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Park City Planning Commission Decision On City Housing Project Appealed Again

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The Woodside Park Phase II housing development has been appealed for a second time, after the Park City Planning Commission reaffirmed its approval of the project’s master planned development application. 

After approving the Woodside Park Phase II master planned development application in May, Park City Municipal, as applicant for the project, ran into a hurdle when one neighbor appealed the decision.

Empire Avenue resident Doug Lee made four points in his appeal: that open space, setback, historic design review and parking requirements in the land management code were not met. The Park City Board of Adjustment in June voted to send the project back to the planning commission due to what they perceived as an unwarranted reduction in setbacks. The planning commission can reduce setbacks in a master planned development if they find it necessary to provide “architectural interest and variation.”

In September, the planning commission again took up the project application. Park City Municipal argued without the setback reductions, the public walkway that cuts through the project up to Empire Avenue would be much smaller, and the buildings would be larger and incompatible with the neighborhood. The planning commission voted again to approve the project’s setback reductions, with an amendment to the setbacks on the Empire Avenue townhouses, from 20 feet to 25 feet.

Nicole DeForge, Lee’s attorney, could not be reached by the time of this report. DeForge has previously told KPCW that the Woodside Park Phase II housing project “does not comply with its own setback, open space, parking, and historic preservation requirements. Although affordable housing is needed, the City cannot shoehorn large housing projects into the middle of historic neighborhoods based on exceptions that do not apply and that harm residents. We simply want the City to follow its own rules and respect the rights of its own residents.”

Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says the appeal will likely go before the city council next.

“The applicant has every right to do this appeal, and we’re going to see where it shakes out,” Erickson said.

Park City Municipal had intended to break ground on the 58 Woodside Park Phase II units this fall, but the appeal has delayed construction on the development at least until spring.

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.
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