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Old Town resident may be influencing Legislature to expand home

Old Town, Park City.
Parker Malatesta
Old Town, Park City.

Park City government officials believe an Old Town property owner could be influencing the Utah Legislature to expand their home.

Property owners can expand their homes underground without local government approval under proposed House Bill 406.

Last week Park City Manager Matt Dias said they were alerted by other cities that the bill was in the works and some language could have local impacts.

“It may or may not be from an Old Town property owner that wants to expand their property,” Dias said.

Dias said the city sees the provision as a potential slippery slope.

“Having subterranean areas not contribute to square footage and not being able to control the massing of buildings, particularly in an area like a historic district is scary for a community that’s spent millions of dollars to have a historic district, have a historic district registered, preserve a hillside with an open space bond initiative, and then to have that uprooted for special purpose legislation for one property, to have a bigger home.”

As of Tuesday, the bill passed the House and has been sent to the Senate.

Old Town homeowner and tech billionaire Matthew Prince submitted an application to the city’s planning department last fall, with a request to build a new single-family home and a pool, according to a staff report. The application for the property on King Road specifically asked to exclude the underground building area from the property’s allowed footprint in the neighborhood’s master plan.

The redevelopment is currently not allowed under local land rules.

The Park City Planning Commission did not have a discussion on the application and delayed action. Several neighbors voiced support for the redevelopment at the time, with one opposed.

The planning department gave Prince several requirements to return with, including a historic district design review and an analysis of the mountain slope to see if the property can handle the redevelopment.

Prince co-founded and is the current CEO of Cloudflare, an internet infrastructure and cybersecurity company that went public in 2019. According to Forbes, his net worth is roughly $2.3 billion. Prince could not be reached for comment.

Cloudflare was listed as a client of state lobbyist Lincoln Shurtz on Feb. 17.