Townhome development closer to approval
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission voted unanimously last week to forward a positive recommendation to Summit County Manager Tom Fisher to bring a townhouse development to the Spring Creek Commercial Plaza, located north of Kimball Junction.
Fiddich Glen housing, which will include 12 single-unit attached townhomes, is part of the Spring Creek development. The townhomes will be contained in two buildings, with each containing six units. A private road or alleyway, Fiddich Glen Lane, will be constructed to access the development and separate the two buildings. The road and snow removal will be maintained by a homeowner’s association.
The commercial plaza encompasses Creekside Christian Fellowship Church, Park City Dance Academy and a medical office building. It is also surrounded by several homes along Creekside Lane and is near a popular trailhead. Hamlet Homes, a Murray-based building firm, was contracted by the property owner, Cottonwood Partners, to construct the homes on a one-acre lot.
Basin Planning Commissioners agreed to sign off on the project following a nearly hour-long discussion with representatives from Hamlet Homes and a public hearing. A few residents who live in nearby homes balked at the potential impacts of the development, including the influx of traffic it could bring and noise associated with construction.
Planning commissioners spent the better part of the conversation mainly focusing on the development’s pedestrian connectivity and safety, landscaping and parking.
They expressed concerns that designs depicted a sidewalk that fell just shy of encompassing the entire project and would be unsafe for pedestrians. As a condition of approval, developers agreed to extend the sidewalk and include two crosswalks.
However, commissioners ultimately felt that the project adhered to the requirements of the development agreement and was "pretty straightforward," according to Bea Peck, Basin Planning Commission chair.
"I think the commission felt fine about this," Peck said. "It didn’t seem to have a lot of controversy to it or any other real issues."
Barry Gittleman, president of Hamlet Homes, acknowledged the issues raised by the residents were valid, adding that "as a homebuilder and developer we share those same concerns."
"We are also homeowners and residents in the communities where we build and we want them to be as nice as possible," Gittleman said. "We weren’t surprised by some of those concerns, but we feel our development will actually make things better."
When residents reminded commissioners and the applicant how popular the Glenwild/Spring Creek Trailhead is, Gittleman said the project could improve the parking situation.
"Right now parking is a problem in this area," Gittleman said. "But the development will build 12 townhomes and each will have two-car garage, plus two parking spaces in the drive. And an additional 10 spaces for a total of nearly 58 spaces.
"This space is going to be better than what it could have been," Gittleman said.
According to a planning department staff report, Spring Creek Commercial Plaza was developed under the terms of the Spring Creek Development Agreement, which was approved in 1998 and expired in 2003. The agreement also governs the development of Glenwild, Blackhawk Station and Somerset. In 2009, a 24-unit office building was approved for the current project’s site. However, it was never constructed.
In February, the Summit County Council granted a special exception to Cottonwood Partners to allow for the construction of the townhomes if certain conditions surrounding square footage and height requirements are met.
The planning commissioners’ recommendation will now go before Fisher, who is the final land use authority. Hamlet Homes must modify its final site plan to include the extended sidewalk and get those plats approved through the county before construction can begin. Gittleman said they are trying to make that happen "as soon as humanly possible."
"We’re hopeful that we will have that plat recorded, certainly by the end of this month," Gittleman said. "Once we get that, we have to give them a few weeks to do the underground utility work done and as soon as most of that is done the construction can start, probably sometime in June.
"Depending on weather and other factors, it should take about three-to-five months to get those two buildings done," he said. "We have had some good interest so far and we will probably get some sold before we even start construction. We hope closing will happen through December."
To view the staff report about the Fiddich Glen townhouse development, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/3322.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.