New proposal submitted for housing project in Brown’s Canyon
January 18, 2019
The Eastern Summit County Planning Commission reviewed a new proposal for a housing and commercial project along Brown's Canyon Road, south of the Promontory Development, during a meeting Thursday night.
The current proposal represents a scaled-back version of the original plan for South Point that called for 190,000 square feet of commercial space and 735 residential units on top of the 285 that were already approved for the property located between Roger's Ranch and Black Rock Ridge. Francis Najafi, managing partner of South Point Utah Development, LLC, the firm that applied to more than quadruple the previously allowable residential density, pulled the application in June.
South Point was carved off from Promontory in 2015 and operates under its own development agreement with the county. Both Promontory Development and South Point are under the umbrella of the Pivotal Group, of which Najafi is a managing partner.
South Point has approvals for an 18-hole golf course and 285 residential units, including 33 employee units. The original application sought to amend South Point's development agreement to more than quadruple the allowed development for a total of 1,020 homes, including employee units, and 190,000 square feet of commercial density. In 2013, South Point assumed the responsibility of building 33 affordable units required as part of Promontory's development agreement.
From the onset, residents who live near the proposed development vehemently opposed the plan, which they felt was out of character with the area. A previous proposal included a water park, 350-room hotel and a helipad. Those were removed after significant pushback from the public.
The new proposal is for 285 market-rate homes and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. It requests to amend the South Point Specially Planned Area Development Agreement for a density transfer, as well as modify lot sizes, roadways and design guidelines. Planning Commissioners did not take any action at the meeting Thursday night.
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"Before, they were proposing 1,000 units, a hotel and commercial and that got nowhere," said Tom Clyde, Planning Commission chair. "But, this iteration of it is exactly what they are entitled to under the existing approvals. We are just rearranging the furniture."
The 285 homes would be market-rate units and the allowance for commercial space is 10,000 square feet. But, Clyde said he would support adding more.
"I think we need more," he said. "Between what is coming online in Wasatch County and what we have, I think they need a grocery store or child care of some sort. More of the basics. I mean, there is not even a 7-11 over there."
Clyde said the planning panel was more receptive of the new proposal, but wanted more time to explore some of the details surrounding connectivity throughout Promontory and South Point, as well as the ability to provide the needed infrastructure. The Planning Commission will likely revisit the new South Point proposal in late February.
"All of that stuff, we will have to sort through that," Clyde said. "They wanted us to approve it the first time in one meeting."
Some of the urgency to get the proposal moving forward likely stems from the Planning Commission's negative recommendation for the third phase of construction of the Nicklaus Clubhouse at Promontory. Promontory was seeking approval for construction of a conference center, which would include a banquet hall, spa, laundry facility and other support facilities. County staffers had recommended approving the final plan.
But, commissioners requested Promontory submit a housing plan outlining a timeline of when the employee units would be built in South Point before approving the clubhouse expansion. They accused Promontory of avoiding its obligation to provide the required 37 employee units, two of which have already been built.
Clyde said a "plan to get to a plan" regarding employee housing was presented on Thursday. He said it included a schedule to get five units "somewhere within a year," possibly in the Silver Creek Village along U.S. 40, with the other units likely being built within five to seven years. He said those units would be contingent on the development of the new version of South Point.
"They are very upset that they haven't got the permits on the clubhouse and feel like they are being wrongly withheld," he said.
Representatives of South Point have maintained that Promontory has not violated its requirement to provide employee housing, often highlighting the two units that have already been built.
The Summit County Council is scheduled to consider an appeal regarding the clubhouse expansion on Wednesday.
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