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Dakota Pacific proposes 727 housing units in new application

Along Tech Center Drive near the Skullcandy building in Kimball Junction, where Dakota Pacific hopes to build.
Parker Malatesta
Along Tech Center Dr. near the Skullcandy building in Kimball Junction, where Dakota Pacific hopes to build.

The developers have down-sized their proposal.

Dakota Pacific has submitted a new application for a mixed-use development at Kimball Junction.

According to Summit County Development Director Pat Putt, Dakota Pacific’s new proposal is roughly 1.3 million square-feet of density compared to 1.7 million in its first application.

They have submitted plans for 727 housing units, a decrease from the initially proposed 1,100.

237 of those units would be dedicated affordable housing, with most being marked for those making 80% of less of area median income, which is roughly $75,000 dollars for one person.

Dakota Pacific no longer plans to build a hotel, and the total square footage of commercial space is 45,000 square feet, significantly less than the original 75,000 square feet.

Developers also had to submit a traffic study, showing how the development would impact the already-congested Kimball Junction area. In a recent presentation to the county council, UDOT officials showed many intersections in the area already failing, and said they are poised to get worse.

Putt said the county hopes to pick an independent third-party to review the developer’s traffic study in the coming days.

The county council could hold a work session on the project by the end of the year, but Putt emphasized that was an aggressive timeline given the budget process which is currently underway.

Nearly 1,000 people attended a December public hearing either virtually or in-person where there was strong opposition to the developer’s initial proposal. Following that hearing Dakota Pacific asked to put its application on hold in order to revise its proposal.

A couple of months after that, the Utah Legislature passed HB 462, requiring the county to submit plans for a housing and transit reinvestment zone, or HTRZ, by the end of 2022. An HTRZ requires at least 39 housing units per acre in certain areas centered around transit hubs.

County officials have said Dakota Pacific targeted Summit County by lobbying to insert that provision into the legislation. Putt has said HB 462 merely required a strategy for an HTRZ, and a full implementation of the plan is not certain.

When asked on KPCW’s Local News Hour by Senior News Director Leslie Thatcher if the county would be forced to approve Dakota Pacific’s project, Putt was definitive.

Thatcher asked, “is the Summit County Council required by law to approve Dakota Pacific’s request to change of use?"

Putt replied simply, saying "no.”

The Dakota Pacific project has been a hot topic during the local election season, with several candidates stating the county has no obligation to approve such major projects.