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Park City Planning Commission to Discuss Affordable Housing and PCMR Development Sustainability

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PEG Development
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Discussion around the planned development of the base area at Park City Mountain Resort continues between the PEG developers and the Park City Planning Commission at tonight’s meeting. Looking at more public-private partnerships with affordable housing is also on the agenda.

 

For the last couple of years, Park City has been looking at ways to better incentivize the construction of affordable housing. 

 

It’s no secret that many people who work in Park City simply can’t afford to live here. The city is now considering loosening certain building requirements in exchange for more low-cost housing units in new development projects.

 

At Wednesday’s planning commission meeting, commissioners and city staff will discuss a report that looks into reducing setback requirements, open space reductions, increasing maximum building heights, and loosening off-street parking requirements. If the changes are adopted, the city hopes developers will be more willing to build affordable housing.

 

Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson tells KPCW the Cascadia Partners report focuses on ways to engage the private sector as opposed to imposing stricter building requirements.

 

“So it’s more about the longer range, how do we get the private sector involved?” Erickson says. “Cascadia did a study about six months ago and delivered it to us. The planning commission had some hard questions about more information about public-private partnerships, so we had Cascadia go back and do some additional work and decide where the ROI would lie for a private developer and how much subsidy the city would need to throw into the pie to make a private sector project work.” 

 

Park City is currently exploring several ways to reduce traffic and parking issues by expanding public transportation and incentivizing more people to not take a car downtown. Erickson says these efforts are a step in the right direction, but forcing more cars onto the streets in order to get more affordable housing is a compromise the commission will need to take a hard look at. 

 

“These sort of aspirational things to get cars off the road are the right thing to do,” says Erickson. “I think the tricky bit is when will they come true? You know, as you go through the neighborhoods on Sunday morning, you’ll see a lot of cars parked in a lot of places that they probably shouldn’t be.”

 

The future development of the Park City Mountain Resort base area is also going to be discussed, and traffic flow in and around the base area is a hot topic there as well.

 

A group of locals recently started an organization called RRAD, or Responsible Resort Area Development Coalition, as a way to organize as one community voice during this process.

 

Deb Renfrow is a founder of the group and says they understand the base area will be developed at some point, but they want to be an advocacy group for development in a way that will benefit both tourism and the local population. 

 

“Basically, there’s a group of us and many other concerned citizens that have been asking questions of PEG and we’ve been participating in the monthly meetings and asking questions and we haven’t been getting a lot of answers,” says Renfrow. “We felt that maybe our voice would be better heard if we were one organized group.” 

 

Erickson says the public will have a chance to comment on the project, but Wednesday’s meeting is more a chance for the commission to get their questions answered around construction and the sustainability of the project.

 

“Tonight’s meeting is more about fact-finding with the planning commission and making sure that we’ve asked the right questions of PEG to answer,” he says. “This is not the final technical report of what PEG is going to do, this is a question and answer session. We’ve got some serious construction management issues that need to be resolved.”

 

Erickson says the commission was hoping to have the base development discussion wrapped up by October or November, but it is clear that won’t happen now.

 

The commission has expressed a desire to leave no stone unturned for such a large project.

 

Wednesday’s planning commission meeting will be held virtually and is open to the public. Information on how to participate can be found here.