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Highland Estates treatment facility set for public hearing Tuesday

When this building was BeeHive Homes of Park City, it housed 16 people. A proposal for a new treatment facility calls for 32 clients.
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When this building was BeeHive Homes of Park City, it housed 16 people. A proposal for a new residential treatment facility and detox center calls for 28 clients.

A proposal for a substance abuse treatment facility in the Highland Estates neighborhood is scheduled for another public hearing Tuesday evening.

In recent comments to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, Highland Estates neighbors recalled the fight against the BeeHive Homes senior care facility when it was being vetted a decade ago. 20 beds was too many, they said at the time. The project was eventually capped at 16.

BeeHive Homes of Park City operated for years, but has since closed. Now, the planning commission is hearing a new proposal for the 11,000-square-foot building, which is on Highland Drive across from Interstate 80 near Old Ranch Road.

Wasatch Crest Treatment Facility wants to use the building for a detox and residential treatment facility for 28 patients. That's four fewer beds than in a previous proposal neighbors strongly opposed at a hearing in April.

The commission is holding a public hearing about the project Tuesday evening. The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m., but three other public hearings are scheduled before the Wasatch Crest discussion.

At the first hearing about the proposed group home, neighbors questioned the number of beds compared to the number of staff members, and highlighted concerns about traffic, parking and perceived threats to the neighborhood.

The commission is scheduled to visit the site at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.A Summit County staff report prepared for the meeting recommends approving the requested conditional use permit. According to the report, the commission cannot deny the project because it is a group home but can impose conditions on elements that might impact the community, like parking. Essentially, the staff report says, the commission’s review of this application is the same as for a single-family home.

The report says residential treatment facilities are allowed by the neighborhood’s zoning, and indeed, similar entities already exist within a few miles.

In comments sent to the commission ahead of the meeting, neighbors question whether the Snyderville Basin General Plan allows for more than one occupant each in the building’s 16 rooms. They also accuse Wasatch Crest of trying to fit as many clients in the building as possible to increase profits.

Wasatch Crest, however, defends its record. It says its other programs have higher graduation rates than the industry average and neighbors of its facilities in Heber give positive reviews.

The meeting will be held in the Richins Building at Kimball Junction, 1885 W. Ute Blvd. It will also be streamed via Zoom.

Alexander joined KPCW in 2021 after two years reporting on Summit County for The Park Record. While there, he won many awards for covering issues ranging from school curriculum to East Side legacy agriculture operations to land-use disputes. He arrived in Utah by way of Madison, Wisconsin, and western Massachusetts, with stints living in other areas across the country and world. When not attending a public meeting or trying to figure out what a PID is, Alexander enjoys skiing, reading and watching the Celtics.