Newpark lot owner left to develop condos
The owners of the last undeveloped lot in Newpark contended during a recent hearing before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission that their eight-unit condominium project is allowed and will be built once final approvals are received.
Brothers Ryan and Matthew Crandall, partners of Crandall Capital and owners of the parcel, went before the Planning Commission on Tuesday, Nov. 28, to discuss the design of the proposed project. The space – south of Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery in the Newpark Town Center — is currently occupied by a parking lot.
Crandall Capital owns all of the property south of the Newpark Hotel, including the amphitheater, obelisk and surrounding property. The firm wants to build a four-story building with three-bedroom units, including one affordable unit, to attract full-time residents.
Whether the townhome project is allowed under the Newpark Development Agreement has been a point of contention for planning commissioners and the public. It was the focus of a Sept. 26 work session. Chief Civil Deputy Attorney Dave Thomas later confirmed the development agreement allows residential uses.
At the request of the Planning Commission during the Sept. 26 meeting, the Crandalls said they have continuously explored other options for the parcel, such as turning it into a park. However, the Crandalls claimed the county was unresponsive to their requests to discuss a potential land swap or purchase of the parking lot.
The Planning Commission also requested that the Crandalls consider underground parking or changing the orientation of the building. But, the Crandalls contended on Tuesday that the suggested alternatives create additional issues, such as pushing the development further into the amphitheater or encroaching on existing public spaces.
Opposition to the project has remained strong since its introduction and includes a website urging officials to reject the application. An online petition has garnered 1,404 signatures. A similar page on Facebook has 238 likes.
Some of those who signed the petition attended the hearing on Tuesday to voice their concerns about the project.
Jim Doilney continues to assert that the project does not meet the Town Center Principles that are the basis of the Newpark Master Plan. Doilney served as a member of the project’s Design Review Committee and voted against it.
“What we ask relative to this project is that it comply with the development agreement,” he said during the meeting on Tuesday. “The development agreement clearly states that the ground level of a building must be retail and there is no retail proposed here. … The question here is do you have to approve this project? No, you do not.”
Thomas Eddington, a former Park City planning director, submitted a letter to the Planning Commission prior to the meeting urging members to consider the “negative impacts” of the proposed design. Doilney read excerpts of the letter on Tuesday because Eddington was unable to attend the meeting.
“As a planner who has sat on both sides of the dais over the course of my career, I fully appreciate the nuances of the regulatory process as well as the parameters that are defined by the code,” the letter, which is available on the county website, states.
Eddington said in the letter that he is not asking the Planning Commission to deny the Crandalls’ development rights or eliminate approved density for the project. He said he is simply requesting the Planning Commission reexamine the development agreement to “ensure that the Sun Calendar Plaza is not only protected and preserved as the gathering space for Summit County residents but remains economically viable as a commercial Town Center.”
Chris Eggleton, managing director of Destination Hotels Utah and supporter of the Preserve Newpark initiative, continued to challenge the Crandalls’ claims on Tuesday that their preferred design is allowed under the development agreement. He questioned the need for parking for the building and, like Doilney, emphasized the requirement for retail on the street level with residential units placed above.
“I’m not saying they don’t have a right to build there,” he said during the meeting on Tuesday. “I’m just challenging that the application has to adhere to the development agreement because everyone knows the amphitheater and core plaza is in a critical zone.”
Summit County Planner Amir Caus said Tuesday’s public hearing was solely intended to explore design options. No action was taken, but county staffers and the Crandalls requested a decision be made at the Dec. 12 meeting.
To view the planning department staff report prepared for Tuesdays meeting, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/6954.