At Summit Council Hearing On New Zone, Henney Says It Could Be Trouble For Area Near Quinn's

May 13, 2020

Credit Tim Henney

The Summit County Council will resume discussion and public input in the near future on a proposed Neighborhood Mixed Use Zone.

But during their first meeting on the new zone, on May 6th, they had a lively discussion with Park City’s Tim Henney.    Henney argued the new zone could open the door to an attempt at a large project, in an area near Quinn’s Junction that is meant for little or no development.   Henney alleged county staff are encouraging this new project. 

Tim Henney is a member of the Park City Council, but he said that his remarks are not representing the Council or Park City Municipal.

He asked the County Council that before they approve the proposed new “NMU” Zone, the county should declare it would prohibit or preclude any change on an important thousand-acre area to the southeast of Quinn’s Junction.  It is bounded by Highway 248 to the north, Highway 40 to the west and Wasatch County on the south.        

“Otherwise your creation of this new zone creates the expectation of right to apply for the General Plan Amendments and future re-zone.  I know you’re not rezoning any land tonight, but why send mixed signals.  If you agree at the outset that this zone is inappropriate for the area above, exclude it now.”

Henney said his concern was expressed in an April 10th memo from Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson and City Manager Matt Dias, which was sent to County Development Director Pat Putt.

Henney also protested to County Council Chairman Doug Clyde that he wasn’t being allowed to finish his statement.      

“(Clyde) And Tim, for my own edification, because I don’t have that memo in front of me, does that memo have any force and effect in law?  What’s it about.  (Henney) If you listen, you might find out, Doug.  Let me proceed.  (Clyde) I’ll give you all the time you want Tim.  (Henney) Yeah, thanks, Doug, except you’ve interrupted me three times now.  The memo, titled, “Opposition and Concerns With Proposed General Plan Amendment” provides 13 pages of detailed analysis.”

He said that the 13-page memo from Park City explains that the new zone could be an opening to a significant upzone for the 1000-acre area, which is now zoned for Recreation Open Space or low-density development.

Henney said that Park City, Summit County and their citizens have agreed for two decades that this area shouldn’t have intense development.

Doug Clyde said the county’s plans for a Mixed Use Zone don’t have anything that would lead directly to rezoning that quadrant.        

“Now, anyone can apply for a change in the General Plan, or a change in the Development Code.  We can’t prevent the public from applying.  But as it is written clearly right now, you would not be able to go directly from an open piece of land, not included in one of the Mixed Use zones identified in the General Plan, to an application for that zone.”

The county staff’s proposal for the “NMU” zone suggests six areas that could possibly accommodate it.     A county map around Quinn’s includes a “Mixed area” along the Highway 40 frontage road corridor.     It doesn’t include the quadrant Henney is concerned about.   But Henney noted to KPCW that they are adjacent parcels.

Concerning that, Development Director Putt has told KPCW that they do have an application to amend the Snyderville Basin Future Land Use Map, for part of the quadrant near Quinn’s Junction.   The applicants, Nate Brockbank and Josh Romney, are asking to change the land’s designation from Open Space and Very Low Residential to Mixed Use.  The application doesn’t include Richardson Flat.

Putt said, though, that if the Map was amended, it wouldn’t automatically change the current zoning.   A separate rezoning process would have to take place.    Putt also said he isn’t sure if, following a change in the Map,  the applicants would apply for “Neighborhood Mixed Use” or “Community Commercial.”

Henney told Council last week the new NMU zone could set off a three-step process.       

“There’s a three-domino process.  This is the first domino, which is to get this new zone in the tool box.  The second would be for an applicant to come in, hypothetically.  A hypothetical applicant could come in, ask for a rezone using the new tool.  That would go through a normal process.  But now the mechanism is there, and it can be requested.  And then, you have to have application put together a Master Plan Development being Domino No. 3.   So you’re creating the mechanism that currently does not exist.”

Henney told KPCW that the project could involve hundreds of thousands of square feet, and it’s going through a pre-application process with the county that isn’t open to the public.

He also noted that in his remarks to County Council.        

“My understanding is, you are in pre-application conversations with an applicant.   And you are encouraging them to wait for this zone tool to be added to the zones, and for them to apply under this new tool in the toolbox.   I don’t care what zone they wanna apply under, what mechanism they want to apply under.  You have a pre-application asking for a zone change.  I am asking that you deny that, and you exclude and preclude this property from any future zone change.”

Park City resident Tim Henney