Park City Pegs Clark Ranch as Potential Future Affordable Housing Site
At their Thursday meeting, the Park City Council zeroed in on the Clark Ranch property near highway 189 as a potential future site for an affordable housing project. However, there are quite a few steps that need to be taken before that could become a reality.
In addition to the Clark Ranch, city council also reviewed the city-owned land known as Mine Bench on Marsac Avenue below the Stein Eriksen and Sommer Property south of the rail trail.
At the end of the discussion, Clark Ranch emerged as the best candidate at the moment for a future affordable housing project.
Thursday’s discussion was to determine if affordable housing at any of the sites was something the council wanted to pursue, which is only the first step in the process. City Trails and Open Space Manager Heinrich Deters said each of the properties has its drawbacks.
“Park City has done all of the easy ones,” he said. “These all have hurdles, they’ll all have a lot of questions. At the end of the day, Jason (Glidden) and I and I assume Rebecca (Ward) and executives are looking for a head nod of how much you want to prioritize us working on these.”
In the case of Clark Ranch, the city purchased the 344-acre property on the eastern border of Park City in 2014 in order to preserve the land as open space.
If anything were to be developed on the property, the land would first have to be annexed into Park City, then be rezoned to allow for construction. Affordable Housing Manager Jason Glidden said the city always intended for some portion of the land to be used for more than just open space.
“When the city did purchase this, they had always talked about carving out a portion of it for some kind of public use,” said Glidden. “In addition to that, it is right next to the Park City Heights development that is being currently developed right now.”
In addition to annexation and rezoning, accessibility and topography will also have to be examined.
Councilor Steve Joyce was part of the process when the city first purchased the land. He said although 10 acres was originally written down for potential public use, that number was actually quite arbitrary and would like to see a deeper feasibility study take place in order to determine just how much of the land is suitable for housing.
“I would like to have somebody when they’re looking at it kind of go, ‘here’s where it’s easiest and that’s eight acres and here’s where it’s a little harder and you’d have to start working up the hill and whatever and here’s where you’d start getting into your steep slope rules for the city,’” Joyce said. “Rather than having somebody go off and look at 10, I’d rather them go off and start at that point and figure out where to naturally stop.”
For the Mine Bench and Sommer properties, the door was not closed entirely on future use, but the council made it clear the Clark Ranch would be their top priority going forward.
Park City also has plans to build affordable housing at the site of the proposed arts and culture district at Bonanza Park, the Homestake parking lot, and Woodside Avenue. The city has a goal of building 800 units of housing by 2026.