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After Public Hearing, Planning Commission Continues Affordable Housing Amendments to February

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Lynn Ware Peek
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The Park City Planning Commission voted to continue discussion on amendments to the city’s land management code as it pertains to affordable housing developments at their meeting last Wednesday night.

 

Now in its third year, the process to amend Park City’s land management code for affordable housing developments is nearing its final phase. 

 

The Park City Planning Commission held a public hearing on the changes on Wednesday evening and voted to continue the discussion on February 10th before ultimately sending a recommendation to city council for final approval.

 

The proposed amendments are aimed at encouraging developers to build affordable housing units in new development and redevelopment projects in the city through a series of incentives. The city is proposing measures like a reduction to off-street parking requirements and easing restrictions on building heights if developers commit to the construction of more affordable housing units.

 

The current draft of the amendments would have developers qualify for the incentives if they plan to build at least 50% of the total residential unit equivalents in the project as affordable housing.

 

Commissioners largely voiced support for the changes as they are currently written, but public comment raised some concerns about reducing off-street parking requirements.

 

Neal Krasnick is a 30 year resident of Park City and said during public comment that the city should work to solve public transit issues before reducing any off-street parking requirements.

 

“You guys are going down a road to say that you can have only one car for one unit, whether it’s three our four hundred [square] feet,” Krasnick said. “That person is still gonna want somebody to come visit them, gonna want a buddy to stop over or a girlfriend to stop over. They’re gonna drive there, it’s not always possible to get a bus. Nobody shows up here with one car. They show up in one car then three cars follow and there’s only enough room here for one car.”

 

In response, Commissioner John Kenworthy said the city’s use of consulting group Cascadia Partners and their recommendation to encourage public-private partnerships to build more affordable housing through incentives like reduced parking requirements fulfills a critical city priority.

 

“We hired an expert, i.e. Cascadia, and the proposed changes here are what they have seen that have worked in other cities across the country,” said Kenworthy. “We as a city have a critical priority to make affordable housing and rental housing, which add to the life and sustainability of a city, and we have goals that we’re coming up short on. These experts are proposing these changes after 36 years of failed attempts with this city hall going at this problem alone.”

 

The planning commission voted unanimously to continue the discussion on the amendments on February 10th, where additional public feedback will be taken.

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