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As Utah Growth Continues, Expect To See Development At Resort Bases In Park City

Bonds approved by Park City voters will allow Treasure Hill and Armstrong/Snow Ranch Pasture to remain open space. With more green space off the table, where will the city build in the future? KPCW’s Emily Means has more.

The outcome of the Treasure Hill vote in November seems to point to Park City residents’ prioritization of conservation and preservation of land over development. But in 2018, the U.S. Census pointed to Utah as the third fastest-growing state in the nation—so where will development happen in Park City to accommodate an increase in population? The answer, Assistant City Manager Matt Dias says, is at the base of the resorts.

“By and large, we are predominantly built out when it comes to residential development, so the two big keystone pieces that you will see will be at the Deer Valley Base and at Park City Mountain Resort Base," Dias said. "They’ll obviously be some development with our arts and culture district, but that’s what people should really see, I would say in the next five to 10 years, is those two big properties—if and when they come in—will be the larger redevelopment and development projects in our community, for the foreseeable future."

Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson acknowledges that there’s a trend with resort-based housing becoming second or seasonal homes. He also says there’s not much green space left for development, so new growth in the community will likely take the form of redevelopment and brownfield development—and the focus probably won’t only be on housing.

“This whole prediction of growth is kind of a straight line calculation by the governor's office of economic development, and so they plot a trendline and say we’re going to grow," Erickson said. "Well, we don't know where the jobs are; we don’t know about the transportation infrastructure; we don’t know the effects of the new international port at the airport; we don’t understand the effects of growth over at Mayflower. So there’s some other components to just building houses that our community needs to consider.”

Data released in 2018 from the University of Utah Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute show that Utah’s population is expected to nearly double by 2065 to 5.8 million. In the same time frame, the population of Summit County is predicted to increase by 80%, to more than 70,000; and Wasatch County by 187%, to more than 82,000.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.