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Dakota Pacific project back in spotlight this week with traffic study, open house

Summit County Council meeting where Dakota Pacific's latest Kimball Junction development plan was shared publicly for the first time.
Summit County Council meeting where Dakota Pacific's latest Kimball Junction development plan was shared publicly for the first time.

The Dakota Pacific project will be back before the Summit County Council Wednesday afternoon with a look at a traffic study prepared for the project. A two-hour open house on the project is scheduled for later that evening.

Dakota Pacific, which wants to develop the northwest quadrant of Kimball Junction behind the Skullcandy building, has downsized its mixed use proposal. Originally seeking to build 1,100 residential units, the developer is now proposing 727 units, including 237 which are considered workforce and affordable housing.

Dakota Pacific commissioned a traffic study which has since been reviewed by a third party hired by Summit County. The findings will be discussed at Wednesday’s council meeting starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Richins Building.

Community Development Director Pat Putt said his staff hadn’t done a deep dive into the differences between what Dakota Pacific’s report states and what the third party traffic consultants found, but that would be done by Wednesday.

Meanwhile, he said while the council seems to prefer this development plan over the earlier one, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“It's just a work session. I highly encourage the members of the public to who are interested, and there are many of them, to attend. They can attend via zoom as well," Putt said. "There won't be public comment, that'll be coming up next. And I think what we're looking at is targeting Feb. 22 for that next big public hearing opportunity for folks."

Bonnie Park, a member of the Friends for Responsible Development said she’s troubled by what she called "a rush to action."

“When the community left the Feb. 1 work session, it was on the understanding that on Feb. 8, the peer review results of the traffic study would be presented and then they asked Pat to lay out the next steps to present on Feb. 8. And that all seemed reasonable," Park said. "But then before the next steps were laid out, now Dakota is holding an open house. So, this clearly wasn't the way that we expected it was going to come out. Plus, it’s a lot to ask people, if they're interested in this to spend two hours listening to the traffic study and then another two hours in an open house.”

Park is also concerned that the tentative Feb. 22 public hearing is a time when many residents will be out of town given that it’s winter break for the Park City School District.

Park said she fears a repeat of last year’s legislative session, given the push to get this through now.

“Based on what we saw last year with House Bill 462 and the spot zoning for the HTRZ, the concern is that if they don't move somehow forward on this plan, that there may be something that happens at the legislature this year and we just don't know what that's going to look like,” she said.

The Summit County Council will meet Wednesday starting at 2 p.m. at the Richins Building.

To view the council meeting live, you can visit the Summit County Utah Facebook page or participate in the council meeting via Zoom.