Kimball Junction neighborhood plan moves on to the Summit County Council
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission agreed on Tuesday to send the Kimball Junction neighborhood plan to the Summit County Council after just two meetings discussing the 20-page document that is intended to serve as a guide for future development in the area.
Tuesday was the first public hearing since the Kimball Junction Neighborhood Master Plan Committee submitted the document to the planning panel last month. More than 40 people attended and several spoke.
The document is proposed as an amendment to the Snyderville Basin General Plan. County officials and committee members hope it will be referenced as future development and re-development is considered. The committee, consisting of community members with varying interests and diverse backgrounds, spent 18 months developing the document.
Planning Commissioners spent roughly 30 minutes talking about the plan after closing the public hearing, then unanimously agreed to send the plan to the County Council. The County Council is expected to spend more time combing through details of the plan. Additional public hearings will be held.
When asked if the planning panel spent enough time with the document, Planning Commissioner John Kucera pointed to the 18 months the committee worked on it.
“I think a lot of what we said on the record will be taken into consideration by the County Council, but they will ultimately be the ones who approve it,” he said. “I think it is a great plan created by people who have really thought about it. If there are additional items — people were talking about the density — this is much better than having nothing.”
Kimball Junction has turned into a bustling residential and retail center over the last 20 years, with residents throughout the Basin shopping and dining in the area. But, most agree it was poorly designed. The neighborhood plan encourages improvements to traffic flow, community and civic spaces, and visual quality.
Some members of the public attended the meeting to oppose any additional density in Newpark.
Susan Daniero, president of Newpark Town Homes, said that’s the most important issue to the homeowners she represents. Daniero said she had more than 60 petitions from homeowners opposing revisions to the existing building limits in Newpark’s development agreement.
Tracy Walton, representing Nevis at Newpark homeowners, said the homeowners at the development “really don’t see how you can support more density.”
“The problems is that it is not livable now,” she said at the meeting. “More apartments and more density won’t help it. I am absolutely not a NIMBY person. I appreciate the fact that we need more affordable housing here.”
David Maxfield, a Foxpoint at Newpark resident, said he hopes the plan will emphasize livability over increasing density in the Newpark area.
“Those of us who live there love our quality of life,” he said. “Whether that density is in the middle of Redstone or Newpark or wherever it impacts us. We love our highly dense, diverse community. But, we see some of the amenities that we love being threatened primarily by density.”
Colin Hilton, president of the Utah Olympic Foundation and member of the citizens’ committee, said his approach to the plan included some foresight into how it could help the region’s chances of securing the 2030 Winter Olympics. He added, “We have 10-plus years to develop a much-improved Kimball Junction and now we have a unified vision on how to do that.”
“Part of my job is to try to get the Olympics to come back to Utah,” he said. “I am excited about the prospects of doing that. I look at this region as an area of opportunity and through this process to shape it.”
Planning Commissioner Malena Stevens tried to emphasize that the plan wouldn’t grant any additional development than what is already allowed. Stevens also sat on the citizens’ committee.
“This isn’t changing the code,” she said. “It is just allowing for a vision if people do decide to redevelop. If landowners wanted to redevelop right now they could. This just gives us the ability to say, ‘No’ if it is not conforming to this grander vision.”
Kathy Becker said at the meeting people who live in Kimball Junction should have been consulted more throughout the process. She said it has been frustrating for residents who feel like there has not been an opportunity to participate until now.
“We just feel like we haven’t had any input,” she said. “It is a neighborhood plan without neighborhood involvement.”
Correction: A previous version of this article mischaracterized the comments of Susan Daniero. Daniero opposes additional density in Newpark. She did not express opposition to development in other parts of Kimball Junction.
With 40,000 square feet of retail space, 234 condos and something called a “ski beach,” the Pendry project will be a major addition to Canyons Village.