Park City Council Discusses Updates To Historic Preservation Under Flagstaff Agreement
A little more than $1.4 million over 20 years—that’s how much financial support for historic preservation is proposed under the newly negotiated terms between developers in the Flagstaff development agreement and Park City Municipal. The agreement is more than 20 years old, and in the past year, historic preservation advocates have argued that any land-use item under the Flagstaff agreement shouldn’t go forward until developers make good on their responsibilities to shore up and maintain mining structures in Empire Pass.
Park City Manager Matt Dias says the city has worked for months with the Empire Pass Master Owners Association and the developers Storied and Redus to bring all parties up to compliance on their preservation responsibilities.
“Most old development agreements in this community are sort of defamed or casted aspersion for just getting old and antiquated and not following covenants," Dias said. "But the upside of this is that it does provide the opportunity to come back and revisit these issues and ensure, to the best of our ability, that covenants are adhered to.”
Dias says the city understands the community’s concerns about historic preservation.
“I think we’re proud that the developer’s come to the table, the owners association’s come to the table and Park City Municipal has come to the table and all said, 'this was important, we had some previous agreements and we’ve got an obligation to honor them.'”
Park City Museum Executive Director Sandra Morrison has concerns about the new terms. Morrison says the museum estimates about $1.4 million for repairs that need to be done today—not over the next decade or so.
“Obviously, we’re going to be looking at a much higher price tag in 10 and 20 years from now, given that there’ll be additional deferred maintenance that doesn’t happen, because it’s not going to happen today," Morrison said. "It’s being over this extended period, but also we’ll be looking at much higher construction costs.”
Morrison suggests limiting the memorandum of agreement to 20 years is shortsighted, and the city council should consider supporting the historic structures in perpetuity. She also believes there’s no enforcement outlined in the agreement.
“I would encourage council to think about, maybe, that this is just a short-term contract that will get renegotiated," Morrison said. "That would give future city councils the ability to weigh in on this topic, whereas this memorandum of agreement basically ties any future city councils’ hands.”
The city council will discuss the Flagstaff agreement updates at 3:45 p.m. Thursday.