Rezoning decision will determine fate of Pinebrook affordable townhomes
The Summit County Council will decide Nov. 1 whether an overgrown tennis court in Pinebrook should become an affordable townhome development.
A proposed 22-unit affordable housing development on a 1.11-acre lot in lower Pinebrook can’t happen without the Summit County Council rezoning the property.
That extra density has sparked a lot of conversation among current Pinebrook residents about whether the project is the right fit. Over 200 residents weighed in over email at a public hearing two years ago.
After bouncing back and forth between the county council and Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, it’s back at the council for another public hearing about a rezone.
Concerns have run the gamut from water to sidewalks to parking and density. Gorgoza Mutual Water Company is on the record saying it can provide water, and developer Sean Steinman of Resonance Ventures will build sidewalks too.
The larger sticking point has been density. That’s what Malinda Frick, who lives next door in the Ranch Condominiums, has heard from her neighbors.
“Initially, I didn't have any strong opinion one way or the other about it. I do think Park City needs more affordable housing,” she said. “And then looking at the plans, the more recent plans, it's a little bit alarming. It seems like the amount of people—and the density—that they're planning to put in that small area is pretty high.”
For Elk Run resident John Dorius, who has followed the project closely from the beginning, a lot of issues run downstream of density. Chief among them are parking and traffic.
“The character of our neighborhood, of our community, is units owned by individuals,” he added.
At the Nov. 1 meeting, Steinman will present the county council with three options, one of which has 12 units rather than 22.
Dorius criticizes all the options for not including an on-site manager to enforce things like occupancy limits. He’s seen homes get overwhelmed when they get rented out.
“People with cars parked on the lawn and around the side of the house, so that they could accommodate their need for transportation, and you would see high rates of turnovers with the people that were living there,” Dorius said. “All of those detract from the property value and detract from the community.”
He believes the traffic from 22 extra units in Pinebrook would be noticeable.
Pinebrook Pointe resident Erin Sweetser doesn’t buy the traffic argument though. She says traffic only ever becomes an issue during pickup and dropoff times at Park City Day School across the street.
Sweetser believes there are people like her in Pinebrook with young families who support the townhomes but who can’t tell councilmembers or planning commissioners because of work and family obligations.
“I can't generally attend these meetings,” Sweetser said. “I think that the people who are against most of these projects tend to have a little bit more time on their hands and are interested in protecting their property values.”
She's noted in previous public comments that her county-assessed property value in Pinebrook continues to multiply.
Public input will be taken at the council meeting, where the rezone is up for approval. It’s scheduled for 6 p.m., when the council is expected to debate density and related issues.
If the council approves the rezone, the development will return to the planning commission for final approval.