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The Park City Planning Commission Takes Another Look At The Kimball Garage Application

The historic Kimball Garage has had about 18 months of analysis regarding the noise and traffic impacts the proposed special event use could have on the surrounding community. The item is back before the Park City Planning Commission at Wednesday’s meeting. Melissa Allison has more:

The Park City Planning Department doesn’t typically commission a third-party analysis for an application, but the historic Kimball Garage application isn’t a cut and dried issue.

Planning Director Bruce Erickson said it’s a unique situation.

“Because the deck is not in operation, there’s – I’ll use the word, ‘speculation,’ but that’s not exactly the right word,” Erickson said. “There’s concerns of noise going out of control, there’s concerns of traffic but, we’re really not going to know until we go into operations. So, what we try to do is put a box around the operations and control what we expect to happen in that location. And then we have some review periods with them. We’ve set it up so that if there’s three violations of the noise ordinance, we can remove their business license or remove their conditional use permit and make that go away. There’s also a one-year review of noise and traffic.”

Park City’s police and parking departments have been a part of the review and provided recommendations on how to best handle traffic issues on Heber Ave.

Erickson said they’re doing their best to balance the rights of the public and the rights of the property owner.

While there are other outdoor decks in Old Town – Erickson said they’re not exactly comparable to the Kimball.

“The difficulty with this one is that its, it’s a little bit closer to historic residential neighborhoods and it’s a bit bigger than what we would normally see the occupancy load for that indoor space and the outdoor deck, inclusive, is about 400 people,” Erickson said. “Right now, we have some regulations in our conditions of approval that require special permitting above 200 – so that will give you an idea of why the publics concerned.”

Erickson said each department involved in the application has to sign off on it – but even the applicant is sensitive to the issues and is going the extra mile.

“The applicant, honestly, has brought forward some innovative strategies on the noise,” Erickson said. “They’re bringing forward a technology that ostensibly will cut off the music automatically if it goes above our sound ordinance.”

He said the meters will be on the building, versus the property line which is where the city meters sound.

But until the space is up and running its hard to know what the real issues will be. Erickson said a lot of work has already gone into this controversial application - beginning with the barrel rooftop.

“There were some decisions that were made relative to whether the building could continue to be a landmark building if one of those rooftop arches was removed,” Erickson said. “That went through an appeal process and the Historic Preservation Board and the Board of Adjustment allowed that. Once that was completed they went to the planning commission for this use on the outdoor deck. That decision by the planning commission had most of these conditions of approval in them. To some degree those conditions were not clear enough to the public, so that they could understand what it was we were doing and so that was appealed to the city council. The city council reviewed those conditions of approval and remanded it back to the planning commission so that the planning commission could add detail, add precision and we commissioned the two third-party studies to independently review whether the mitigation strategies could work.”

Erickson said both third-party reviews agreed – the mitigations fall within the city’s and state’s regulations and laws.

In addition – the city took commercial speakers onto the deck to test the noise at various volume levels and then measured the noise in the neighborhood.

Erickson said however, there are no guarantees, which is why the city will continue to monitor the situation.

The planning commission will review the new conditions of approval at Wednesday’s meeting which begins at 6 p.m. They have scheduled time for public comment.

I’m Melissa Allison, KPCW News.