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The original item was published from 3/20/2023 11:48:00 AM to 3/20/2023 11:51:43 AM.

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Posted on: March 15, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Summit County Challenges Constitutionality of Senate Bill 84

release 03152023

Summit County, Utah (March 15, 2023) — 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. The complaint 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. 

The complaint details that SB 84 was the culmination of a two-year process in which Dakota Pacific, its lobbyists, and various members of the Utah Legislature attempted to improperly pressure the Summit County Council to approve an amendment to the Development Agreement, changing it from a technology-based research park to a high-density residential mixed-use development.  In 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.” 

SB 84 purports to strip Summit County of its land use authority and conclusively “spot zones” the Park City Tech Center to high-density residential mixed-use development consistent with Dakota Pacific’s proposal.  Such actions are outside of the appropriate statutory processes for land use determinations and stand as a stark violation of the Utah Constitution.   

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. 

Read the full complaint here.

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