Four units in Soda Creek recommended for approval |

Four units in Soda Creek recommended for approval

Christine McManus

SUMMIT COVE – Plans for four affordable housing units next to Soda Creek in Summit Cove are one step closer to approval, despite residents’ assertions that the site is supposed to be used as a bus stop and for mail delivery.

The Snake River Planning Commission Thursday night voted 3 to 1 in favor of recommending the Soda Creek proposal to the Summit Board of County Commissioners. The undeveloped, three-fourths-of-an-acre site is at the end of the existing Soda Creek condominiums near the west side of Dillon Reservoir.

Commissioner Dan Vaughn cast the lone vote not to recommend the four-unit rezoning.

“Our obligation is to weigh whether the zoning was made in error or that there have been significant changes. I haven’t heard sufficient proof,” Vaughn said.

“I’ve gone back and forth a million times on this. It’s a very difficult issue,” said Commissioner Terry McGrath-Craig. “I’m very disappointed the developer asked for six units the first time around, even though you knew the limitations.”

County planner Lindsay Hirsh said the Summit Stage and U.S. Postal Service might be able to use a nearby strip of land between the condo complex parking lot and Cove Boulevard. He said the development would comply with wetland regulations.

Commissioner Craig Suwinski said he agreed with Hirsh that the proposed units would add to the stock of affordable units.

The units would be deed-restricted, affordable housing designed for families with the median household income, or $58,000 per year. Developers reduced the number of units requested from six to four.

About two dozen Summit Cove homeowners attended the public hearing Thursday at Dillon Town Hall. Opponents said they were guaranteed the site would be used for a bus stop and mail delivery. They said Cove Boulevard is not safe enough for another access driveway to the site.

“When I saw the flags posted on the site, it looked like they were right in the wetlands,” said resident Wayne Sawyer.

Hirsh said the building would be an adequate distance from the nearby wetlands.

Of about 10 speakers at the hearing, only one said he favored the plan. Jerry Dokken said affordable housing is an important issue for Summit County.

Commissioner Aaron Moguin asked Hirsh to include a provision that would allow a bus stop and mail delivery site if Summit Stage or the U.S. Postal Service needed such sites.

Developer Ken O’Bryan said he tentatively agreed to the provision, but that he would have to look at the finalized wording.

The next step for the proposal is a public hearing review in front of the Summit Board of County Commissioners. Hirsh will notify residents of the public hearing date once it’s scheduled.

Christine McManus can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or

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