Resolution to Dakota Pacific Discussions in Summit County Council Not Expected for July
Applicants seeking to build the Dakota Pacific residential and commercial development on the west side of Kimball Junction returned to the Summit County Council Wednesday for a two-hour discussion about project details.
County Councilor Doug Clyde says the current proposal is an improvement, compared to the unsuitable Tech Park approval given to the site over a dozen years ago.
The Dakota plan covers some 1.3 million square feet and proposes to build 1,100 residential units, including 306 affordable or attainable housing units. Rents for those units would range from 30% of the average median income up to 120%.
Clyde told KPCW that there’s still a lot of discussions to be had about the data the council received this week. But on the whole, he said he certainly favors the project.
At the meeting, Jeff Gochnour for Dakota Pacific said their message remains unchanged since they first presented it in 2019.
“We believe that we are proposing the right project in the right place at the right time, mixed-use, sustainable, transit-oriented, in the heart of Summit County provides multiple, local and regional public benefits and solutions,” Gochnour said.
Project designer Chris Beynon said the developer is aiming to address a worsening problem in Summit County.
“This project really represents the opportunity to create a vibrant mix of uses, to foster a variety of people and experiences and things in a way that I don’t think has been seen in the county here,” Beynon said. “As you know, affordability is critical. The headline in the Salt Lake Tribune today, if you haven’t seen, about Park City area renters being priced out. And the opportunity this project represents to help address that crisis I think is critical, including with workforce and senior housing.”
Dakota is asking to change the development agreement granted in 2008 to the Boyer Tech Park.
Clyde said the Boyer plan may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but that the implementation has been nothing short of disastrous.
“The existing land use that we have approved really is just about the worst thing that could happen to the county,” Clyde said. “We need 15 more Skullcandies like we need to be a subdivision of Murray. It makes absolutely no sense. It was, I think, a good idea at the time under the concept that maybe the technical center of the universe would move to Park City, and all of our sons and children would be employed here. But the reality is that we’re bussing people who work here up from Salt Lake, which really is shooting yourself in the foot.”
He said with the Dakota project the county is looking at more of a mixed-use plan, where both sides of Kimball Junction can be tied together, and residents are living in a high-density area with walkable services.
Clyde said on Wednesday that growth is still a fact of life here, and Dakota is a part of that.
“The average citizen in Summit County wants to make sure that they never see a cement truck again in their entire life,” he said. “But that’s not going to happen. And development and redevelopment will occur. And we also have thousands of units in the county that haven’t been developed that are already entitled.”
He told KPCW that the county should strive to manage growth, not take a hands-off approach.
“The thing to remember about Dakota Pacific is that they are entitled for a very large number of square feet, primarily in some form of office use,” Clyde said. “Now there are people out there who say, ‘Well that’s going to be difficult for them to do. We should just let them go ahead and fail.’ Letting a large component of our General Plan not get realized because we are not willing to negotiate with the developer is ridiculous.”
The Summit County Council is taking two weeks off. Clyde said it will not have a decision by their next regular session on July 28. He said councilors considered holding a special meeting before then, but that is currently under review with the Summit County Attorney’s Office.