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More County Council Review Of Dakota Pacific

Dakota Pacific Real Estate

The Summit County Council Wednesday didn’t come to a vote on the Dakota Pacific plan proposed for Kimball Junction.

County Council Member Chris Robinson says the council will probably make a decision the next time Dakota is on its agenda.   But he doesn’t know when that will occur.  

The council on August 11th looked at the proposal for Dakota Pacific—which is, more precisely, an amendment of the approval given to the Boyer Tech Park in 2008.

A decision was possible, but council members said they needed to look further into details, such as the affordable housing.

The proposed development consists of over 1.7 million square feet of commercial and residential space, extending west of the Kimball Transit Center.

Robinson said the plan includes two major financing mechanisms.   One is a Public Infrastructure District (PID for short) that would assess properties within the Dakota plan.      

“Then within that, they would voluntarily tax their properties to raise $14 million that would go to the county for infrastructure improvements—a similar structure that we used with Canyons Village.”

Second is the Community Reinvestment Act, a form of the Redevelopment Agency financing tool that’s been used in Utah for decades.   The Dakota developers would be involved there also.

“That would take the tax increment of the whole Kimball Junction neighborhood and they would cooperate in that, and they would receive 10 percent of the net proceeds to help with their infrastructure needs.   The county would use that, together with the $14 million, to leverage, as a carrot, to entice UDOT to advance their Alternative Three, on their 224 Alternatives Analysis, which is to basically fix Kimball Junction—lower 224 down so that Ute Boulevard and Olympic Parkway can cross over at grade and basically unite the two sides of Kimball Junction.”

The project’s 1100 residential units would include 336 units of workforce housing.    Robinson said they need to study if the project can use a so-called “waterfall provision” which would give preference to occupants who live and work in Summit County.

Council Member Roger Armstrong said he’s long been concerned that if the workforce units don’t have feasible deed restrictions to accommodate locals, there’s no point in considering Dakota Pacific.    

The project, he predicted, would result in adding about 3000 new people to the Basin.  

“I think that continuing to do this kind of development, where we take, where we solve affordable housing by adding more than three times the amount of the affordable housing with market-rate housing, is starting to approach insanity.  I just don’t think it gets us where we want.   It super-sizes growth and doesn’t address the problem.   And for each one of those houses that we add, we need more workers for maintenance and all the other things that goes into that.  We’ll need more sheriff deputies, we’ll need more firefighters, we’ll need more things to support those additional bodies.   And I think that’s wrong-headed.”

Council Chairman Glenn Wright said no project will be perfect, but it’s incredibly important to increase affordable housing.      

”Are we gonna get some people who in the future may decide they’d rather work down on the Wasatch Front?  Probably so.   But if we don’t make major strides towards improving the volume of affordable housing in the community, we are destined to become nothing but a community for rich millionaires.   And this is the kind of development that can change that perspective for us.   (Clyde) You too can be Aspen.   (Wright) Yes.”

That last comment from Council Member Doug Clyde.

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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