Planning Commission and The Boyer Company at odds over Skullcandy building
February 27, 2016
If The Boyer Company and the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission cannot reach an agreement concerning parking for the new Skullcandy headquarters building, located at the Park City Tech Center, it may not get built.
In September, Skullcandy announced it would be relocating its headquarters to a new site behind the Park City Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The nearly 50,000-square-foot building would be the second constructed as part of the development west of State Road 224.
Earlier this month, representatives from The Boyer Company and Skullcandy met with planning commissioners to discuss the building’s final site plan, which includes details such as parking and connectivity. However, Tom Fisher, Summit County manager, is the final land use authority.
Amir Caus, a Summit County Planner, said there are several issues with the project’s site plan, including parking. The Boyer Company is requesting 231 parking spaces, which is 85 more spaces than allowed by code.
"Having a big sea of parking is very outdated development," Caus said. "We want to encourage multi-modal transportation, but when you provide that much parking you are encouraging people to drive. Overparking, generally, is not the future of planning. But in this case specifically, all we are doing is just enforcing the guidelines."
The number of parking spaces is determined on a 3:1 ratio based on the gross square footage of a project. The development code provides an exception for spaces beyond that, but they must be contained within a parking structure, according to a county staff report.
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Dave Allen, a senior project manager for the Park City Tech Center, said he was stunned by the commissioners’ reaction to the site plan.
"We were very surprised that we got this far into the project and to have Summit County take that issue," Allen said. "We don’t agree with them on what the agreement requires. That is planning staff’s interpretation."
The Boyer Company has a lease agreement with Skullcandy to provide the 231 spaces, Allen said, adding that the parcel can’t accommodate a parking structure.
"Skullcandy did a parking study based on their employees’ needs and said this is how many stalls we need and we signed an agreement with them. We have to provide those and we don’t feel like there is much choice on our end," Allen said. "In all of our original diagrams there have never been any parking structures shown in this location. It doesn’t fit. We can’t build this building or the project at all if that is the requirement."
Allen said he is confident the parking spaces won’t create an impasse and an agreement will soon be reached allowing the additional stalls. He said the outcome has the potential to set a precedent for future buildings.
"This is a very big issue," Allen said. "As a local company we want them to stay in the community and a lot of effort has been put into designing a marquee corporate headquarters. They have a strong commitment to be part of the community for the long term and, at the end of the day, everyone will have to reach an agreement on how to make this happen."
Colin DeFord, a Basin planning commissioner, said he has never read a staff report with "so many, ‘does not complies.’" The site plan is also not conducive to the development code’s setback and connectivity requirements, according to the staff report.
"I was proud of the planning department because we could have easily dug ourselves into something with this," DeFord said. "I think we all understand that Skullcandy is an asset to the community and we certainly don’t want to scare anyone off. We want to work with the applicant to figure this out.
"These problems are easy to solve and the door is still open, but these are all design guidelines and they are in the book," DeFord said.
The Feb. 9 discussion was tagged as a public hearing with the possibility of approval. Another work session has been scheduled March 8, with the possibility of a recommendation on March 22.
The Skullcandy headquarters is currently housed in a multi-tenant building in Newpark. It has been there for nearly 10 years. The company specializes in items such as headphones and speakers.
The significantly larger space will accommodate the business’ 170 staffers. The tentative move-in date is February 2017.
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