Summit County’s deadline to purchase Cline Dahle parcel near Jeremy Ranch approaches
County has until Jan. 20 to make a decision
Summit County leaders have less than a month to decide whether to pull the trigger on purchasing a 30-acre parcel of land in Jeremy Ranch.
Summit County Manager Tom Fisher signed a $3.7 million purchase option in March for the land, known as the Cline-Dahle parcel. It is located on Rasmussen Road near Jeremy Ranch Elementary School and the Summit Center Commerce Park. The option is open until Jan. 20 2017. The property is considered one of the largest undeveloped sites in the Snyderville Basin.
Last week, Jeff Jones, the county’s economic development director, discussed the results of the due diligence process, including the environmental site assessment, with the County Council. Only about 20 acres of the property are actually developable because the rest of the land is split by East Canyon Creek.
If acquired, a portion of the property could potentially be used as a transit hub and location to provide affordable/workforce housing. The county could also hold onto the land for future uses, according to the report.
The county entered into a service agreement with the University of Utah to prepare alternative program scenarios for housing, parking, open space and other uses for the site to determine what the transportation impacts will be, according to a county staff report. The report stated “these analyses are not intended to inform final design options for the property, but really to inform the county and participants in a project about what outcomes can be achieved through different mixes of housing, parking and open space.”
However, that information was not available last week. County Council Chair Roger Armstrong said the council is in favor of moving forward, but highlighted the need for the alternative scenarios.
“That is a threshold matter for me. One of the very first questions we asked when we identified the property is what do we want to do there?” Armstrong said. “I think we need to put some faith in what we are getting out of these studies, but I hope that it will be useful and will confirm that it will be a useful place for us.
“No one was generally off-put as a council and I would say we are leaning toward exercising the option,” he said. “We had one person that stood up in front of us last week and said he supports it and said he thinks it is a great idea.”
Jones said the final report from the University of Utah is important because it provides a range for leaders to work with, adding “if it comes back and says you can only put 50 units on the property that is very different than 400 units.” Jones said a Dec. 29 meeting will provide more information about traffic models for the alternative scenarios.
The County Council is not required to hold a public hearing before exercising the option. However, another discussion with council members will likely be held.
“We haven’t seen any stumbling blocks from the normal due diligence process, but that additional information will give us a better idea where we are heading on a project like this and the impacts it could have,” Jones said. “But I am cautiously optimistic. I’m hopeful everything works out and there is a project that we can make work for everyone.”
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