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Snyderville Commissioner Defines Items That Will Guide Dakota Pacific Decision

Summit County

After months of discussion, the Snyderville Planning Commission will convene in September to see if they are ready for a decision about the Dakota Pacific project at Kimball Junction.  

Snyderville Planning Commission Vice-Chair Thomas Cooke said the group has been studying sub-topics about the Dakota project before they come to an overall decision.

He said one topic they’ve studied for a long time is the affordable housing in the project, and whether it will be available to people who work up here.       

“One of the challenges is, when you look at our high Area Median Income.  You have a developer who says, “Hey, I’m gonna bring you this product that you desperately need.   You really need rentals.   It really needs to be at the 50 percent AMI.  The truth is, most of our service workers are not even at that level.”

He said another challenge is when developers of affordable units need to use Low Income Tax Credits, known as ‘Lie-Tec” for short.”     

“When somebody says, “I’m gonna build you 40 percent AMI rental housing, which you need” as a proposal and a community benefit, you have to realize that at some point, the funding for those projects requires LITEC funding, which is not guaranteed.  So we have had cases before where we’ve been promised a certain kind of rental housing which we need for  lower-income service workers.   And then we don’t get it, because the LTEC funding wasn’t realized, or construction costs go up.”

We asked Cooke what vision the Snyderville Commisisoners will choose for the economy of the Basin.      

“ This current Planning Commission, we’ve signed our names on, in support of the Kimball Junction Neighborhood Master Plan.  We’ve supported neighborhood mixed-use zoning for certain zones on the land-use map.   And in general, like the principles of mixed-use make a lot of sense, the question is really,  is what Dakota Pacific presenting meet the aspirations of the Kimball Junction Neighborhood Master Plan.   We don’t have to accept anybody’s vision if it doesn’t meet the aspirations.”

In the meantime, the Snyderville Commissioners have their hands full with the Dakota project and many other applications.   At their August 25th meeting, the Planning Commission started its meeting at 3 p.m., and met until after 11.

Cooke said they need to do something about that.       

“Personally—If we exceed 10 p.m., we actually have to have a motion and a vote to continue.  And I’ll say on the record, I will never vote to continue a meeting past 10 p.m. ever again.  It’s not reasonable for volunteers.  And you’re absolutely right, at some point, something has to give and you have to say, we’re not being productive here, we’re not being reasonable.”

Thomas Cooke, who said the Planning Commissioners are trying to plan a retreat, to look at their time commitments and other topics.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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