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Off-site parking is focus of next planning commission meeting on PEG project

PEG PCMR street rendering
PEG Companies
PEG is asking for an exception to the amount of required parking stalls as part of their plan to develop the base area of Park City Mountain Resort.

At its meeting Wednesday, the Park City Planning Commission will revisit the effort to develop the base area of Park City Mountain Resort.

Although they won’t take any action, planning commissioners will hold a work session dedicated to the off-site parking and transportation plans for the project.

The developer, Provo-based PEG Companies, is seeking an exception to the required number of parking spaces at the base. PEG’s proposal would increase the number currently there by about 500 stalls for a total of 1,700, but that would still be about 500 stalls short of what is required by the city’s land management code.

According to PEG’s estimates, the resort would need 422 additional stalls on peak holiday weekends. The city plans to break ground on a 460-space park-and-ride at Quinns Junction in the near future, which PEG says will meet some of that parking demand.

Consulting firm AECOM is expected to release a study on the resort’s parking needs some time before Thanksgiving, says Park City Senior Planner Alexandra Ananth. She adds that as it stands now, the city favors incentivizing fewer people to drive in and out of Park City each day.

“Well, we like the concept of less parking at the base, because it simply means less traffic in Park City," she says. "But it also means that on peak days, such as President's weekend, the resort may be relying on some city and county resources, such as park-and-ride and transit. We have to make sure that the city has the capacity and understands the capital investment associated with adding busses and staffing those busses and the cost per mile to serve the resort at the level of service that they’re interested in. That’s sort of an issue that we’re continuing to work on, and I expect we’ll continue to discuss that in December as well as tomorrow.”

PEG has also proposed a new and expanded transit station at the PCMR base to help reduce parking demand. The plans also include bus-only lanes and traffic signals that prioritize transit. Paid parking is also proposed as a way to cut demand on peak days.

However, PEG’s parking and transit proposal has faced stiff opposition from members of the planning commission and public. Several people have voiced concerns during public comment periods about the increased density and asked how a decrease in required parking spots is justified without significant cooperation from the city and resort.

Ananth says the solution will likely be a joint effort.

“I think it’s a shared responsibility, really," Ananth says. "To a certain extent, the resort is a huge part of our economy that benefits the city, so we certainly want to keep them happy, but we also need to protect the residents’ quality of life and not overburden the existing road infrastructure. We have a fantastic transit system, so it’s really just encouraging people to use that more and then making sure we are offering that level of service that residents and visitors need, as well as the resort.”

Wednesday’s meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30pm. More information on how to participate and a link to the full agenda can be found here.

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.