15-Lot Huntsman Estate Subdivision Greenlit by City Council
On Thursday evening, Park City’s City Council voted to approve the proposed Huntsman Estate subdivision in Deer Valley. The 15-lot parcel is located off Royal Street near the Stein Eriksen Residences.
Even though city council did approve the Huntsman Estate subdivision on Thursday, there was some strong dissent from some councilors and members of the community over maximum house sizes in Deer Valley.
Currently, there are no laws regulating house size in Deer Valley -- you can build as big as you want as long as it all fits on your property.
Anthony Faillace is a long-time homeowner in the Belleterre subdivision and expressed his concern over the potential of a house or houses being built that did not “fit the neighborhood.”
“My strong feeling about it is there should be some kind of limitation on the total square footage on the 14 additional lots, as well as some kind of maximum size for a house that can be put on the properties," said Faillace. "I think it’s reasonable that this should be in keeping with the neighborhood. What is the neighborhood? The neighborhood is the Belleterre subdivision, the Bellemont subdivision, the Evergreen subdivision, the American Flag subdivision, that’s the neighborhood.”
Faillace added it is his hope the Huntsman subdivision would avoid a similar situation to the Red Cloud subdivision, which has one house significantly larger than others in the area and sticks out from the surrounding landscape.
The city’s neighborhood compatibility study found the average house size in Deer Valley’s neighborhoods to be just shy of 8,500 square feet. It is worth noting the one large Red Cloud property does bump the average higher, with Red Cloud’s average house size at nearly 11,500 square feet.
Councilwoman Becca Gerbert was the lone “no” vote and cited the need to consider the future of the town and the environmental impacts of ever-increasing house sizes in the area.
“I do understand that we need to come back and have another discussion of lot sizes and house sizes but I kind of think it’s an interesting argument to say that it’s not fair to limit lot sizes on these things," she said. "I think that one of the things we have really learned over the past, our generation, is that we just don’t have the same resources available, both water and land and our carbon footprint with climate change and everything that is going on. As we move forward, we need to be doing better and we need to be doing better for the future. Having these huge developments that come in with these huge houses doesn’t speak well to where we’re going as a community and what we’re willing to do for future generations.”
Councilwoman Gerbert’s comments opened discussion about the possibility of changing the law to regulate house sizes in the future, similar to how other mountain communities have in other parts of the country. Colorado’s Crested Butte, for example, limits the maximum square footage of their new houses.
If city council were to approve any change to the law, it would not affect the Huntsman Estates because the subdivision was applied for before any change was made.