Guest editorial: Say ‘no’ to development proposal at Tech Center
I write this letter with a great sense of urgency. There is currently a proposal by Dakota Pacific to reopen and amend the development agreement for the Tech Center parcel at Kimball Junction. The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission is scheduled to hear public comment on this item on July 28 and is receiving public input until that date. I encourage everyone in our community who cares about potentially adding residential density through a change in the Tech Center development agreement to take the time to learn about the history of this land, the agreements that were put in place and what is at stake with this proposal.
In the early 2000s, the land that we know as the Tech Center was owned by the real estate arm of the LDS Church and was designated as a “village center” at the time, with intensive commercial space, a school and over 800 individual homes in a sprawling subdivision.
County and city officials worked out a deal that would be equitable for the people of Summit County. The community’s goals were:
1. Remove the residential density (reducing impacts to schools, infrastructure and traffic)
2. Preserve the open views along S.R. 224
3. Create areas for public recreation
4. Allow for development of business park that would offer high-paying jobs (not service jobs)
In December of 2008, the city and county together paid $25 million to acquire the 350 acres, as well as an additional 350 acres in Round Valley. The community used $25 million of open space bond money to remove residential density from both the open space and the Tech Center parcels.
Summit County and Park City, with great care and consideration, created the Tech Center with the intention of removing residential density, creating high-paying jobs and preserving open space. The 2020 visioning process makes clear that residents in both 84060 and 84098 overwhelmingly value open space and limited growth. Residents have made clear we are not in support of creating more residential entitlements, period. We are especially against the undoing of the development agreement and our $25 million investment on this land.
“We” invested $25 million to strip the residential density entitlement from this land and to create a development that would create high-paying jobs, not service-level jobs for the hotel and mixed-use commercial proposed in the project. The proposal by Dakota Pacific seeks to add 1,100 residential units, along with a hotel and mixed-use commercial to this site and goes completely against the intent of the development agreement.
According to Todd Hauber, Park City School District business administrator, this project is projected to increase our student enrollment in Park City School District by 500-plus students, necessitating the need to build another school.
I ask the Planning Commission, planning staff and Summit County Council to honor the wisdom and work of our community elders, who with care, and at great expense, created the Tech Center to limit residential density, sprawl, impacts to schools, traffic congestion and create a space for high-paying jobs. It is simply inappropriate to undo the $25 million investment in this land. Just say NO, period.
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