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Summit County Council to act on Dakota Pacific proposal, consider protecting Ure Ranch

Will Skullcandy get some new neighbors? The county could decide Wednesday.
Connor Thomas
Will Skullcandy get some new neighbors? The county could decide Wednesday.

Wednesday’s Summit County Council meeting features several action items including the high-profile rezoning application from Dakota Pacific.

The council has allotted just 15 minutes to the highest-profile item on its agenda. It could vote on Dakota Pacific Real Estate’s application to rezone the Summit Tech Park for mixed-use commercial and residential development.

Summit County Manager Shayne Scott said the council has already gone through the steps to prepare for that vote.

“I think the council is at the point where we've heard what we need to hear,” Scott said, “we've said what we need to say.”

The council could approve the developer’s application as is, deny it or approve it with conditions attached. Public comment will not be taken Wednesday; the last two county meetings featured hours of public input.

The bulk of the meeting will be spent on other things. First up, the council will discuss and potentially approve the $5 million down payment on the Ure family ranch.

The county would enter an option to purchase the entire 834-acre property for $25 million.

Councilmembers emphasize that the intent is to preserve most of the land and its existing buildings. The property is a fully functioning ranch.

Council Chair Roger Armstrong compared the Ure Ranch to McPolin Farm, the gateway to Park City with its iconic white barn. Armstrong said the Ure ranch functions similarly as the gateway to the Kamas Valley along state Route 248.

General Obligation Bond money voters approved last year for open space acquisitions will likely be used for part of the purchase. Together with Summit Land Conservancy, the county will fundraise over the next four years before payment is due.

Cheryl Fox, the conservancy’s executive director, says other sources of funding include federal grant money to place conservation easements on the land.

“There are portions of the property north of 248, as you come into the Kamas Valley, that are perfect for land conservation through an agricultural easement,” Fox said.

Armstrong says the north side of the property will be prioritized for conservation—it’s the wettest part, contributing the most water to the Weber River. Other uses under consideration for a minority of the land include trail connections and desperately needed workforce housing.

But Wednesday’s vote is only on an option to purchase the property; it will be years before details are finalized.

“The beauty of this is that, since the county will have it under option, they'll be able to have some public input on these various ideas so that people can say, ‘Yeah, we like that idea,’ or ‘No, we don't like that idea,’” Fox said.

The council may also sign a proclamation honoring Darren Backman, a corrections deputy for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Backman is retiring after six years at the sheriff’s office and a two-decades long career.

Finally, the council scheduled one public hearing this week. It’s on expanding the transportation impact fee developers pay to mitigate the strain new development puts on roads.

The county already levies this fee on developers in the Snyderville Basin. Staff are recommending expanding that to include developments everywhere in the county to fund various transportation improvements.

The meeting will begin on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville. The council will adjourn after the public hearing, which begins at 6:10 p.m.

Click here to attend via Zoom.

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