The Draper City Council on Wednesday held a public hearing on a city proposal to buy the undeveloped portions of the SunCrest development from Zions Bank for $5.6 million.
The potential purchase comes after the would-be buyer of the development, Arizona-based MCO, backed out of the deal in June, mainly due to conflicts with the city over open space and public access to trailheads, according to city documents.
The city's plan calls for buying 2,200 acres next to the 1,800 acres of open space the city already owns but hasn't developed, including part of Corner Canyon. While the city said it intends to preserve open space in the area, it added it may partner with developers to sell off portions of land for development.
The plan took some SunCrest residents by surprise, including SunCrest subdivsion resident Bob Christensen, who questioned what would happen to SunCrest's master development agreement and infrastructure yet to be built for water up in the area. Christensen said 1,300 homeowners in SunCrest also don't know if they will be saddled with costs associated with the Timpanogos Special Service District that were supposed to be split between homes that now won't be built.
"What are you going to do to solve this problem, because I think it is going to become a major problem," Christensen said in a packed council room.
Others were more excited about the city's possible acquisition, including Clark Naylor, who serves on the city's parks, trails and recreation committee. He said he's pleased the city may acquire so much open space.
Draper plans to pay for the $2,500 per acre property by refinancing two of its existing bonds one from 2002 for construction on city hall, and a 2004 bond for Bangerter Parkway at a lower interest rate, and by issuing a new bond, Maridene Hancock, city spokeswoman, has said.
Purchase of the land would create a one of a kind 4,000 acre open space property along the Wasatch Front, which is "unprecedented," according to the city. The master plan for the area would include an expansion of city parks and trails and the already created plan for Corner Canyon Regional Park.
The city has until Oct. 31 for a due diligence period before it finalizes the purchase.