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Park City Council to address annexation protests and accessory units at Thursday's meeting

Park City Hall winter
Leslie Thatcher

The Park City Council will discuss what’s next on the Quinn’s annexation protests, the proposed redesign of the Utah Film Studio property into a housing development, and it may drop the free hour of parking in China Bridge.

The Park City Council meets in work session Thursday starting at 3:30. As part of the year-end budget adjustment, the council will consider a request from the Historic Park City Alliance to drop the first free hour of parking – but the end result is the same. Paid parking will start at 6 p.m. every day, rather than 5 p.m.

With plenty of money – revenues are up by 27% from the biggest budget ever - the city will use the extra cash to try and fill some open positions. Deputy City Manager David Everitt says some open jobs have been posted for more than 200 days. While the city has had good candidates apply, people end up turning jobs down based on Park City’s cost of living. Everitt says the hope is increased wages can help.

“We're just facing historic challenges with regard to retaining and recruiting employees,” Everitt said. “You know, police department in particular and building services we really wanted to, again, be a little bit proactive and not be kind of in the swamp. of competing with other jurisdictions. I mean, we are regardless, but we try to get a little bit ahead of that.”

Other budget adjustments include one-time funding to library, recreation, and trail improvements and more money for a new housing deed restriction program.

At 4:30 the council will continue discussing reducing the regulations on accessory apartments in town. Everitt says the council will look at reducing the size of the units, the parking requirements and how the applications are processed. On a split vote, the planning commission recommended that applications be approved by staff, rather than taking them through the planning commission. While applicants would save time and money having their applications approved by staff, it doesn’t allow for public input.

“The much more efficient process usually moves a lot quicker than to have an administrative approval of these,” Everitt explained. “That was a big subject of conversation at the planning commission level. It was a split vote there to recommend whether it was administrative or planning commission approval. The recommendation did come out as an administrative approval for these, but the city council can certainly make that decision how they want to see that happen themselves, so that'll definitely be discussed.”

The council will also have a look at plans for the Studio Crossing development at Quinn’s Junction. Instead of moving forward with the commercial development that approved for the 30 acres, like a hotel, entertainment center, and sound stages, the film studio owner is now asking to build more than 200 homes, both market rate and affordable.

Everitt says the staff seems to prefer the housing development.

“I think the staff is, you know, certainly heartened that this kind of proposal has come through,” he said. “It's a, I think, seen as a more appropriate community use than a hotel by a decent stretch and you know, the property owners are not actually obligated to build any affordable housing but have decided on their own that they feel like that's appropriate there. And so, the city staff and a couple of our council members and the mayor-elect now have been working with the applicant directly to really massage their approach in both in terms of design and configuration, and they've been really receptive and good to work with.”

Finally, the council will discuss the four protests to the Southeast Quinn’s Junction annexation the city has filed with Summit County. Everitt says the protests come from the town of Hideout, and one of the adjacent property owners, Redus. The other two protests Everitt says are from developer interests, including Hideout developer Nate Brockbank. Everitt says it’s up to the county to decide if the protests warrant the creation of a boundary commission.

The proposed annexation is about 1200 acres east of Park City next to SR 248. The primary property owners are Park City and United Park City Mines.

“What happens is the city at this point have a very, very sort of prescribed specific statutory process at the state level,” Everitt said. “The city council has to decide if they want to because of protests coming in, deny the petition. Now the city of course is the one that filed a petition, so the city would be denying itself the petition, or it can choose to take no action and let the Boundary Commission or the county process to determine if there's a need for a Boundary Commission. And then if there is the Boundary Commission to form and make its decision, allow that process to go forward.

City attorney Margaret Plane believes that two of the complaints don’t have the authority to protest because they are not property owners or affected entities. Further, Plane doesn’t believe Hideout’s protest is valid because its annexation petition was ruled void in 4th District Court.

If the county decides to create a boundary commission, its members would need to hear and rule on protests within 60 days. After the hearing, the boundary commission would have 30 days to issue a written decision. That decision could then be appealed to district court.