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Park City Community Members Comment On Woodside Park Phase II At Planning Commission Meeting

PCMC/Method Studio

Park City residents showed up at Wednesday’s Park City Planning Commission meeting to make their thoughts heard—on the record—on the Woodside Park Phase II housing development. The Commission received mixed comments. 

Doug Lee lives on Empire Ave., and the home that his family has owned for 40 years directly abuts the project. Lee says he’s supportive of the City’s goals to provide affordable housing, but he and his attorney assert that the project doesn’t comply with the land management code regarding setbacks, parking, historic preservation and open space.

“I think there’s something paradoxical and hypocritical about a city that just spent $64 million to preserve open space on Treasure Hill, yet is maximizing the building density in its signature affordable housing project,” Lee said.

Malia Brown lives on Norfolk Ave. Brown has concerns about the lack of green open space in the development and how the density of the project will affect snow load. She also takes issue with the senior center being displaced by the development.

"It kind of makes me wonder why we decided the highest and best use for this particular parcel is affordable housing," Brown said. "Yes, we don’t have that much. Yes, we have a goal. Sometimes, based on what we have, the goal is overreaching. And I’m not really sure how this goal also meets the other goals in this community, which is to serve the people who are already here and already using the senior center."

Megan McKenna teaches science at Park City High School. She rents an apartment in Prospector and applied for the affordable housing lottery— without success. She says she’s losing hope that she’ll ever get into a unit she can afford and worries she may have to leave the community as a result.

“I keep hearing comments in the paper and online and in different open houses and stuff about we fully support affordable housing—but it doesn’t feel that way," McKenna said. "When I read these comments, it doesn’t feel like people are really supportive of affordable housing, and I want you to know that there is a great need, and I appreciate the City’s attempt to do that.”

The Planning Commission voted five to one to approve the Woodside Park Phase II master planned development and conditional use permit, with Commissioner Laura Suesser voting against. The plat amendment associated with the development next goes to the City Council for final approval.

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.