Opposition group plans meeting with Summit County Council to discuss Tech Center proposal | ParkRecord.com

Opposition group plans meeting with Summit County Council to discuss Tech Center proposal

Meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9

A community group that formed in opposition to a development proposal for the Tech Center site, shown, has requested a meeting with Summit County officials to discuss the project.
Park Record file photo

A community group that opposed the development proposal to revamp the Tech Center site in Kimball Junction is planning to hold a meeting with Summit County officials to discuss the project.

The Friends of Summit County for Responsible Development has already met with representatives of the developer, Dakota Pacific Real Estate, according to comments made during last week’s Summit County Council meeting. Now, the community group plans to meet with the Summit County Council on Feb. 9.

Summit County Council Chair Chris Robinson said council members received a letter on Jan. 19 from the group requesting the meeting. A screenshare of the letter during the council meeting indicates possible discussion points may include concerns over water, density and traffic related to the project as well as a six-month development moratorium sought by the group.

David Thomas, Summit County’s chief civil deputy, said his office has met with Dakota Pacific Real Estate, which has agreed to a meeting with the Summit County Council and the Friends of Summit County for Responsible Development to set up expectations for the process going forward.

In December, Dakota Pacific Real Estate indicated it would rework its proposal — which called for 1,100 residential units, a hotel, office space and commercial space — following intense opposition from community members. Members of the Friends of Summit County for Responsible Development were among the most vocal critics. The developer has said it hopes to work with the county to craft a new proposal that would address the community’s concerns.

In a prepared statement provided to The Park Record, Jeff Gochnour, director of development for Dakota Pacific Real Estate, confirmed meetings with “several Summit County resident groups to hear their ideas and discuss their concerns” as the firm considers modifications to its proposal.

“As we have been throughout the review process, we are receptive to understanding and responding to community concerns and intend to maintain productive communications throughout our evaluation process,” the statement read.

As the public hearing period has closed on the application, the open session will only permit discussion among the Summit County Council, Friends of Summit County and representatives of the developer. The meeting will be open for community members to attend, however.

Thomas clarified that any substantive changes made to the proposal would reopen it for additional public hearings.

County Councilor Doug Clyde said the request from the Friends of Summit County for Responsible Development was unusual. He questioned the fairness of opening the conversation to certain community groups but supported the meeting if Dakota Pacific Real Estate consented to it.

Councilor Roger Armstrong told The Park Record in an interview that the gathering on Feb. 9 will be an informational meeting to help facilitate conversations moving forward. He echoed comments he made during Wednesday’s meeting that the Summit County Council hopes to engage with the public and make the process as open as possible.

“It’s not a substantive discussion. It’s a discussion about process and transparency and how we’re going to have these discussions going forward,” he said Wednesday. “The next meeting with Dakota, we need to find a way to cut through to see if there is a way through this or not. If Dakota needs to have 1,100 units of housing, it may be a very short discussion.”

Robinson added that the group’s request for a six-month moratorium to halt development in the county is a separate issue and would not affect the Dakota Pacific Real Estate application. He suggested that a larger conversation about a moratorium be saved for when there’s more time to discuss it with the general public.

The Friends of Summit County declined an interview with The Park Record until after the Feb. 9 meeting.

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