Major projects mark 2015 in Summit County
Several controversial issues brought out hundreds of residents eager to provide their input at public meetings during 2015.
The approvals of the Silver Creek Village Center agreement, the Whole Foods Market relocation and the new zoning districts for the East Side, were among the most contentious.
The Uinta Express Pipeline was at the forefront of most discussions in early 2015 after the proposal for more than 100 miles of pipeline created a stir the year before. However, Tesoro Refining and Marketing announced in May that the project would be put on a permanent hold.
Top 5 news stories in Summit County in 2015 are as follows:
1. Pipeline put on "permanent hold"
Summit County residents were able to breathe a sigh of relief halfway through 2015 after Tesoro Refining and Marketing announced it was putting the Uinta Express Pipeline project on a "permanent hold."
After more than three years of conversations with local and regional entities about the construction of a 135-mile long, heated pipeline through the Kamas Valley and west along Interstate 80 the project was dropped.
As previously reported in The Park Record, a spokesperson from Tesoro said in an email that "unfavorable market conditions has added uncertainties about the economics of shipping crude oil through the proposed Uinta Express Pipeline." However, the spokesperson said Tesoro "may reevaluate moving forward with this project in the future under more favorable conditions."
2. East Side Planning Commission, under fire, agrees on new zoning maps
When it was all said and done, more than 300 East Side residents attended public meetings over the last year about the new zoning districts, with most expressing mixed reactions.
Officials have been working to create several new zoning districts on the east side of the county for the last two years and unveiled the maps to the public in February. The reconfiguration of the zoning districts is intended to address zoning rights, while also considering growth and land development.
The discussions have often been heated as Planning Commissioners have attempted to honor the wishes of most of the property owners while preserving the quality of life for surrounding property owners.
Commissioners approved the maps for the zoning districts in December after more than five public hearings on the topic. Once the Development Code language is also approved, the maps and code will be sent to the Summit County Council for final approval.
3. Whole Foods Market relocation approved
The satellite parking lot located on Landmark Drive in Kimball Junction will soon be converted into the Canyon Corners Development, which will include a Whole Foods Market as the anchor tenant.
The Summit County Council unanimously approved the development and the relocation of the Whole Foods Market in September despite concerns about the project’s impact on traffic and surrounding neighborhoods.
The development is slated for a 43,000-square-foot building, which will be occupied by a Whole Foods Market, another two-story building with 18,000 square feet of retail on the ground level and 20 affordable housing units above. The developer has agreed to construct a bus shelter and to contribute funds to a Kimball Junction bus circulator and a bike sharing program.
Several dozen residents testified at various Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meetings both for and against the project before the commission forwarded a 5-1 positive recommendation.
4. Silver Creek Village Center given the green light
Residents appeared to be caught off guard earlier this year as officials mulled over and eventually approved the Development Agreement for the Silver Creek Village Center, to be located southeast of the Interstate 80 and U.S. 40 intersection.
Several residents testified against the project at various public hearings claiming that they had been unaware of the timeline of the project.
In May, John Hensen, a Silver Creek resident, told The Park Record he "had no idea the approval was so far along."
The Silver Creek Village Center is slated to include 1,290 residential units, including 330 affordable housing units. The residential units will be comprised of 939 multi-family units and 351 single-family units.
The developer Matt Lowe, managing owner of the Lowe Company, has told The Park Record they hope to break ground this summer.
‘No new entitlements’ under updated General Plan
In 2015, an updated version of the Snyderville Basin General Plan, which county staff refer to as an advisory document, was approved for the first time in more than 10 years.
The General Plan is intended to maintain Basin residents’ way of life by protecting the environment, open space and the diverse neighborhood interests, while addressing transportation, interconnectivity and development.
With as many as 3,000 residential units and millions of square feet of commercial space already approved and waiting to be built, the Summit County Council wanted to put the brakes on approving any new entitlements.
County staff and the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission spent nearly two years working on the document and crafting the language before sending it to the County Council in February. Hundreds of Basin residents, especially from Jeremy Ranch and Pinebrook neighborhoods, attended the meetings.
Staff said the intent is to review the document on a yearly basis. Now that the General Plan is approved, staff will begin on reworking the Development Code, which is the tool to use the foundations and ideals laid out in the General Plan.
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After previous failed attempts, the South Summit High School Gay-Straight Alliance met for the first time Oct. 1.