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Park City Planning Commission to Discuss Dark Sky Regulation in Wednesday Meeting

Park City Planning Commissioners meet today to discuss changes to dark sky regulations address updates to the general Land Management Codes.


Planning Director Bruce Erickson says Park City’s Dark Skies regulations are as old as the 1980’s and planners want to approve the new guidelines which will dictate both commercial and residential lighting. He says they’ve combined other city’s codes with Utah’s regulations to come up with new lighting requirements. 


“The first thing we’re doing is bringing all the lighting standards up to current, which includes moving to LED’s, which includes moving away from foot candles and moving to lumens, which does a better job of shielding light and down lit and also increases the ability to enforce night sky.”


The new standards will address streetlights, residential, commercial, Historic District and Main Street lighting. 


Erickson says developers typically comply because it makes economic sense. The biggest issues of non- compliance are around architectural and landscape lighting. 


“Our normal arguments come with our development community. You can’t be lighting up your building. You can light up doors and windows. You can light up the walkway, but you can’t light up the building just because you think it looks nice. The other place we in trouble is people keep trying to do fairly rigorous outdoor landscaping projects with night lighting and that's not really permitted either.” 


Park City Mountain provided input on their night-time lighting needs for on-hill activities. Also, Deer Valley has weighed in on restaurant lighting on the mountain. 


Also on the agenda, planning commissioners want to clean up the city’s Conditional Use and Master Plan Development code to make it more streamlined and consistent with the state code. 


“If you were a developer, you would have to go back and forth between the master development code and the conditional use permit to try and figure out what you were supposed to be doing, so that if you do an MPD or master plan development, what you're doing is in accordance with the master plan development approval and what's happening in the underlying zone. Under the current code the development agreement ratification is just signed by the planning Commission chair in now we're talking about having a final public hearing on the development agreement ratification and then having it signed by the mayor. That's the major change on that.


Erickson says the Twisted Branch Road discussion on the agenda is postponed and may come back within a month. 


Erickson told KPCW that Planner Hannah Tyler, who has been a city planner for nine years, is leaving and moving to San Clemente, California.


The Planning Commission Zoom meeting can be accessed here. It starts at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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