Mixed-use neighborhood plan in Basin falls through
The developers who proposed a mixed-use neighborhood on Rasmussen Road in the Snyderville Basin are no longer pursuing the project, an announcement that comes months after the proposal cleared one of its first hurdles before the Basin Planning Commission.
Last year, Red Gate Properties, LLC, a Salt Lake City-based development firm, submitted an application for a rezone of a 22-acre parcel to build 108 multi-family units. The proposal included 8,200 square feet of neighborhood retail and access to public trails, as well as 40 percent affordable housing. The site is located adjacent to the Park City RV Resort/Campground on Rasmussen Road.
Chris Corroon, co-principal of Red Gate Properties along with his brother Peter Corroon, said in an interview from Chicago the pair decided to step away from the project for several reasons, including a failed land purchase and detrimental impacts of a future project commissioned by the Utah Department of Transportation.
“We backed off of it for a variety of reasons, but, first and foremost, the issue was the pedestrian interchange UDOT was proposing,” he said. “That impacted property essential to the property, as well as the density.”
UDOT has announced long-range plans to build an interchange near the location of the proposed development, according to minutes recorded during a May 9 Planning Commission meeting. At the meeting, Gary Horton, Summit County’s engineer, said the interchange would include on and off-freeway ramps and would occur within a 20-year timeframe.
“We had been working in good faith with the county and the property was under contract with the seller, but they wouldn’t budge based on what we saw was the change in allowable density,” Corroon said. “We tried to go back to the seller to let them know what we were dealing with, but they were unwilling to amend the terms of the agreement so we backed off.”
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission unanimously agreed to forward a positive recommendation to the County Council on Jan. 9 for the rezone request. Most of the discussion surrounding the project focused on whether it met a specific component of the Snyderville Basin’s General Plan. The General Plan is intended to guide future land uses and patterns of development.
Policy 2.3 was created to prevent any new development until existing entitlements and density was significantly exhausted. A clause within the policy, however, allows the county to approve the project if it presents a “compelling countervailing public interest.”
Commissioners and planning staff ultimately agreed Corroons’ commitment to affordable housing met the policy’s requirement of producing a countervailing public interest. The project proposed to double the Basin’s requirement of only 20 percent affordable housing.
Pat Putt, community development director for the county, said planning staff was disappointed the project fell through because they viewed it as a “really good project.”
“At the end of the day, the Planning Commission felt like it was a good example of how to meet Policy 2.3,” he said. “The code is not perfect and the system is not perfect. But, everyone pulled in the same direction and it got all the way to a rezone and final site plan, but we just couldn’t finish it because they could not ink the deal with the landowner and had to walk away from the project. We were disappointed.”
Members of the public were not as supportive of the project throughout the discussions as planning staff and commissioners, citing concerns about the project’s impact on the environment and wildlife. Many said Rasmussen Road was the wrong location for the project, especially for an affordable housing development.
Ultimately, the proposal cleared its first hurdle and was on its way to the County Council for a review before the developers backed away.
Corroon said he still has an appetite to pursue a similar project in Summit County in the future, but did not offer any details of when a proposal would be presented or where it would be located.
“There were some concerns from citizens, but I think we could have worked those out through the Planning Commission,” he said. “We would love to do something else up there and, hopefully, we will be back to try something again soon.”
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The Coalville native doesn’t see any major roadblocks for this year’s fair, though presenting in front of the County Council is a little nerve wracking.