Summit County explores options for Cline Dahle parcel
May use site for housing, retail and a park-and-ride lot
Summit County is currently exploring its options for creating an affordable housing and transportation-oriented development at the Cline Dahle parcel, located near the entrance to the Jeremy Ranch neighborhood.
The county purchased the 29-acre site earlier this year in the hopes of creating a mixed-use development at one of the final undeveloped lots remaining in the Snyderville Basin. It is located on Rasmussen Road near Jeremy Ranch Elementary School and the Summit Center Commerce Park.
The county commissioned a study through the University of Utah Metropolitan Research Center to examine the feasibility of developing housing, parking, open space and retail, among other uses, at the site based on similar projects in cities such as Portland, Ore., Seattle and Whistler, British Columbia. The study also included information about the traffic impacts certain scenarios would have on the area. However, the cities that have similar projects have more advanced transit systems, including lightrail.
Wednesday, representatives from the project team that led the study presented its findings to the County Council during an hour-long discussion.
They gave council members nearly 10 scenarios to demonstrate the site’s capacity development. One of the options presented showed about 700 housing units, plus a hostel and 557 parking spaces. Another offered 907 units, plus a hostel, 182 parking spaces and 15,000 square feet of commercial retail.
“The bottom line takeaway from the study is that the Cline Dahle parcel is a good parcel for affordable housing, a park-and-ride and a transportation-oriented development. But there is a question about how much of each of those elements that we do,” said Council Chair Chris Robinson. “They made the case that when you densify a transportation-oriented development, you can provide a lot less parking.”
Part of the study and discussion focused on the impact a development of this size would have on traffic and surrounding neighborhoods, especially considering the improvements the Utah Department of Transportation is planning for the Jeremy Ranch interchange, such as the construction of a roundabout.
According to the presentation, “at least 600 units, plus retail of 10,000 to 15,000 square feet will provide a good basis for TOD (transportation-oriented development) without impacting traffic.”
The report further stated: The more park-and-ride there is, the more it impacts traffic at the planned roundabout. There is some uncertainty in the traffic projections due to the timing, other development, and future projections.”
County Council member Kim Carson said there is a usable scenario in what was presented. However, she said council and staff will have to explore options that do not include “taking a problem and moving it to another area.”
“We need to look at where the appropriate places are for a satellite parking lot and make sure those locations can handle the traffic capacity,” Carson said. “We also need to look into the fact that the figures they used for projecting future growth are based on the state of Utah’s old population figures and current estimates are much higher than that.”
Carson said it will be critical for officials to also account for the demographic the housing may target.
“I think it is incredibly important for us to look at, not only workforce housing because when you talk more about the seasonal workers we will have other areas for primary locations for that, but middle managers, teachers, police officers and firefighters,” Carson said. “I would like to see that conversation come into play.”
The next step will likely include a request for qualifications and proposals from interested developers. In order to remain transparent, Robinson said various community stakeholders, such as Jeremy Ranch residents, will need to be included in the process.
“That process might take six months to a year,” Robinson said. “That’s why I think it needs to be a stakeholders’ process to get the Jeremy Ranch neighborhood involved. I haven’t been in on many of these discussions, but my sense is that they, in general, are open to a good plan.”
To view the staff report, study and presentation presented on the Cline Dahle parcel, go to http://summitcounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_06282017-1232?html=true.
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