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1998 Development Agreement and Current Land Management Code Clash for Proposed PCMR Development

PEG Companies/HKS

Wednesday night’s Park City Planning Commission meeting was focused on building setback and height exceptions requested by the developer of the parking lots at Park City Mountain Resort.


The original development agreement governing the base development of the parking lots at Park City Mountain Resort is now 23 years old.


The developer applying to build on those parking lots, PEG Companies, is asking to amend certain elements of the 1998 development agreement governing the project. Namely, the original master plan study, which expired after four years of non-continuous construction.


The current impasse stems from the conflict between Park City’s current code and the density allowances in the 1998 development agreement. Current code caps building heights at 35 feet, but the master plan mentions building heights of over six stories, something Park City Senior Planner Alexandra Ananth said does not add up.


“I would agree that there’s no way this project could be built at 35 feet height and come close to the density that was granted in 1998,” Ananth said.


It is up to the planning commission to grant exemptions to the current code in order to reflect the 1998 development agreement, or require PEG to build within the restrictions of the current code.


Robert McConnell is an attorney for PEG Companies and said PEG recognizes the city’s obligation to follow current building code, but asked the planning commission to understand their authority to grant exceptions if they deem them appropriate. He argued that if exemptions were never intended to be granted, they would have never been given that power in the first place. 


“We would just encourage you to read it holistically so that, again, the ability to grant the exception is recognized and you don’t interpret it so that it’s impossible to ever be granted because I don’t believe that’s the intent of the code, they wouldn’t have given you the power to grant the exception if they never intended for it to be exercised,” he said.


Wednesday night’s meeting focused on building heights and setbacks. Senior Planner Ananth demonstrated that peak roof heights of the original proposal in 1998 were actually fairly close to what is being proposed today.


According to the city’s calculations, the maximum height being asked for now is only 13 feet higher than what was approved in 1998, but at 103 feet high, that building would tower over the 35 foot limit in the current building code.


Additionally, PEG will likely have to provide other plans, like landscaping, before any exemptions may or may not be granted by the planning commission.


The planning commission is expected to resume discussions of the PEG proposal at their meeting currently scheduled for May 19th.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.