SALT LAKE CITY — House Bill 462 was one of over 100 bills that Utah Governor Spencer Cox signed on Thursday.
H.B. 462 includes a four-line provision that forces Summit County to have a housing and transit reinvestment zone (HTRZ) as a strategy within the Snyderville Basin General Plan and to approve and submit a proposal to the director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO) by December 31, 2022.
Under the law, if the county does not establish the HTRZ plan by the end of the year, it would lose out on state funding to fix the I-80 Kimball Junction interchange.
An HRTZ is a mechanism from the GOEO that pushes the Utah Department Of Transportation (UDOT) to prioritize local improvements. It was created by the Legislature last year. UDOT is triggered in the program because of the added density the required development brings.
A separate bill — Senate Bill 140 — which was also signed by the governor would change the requirements of an HTRZ. Under the bill, an HTRZ with a transit hub must have 51% residential uses with a mix of dwelling units. A minimum of 10% of the proposed units must be dedicated as affordable.
It says an HTRZ must be 1/3 mile from the transit hub, which would be the Kimball Junction Transit Center in Summit County’s case.
The bill also states that an HTRZ must be 125 maximum noncontiguous acres, and have a density of at least 50 units per acre, which yields an 80% tax increment over 25 years.
If the proposed density is reduced to between 39 and 49 units per acre, the increment is reduced to 60%.
In a staff report about the legislative session, county deputy manager Janna Young writes that any referendum on the HTRZ and its zoning “is subject to enhanced signature requirements (double the signatures) and is not subject to referendum if passed by 2/3 vote of the County Council.”
Talks between Salt Lake City-based Dakota Pacific Real Estate and Summit County were paused last year after a vehement amount of public opposition was expressed towards a project that sought to build over 1,100 homes, commercial, and office space southwest of the Skullcandy building in Kimball Junction.
At the recent Summit County Council meeting, council member Glenn Wright said H.B. 462 “was specifically targeted at us by one of our applicants, Dakota Pacific, and they have lost my vote on their particular project.”
With his seat up for grabs this November, Wright recently announced his candidacy for U.S. House in Utah’s 3rd District.
Dakota Pacific is planning to resume their application later this year.
Summit County Councilmember Roger Armstrong expressed widespread discontent with the project as it progressed last year and at one point, accused Wright of fast-forwarding the approval of the project. Other members have remained neutral.