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Park City Planning Commission Schedules Work Session For Annexation Policy Plan

The Park City Planning Commission will participate in a work session Wednesday to discuss the City’s annexation policy. 

The Park City Council recently instructed Planning staff to include unincorporated City-owned land in its annexation expansion area, which informs the City’s annexation policy plan. Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says that was only the first step in a long to-do list toward annexation.

“North end of Round Valley; Clark Ranch, which is east and west of U.S. 40 and south of 248; the Richardson Flat lands that are controlled by the Flagstaff development agreement; and they took a fairly strong stance and said we need to at least include Bonanza Flat in our annexation policy declaration," Erickson said. "Whether or not we complete the annexation is completely a different argument that we're going to have to have, and Wasatch County needs to agree that we can annex it down the road, but it at least needs to get into the plan.”

Recent action by the Hideout Town Council to include the Park City-owned Clark Ranch and Richardson Flat parcels in its annexation expansion area plan, as well as talk that the Military Installation Development Authority, or MIDA, may be interested in expanding its resort development from the Jordanelle all the way up to Bonanza Flat, has fast tracked the City’s conversation around updating its own annexation plan. But Erickson says the City has been discussing annexing the Round Valley area and Clark Ranch for at least a year.

“At that time, the Planning Commission was concerned that we didn't have some land use decisions made on Clark Ranch and north Round Valley, and that we didn't have the conservation easements in place, so that never really moved forward," Erickson said. "The Council brought it forward again in April of 2019, said, 'what are you guys doing, do we need to make some more policy decisions,' so while Hideout and the other discussions around Jordanelle may have speeded this up, it was not a direct influencer of this action. The Council's in charge.”

Amending an annexation expansion area and annexation policy plan is a complicated process. State law requires municipalities to detail annexation impacts on services, infrastructure, taxes and more, and for the municipality to hold three public hearings. A municipality can only move forward with the annexation, though, if the landowner—like a county—signs off on it. With Hideout and Park City scoping out the same area, Erickson pointed to Park City’s shared vision with Summit County as a good sign.

“We need to throw some happy smiley faces out to my predecessors who negotiated with Summit County for our joint planning principles in the Quinn's Junction, Richardson Flat area," Erickson said. "All the way back to 2004 and then updated in 2014 in the County general plan and the City general plan for development rights in the Richardson Flat area, which is open space and minimum density."

As the City moves forward with amending its annexation policy plan, it has public hearings scheduled for the August 28 Planning Commission meeting; September 11 Planning Commission meeting; and September 26 City Council meeting.

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.