Summit County claims legislative cronyism, seeks veto of SB 84 from Cox
SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — On March 15, 2023, Summit County Attorney, Margaret Olson, filed a 46-page complaint in the Third District Court in Summit County against Park City Junction, LLC dba Dakota Pacific Real Estate (Dakota Pacific) and the State of Utah.
A complaint is the first document filed in court to initiate a lawsuit. This is a formal legal document listing the plaintiff’s view of the facts and the legal reasons why the plaintiff believes they have been harmed by the defendant.
The complaint filed by Summit County challenges the constitutionality of Senate Bill 84 (SB 84), seeks to enforce Summit County’s rights under the 2008 Park City Tech Center Development Agreement (Development Agreement), and asks for the Court to find that Dakota Pacific breached its covenant of good faith and fair dealing under the Development Agreement.
A release from Summit County slams legislators saying this is “a clear case of legislative cronyism, special purpose legislation meant to financially benefit only Dakota Pacific was pushed forward with the intent of impairing and interfering with the existing Development Agreement.”
“It is disappointing that members of the Utah Legislature believed a false narrative about Summit County without ever speaking to members of county leadership, and instead conferred a private benefit on a specific developer in violation of an existing contract,” Olson said. “The idea that the Legislature can unilaterally cancel any contract for the benefit of a private party is a dangerous precedent and one that the people of the State of Utah and the other two coequal branches of government should reject.”
On February 16, SB 84 was passed in the Utah Senate. Sponsored by, Rep. Casey Snider, R-Cache, the bill would limit local government control by giving property owners near public transit hubs in counties with small public transit districts “certain vested development rights if the county failed to submit an application for a housing and transit reinvestment zone before a certain deadline.”
S.B. 84 directly benefits DPRE, which has been negotiating an amendment application for the Park City Tech Center development agreement in both the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission and Summit County Council in recent years.
At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Summit County Council on March 15, Council Chair Roger Armstrong suspended further consideration of Dakota Pacific’s application until after legal determinations are made by the district and appellate courts resolving the conflict between SB 84 and the existing Development Agreement, and Summit County’s land use authority is affirmed and clarified.
Summit County is seeking a veto of SB 84 from Governor Cox.