hearing was continued and will be visited at a later, unspecified date.