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Park City Legal Dept. Hire Would Free Up City Attorney's Time For Land-use Decisions

Park City Mayor Andy Beerman and City Attorney Mark Harrington will recommend a new hire for the legal department at Thursday’s City Council meeting, to fill a void left by former Assistant City Attorney Polly Samuels McLean and so Harrington can focus his attention on land-use decisions. What land-use decisions are on the horizon?

Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says Harrington has traditionally dealt with the policy side of land-use decisions, while McLean focused on the implementation of them. Special Counsel Jody Burnett has filled in for McLean at Planning Commission meetings since October 2018, after McLean went on administrative leave following her arrest in September. Erickson says Burnett will be taken off the meetings, should the City Council approve the new hire, and he’s excited to work more with Harrington.

“Even the new Flagstaff Historic Preservation agreement is something that Mark and I did in a dark, smoky room one night and tried to figure out how to make that work, so it’s good news for us," Erickson said. "I like working with Mark—I think we’re a good team.”

As for big land-use decisions down the line, Harrington has plenty to keep busy. Erickson says the Planning Department continues to work on changes to the land management code as well as a handful of other projects.

“We’ve still got the base area at Park City Mountain Resort," Erickson said. "We still need to deliver six or seven hundred affordable housing units in some location, which may or may not require additional annexations; we’re still dealing with the last sort of phase of Flagstaff; and you’ll see another issue coming up tomorrow night on Park City Heights on how the phasing plan has changed.”

Erickson doesn’t have many details for the development at Park City Mountain Resort base. He says the resort has looked at an affordable housing agreement, though nothing has been signed yet. He also alluded to conversations happening internally at the city about improving transit at the base.

“In order to deliver the number of skiers that we’re getting to that base area, the parking can’t grow that much more, and so it’s going to depend on the transit system to do it.”

Erickson expects some movement on the Park City Mountain Resort base development to come in the next couple months.

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.