Dakota Pacific answers county’s early judgment request in kind
Battle lines are drawn for the next fight about whether a state bill authorizes development in Kimball Junction.
In response to Summit County’s motion for a partial summary judgment, attorneys for Dakota Pacific Real Estate filed their own motion for a partial summary judgment Friday.
Judges grant summary judgments when they find the facts overwhelmingly prove a party’s argument. It’s a way to get the easy stuff out of the way before a lawsuit really gets going.
Summit County and Dakota Pacific want summary judgments on the same issue: whether a new state law, Senate Bill 84, applies to the Summit Tech Park at Kimball Junction where Dakota Pacific wants to build a mixed-use development.
The county says it does not apply, but the developer thinks it does.
The two sides will present their oral arguments to Third District Court Judge Richard Mrazik on June 15 at the Silver Summit Justice Center courthouse.
The county will argue S.B. 84 doesn’t apply to Kimball Junction’s tech park. That means—if state lawmakers wanted to authorize Dakota Pacific’s development—the bill was poorly written.
The bill creates a penalty for a county—Summit County—not building housing next to a transit center and gives a developer—Dakota Pacific—with a pending land use application the rights to develop residential and commercial units on land within ⅓ mile of a transit center.
The county says some of Dakota Pacific’s land is outside the ⅓ mile radius of the Kimball Junction Transit Center. It also claims the developer’s proposal to the Summit County Council doesn’t fit the definition of “land use application.”
Dakota Pacific contends that just some of their land has to be within ⅓ mile of the transit center for the bill to apply, and their proposal meets the bill’s standards.
More than just this narrow issue is at stake. If the judge rules S.B. 84 doesn’t apply to the tech park, then most of the lawsuit could be over. Dakota Pacific would not be able to build the development.
The court would still need to address some of Summit County’s other eight claims, including those against the state of Utah. That’s why a potential summary judgment on June 15 would be “partial.”
The June 15 hearing was scheduled to focus on Summit County's motion for partial summary judgment, which was filed first, plus other paperwork Dakota Pacific filed Friday in response.
Judge Mrazik may schedule a separate hearing to consider the new motion from Dakota Pacific, but no other hearings will be schedule until after the one in June.