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KPCW Expansion Approved By Park City Council

KPCW Staff in Front of the Spencer F. Eccles Broadcast Center in Park City, UT

The Park City Council approved two items required for KPCW’s station expansion Thursday, memorializing what was approved under a 2007 conditional use permit. 

The Park City Planning Commission forwarded a unanimous positive recommendation to the Council in March to approve subdivision plat and condominium amendments, which would allow KPCW to move forward with expanding its offices. The planned expansion will extend the space out to the north and west over the liquor store on the second level only.

Councilmembers Lynn Ware Peek and Tim Henney host public affairs programs at KPCW. At the start of the meeting, Henney disclosed that he worked as a host for KPCW but still intended to vote. Peek said she felt she could stand to benefit from the expansion and planned to recuse herself.

Special Counsel Margaret Plane noted that while elected officials often recuse themselves to prevent the appearance of impropriety, that’s not a legal standard that applies in this case.

“Under the city code, as an employee of the entity that is seeking an action by the legislative body, I think disclosure is appropriate," Plane said. "But because it doesn't stand to affect you in a substantially different way from another member of the public—in other words, you're not getting something unique or special by the legislative approval—I don't think recusal is legally required.”

When the items came up for a vote, Henney remained at the table, while Peek left the council chambers.

KPCW Board Chair Bob Richer spoke during the public hearing. He said as the Wasatch Back’s community radio station, KPCW’s mission is to educate, inform and entertain the public. 

“We must continue to mature and to raise our bar in order to better serve our citizens, so thank you for helping us," Richer said. "Currently, we lack enough space to operate efficiently. Most importantly, we need more space to continue to provide an unparalleled level of journalism excellence.”

After the approval Thursday night, KPCW General Manager Renai Bodley Miller said she was relieved city hall had approved KPCW’s expansion request because the station had outgrown its current footprint. Miller added the expansion will allow KPCW to update its broadcast equipment, which will help the station stay on top of consumer trends, especially in the digital world.  

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