Traffic heavily considered in UOP expansion |

Traffic heavily considered in UOP expansion

Sarah Moffitt, The Park Record

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission delayed making a recommendation last week on the Utah Athletic Foundation’s proposal to build 300,000 square-feet of additional business and residential buildings at the Utah Olympic park until further traffic studies are conducted.

The Utah Athletic Foundation wants to rezone 400 acres surrounding the Olympic Park near Kimball Junction to a Resort Center Zone. Once the rezone is approved by the planning commission, the foundation said they plan on building 67,000 square feet of athlete/workforce housing, about 112 units, a 40,000-square-foot sports medicine facility, expanding the existing Day Lodge and adding additional office space.

When the development was first presented to the planning commission in October, commissioners were supportive of the expansion of services that could be offered to athletes and the possibility of attracting more competitions. Commissioners, though, had mixed feelings about the visibility of the apartment buildings despite being reassured by the developers that they would hardly be seen from Kimball Junction.

Commissioner Chuck Klingenstein said he felt positive about the direction of the expansion but the planning commission wanted to be clear about the traffic impact it would have on State Road 224 before moving forward with the rezone.

"There were discrepancies between the engineer’s traffic study and the developers," Klingenstein said. "We also want to closely examine the athlete housing and how it fits the workforce housing criteria. Traffic at Kimball Junction is getting worse and worse at peak times and additional units and business at the Olympic Park won’t help. Roads are not engineered for peak traffic and by 2015 traffic in the area will be bad. 2030, we are going to have some ugly problems with it."

Speakers at the public hearing supported the additional buildings, saying it would make the Utah Olympic Sports Park more like Lake Placid and help sustain the park and the Olympic spirit.

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The planning commission is scheduled to make a decision on the rezone of the Utah Olympic Park on January 13.