Plan for Kimball Junction re-design will be before Basin planning panel
January 21, 2019
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission will be getting its first glimpse of the Blue Ribbon Citizen's Advisory Committee's neighborhood plan for the Kimball Junction area.
The committee, made up of citizens and county staffers, has spent the last year and a half coming up with suggestions for a new neighborhood plan. The document will eventually be considered for an amendment to the Snyderville Basin General Plan to serve as a guide for future development and re-development. It will be presented to the planning panel on Tuesday at the Sheldon Richins Building at 5 p.m.
County staffers have not shied away from saying "We messed up" when it comes to the design, layout and flow of Kimball Junction, with most residents agreeing. The area has turned into a bustling commercial center over the last 15 years, with dozens of residences nearby.
Summit County created a Blue Ribbon Citizen's Advisory Committee in 2016 to develop a preliminary neighborhood master plan. The planning area includes Redstone, Fox Point, Newpark, the Village at Kimball Junction, Park City Tech Center, High Bluffs (which includes Walmart), Canyon Corners, Tanger Outlets and other small commercial developments.
"This is an opportunity to not make the same mistakes we made over the last 30 years," said Pat Putt, Summit County's community development director.
The committee's goal was to come up with a plan to overhaul the area while re-establishing a more traditional main street that isn't dominated by large areas of asphalt. When the committee revealed its preliminary plans to the County Council in early 2018, the list of suggestions included creating safe pedestrian and bicycle connections between residences. Other ideas addressed creating mixed-use development zones, an enhanced civic center and improving regional traffic flow on S.R. 224.
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"We are never going to solve the traffic problem," Putt said. "But, we can make that better. We think that we can strengthen the mix of uses, which means we will put them in the right locations and infuse the area with more residential mix."
Putt suggested the area would be ideal for potential workforce housing units because of the proximity to the transit center, grocery stores, and other amenities. He stressed that, while many think more residential units means more cars, that may not be the case.
"We are beginning to talk about that in terms of the build of the neighborhood," he said. "We will see new development and re-development, and we think there are opportunities to design new development with a more transitional relationship between buildings and public streets versus the way it is not a huge sea of parking."
Putt anticipates a "constant teardown and rebuild" in Kimball Junction in the near future. He said there is somewhere between 50 to 60 acres that is left to be developed near the Park City Tech Center. Conversations have also taken place with property owners of other large commercial properties exploring the potential for re-development.
"What this plan attempts to do is, hopefully, become a set of guideposts for when we begin to look at new projects and future development at the Tech Center or a redo of Tanger Outlets," he said. "What we are trying to get people to understand is that part of that review is going to be more neighborhood context sensitive."
The meeting on Tuesday will likely be the first of a series of meetings where the plan will be reviewed. Putt emphasized that it is "not the final product." He said staffers and committee members want to hear from the public to better understand "what we are missing here."
Putt admitted that it took the committee longer than expected to come up with a plan. The committee was originally hoping to produce its suggestions in 2017.
"I think they have done a good job, though," he said. "Was it as fast as we would have hoped? No. But, I don't think it was unrealistically long. It may have taken 18 months, but we are here now so let's roll up our sleeves and dive into this. I'm really looking forward to everyone's reaction and we are prepared, that in some cases, there may be negative reactions to pieces of this. But, this is where we start."
Tuesday's meeting is listed on the agenda as a work session. The first meeting where public comment will be taken on the plan is scheduled for Feb. 12.
To view the plan, go to the http://summitcounty.org/agendacenter under the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission.
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