PEG says “it’s time” to move forward, urges planning commission vote on Park City Mountain Resort project
Wednesday night’s Park City Planning Commission meeting focused exclusively on the proposed project to develop the base area of Park City Mountain Resort. Although the developer is eager to move forward, commissioners are not convinced yet.
Wednesday’s discussion focused on transit and off-site parking plans for the proposal to develop the base area of Park City Mountain Resort. Provo-based PEG Companies and Vail Resorts want to replace the current surface parking lots with hotels, restaurants, condominiums, retail space, and underground parking.
In short, the developer is asking to retain the 1,200 parking stalls currently at the base area, but is asking not to have to build the 1,100 additional stalls required under the city’s land management code for a project of that scope.
Park City Senior Planner Alexandra Ananth told the commission that because the city is actively looking for ways to reduce traffic congestion in town, city staff is open to the option of granting the parking exception.
“I want to remind everyone that each parking stall at the base equals an extra car on the road and more traffic and congestion on the roads coming into the city as well as the base area," said Ananth. "It’s for this reason that the city staff has been generally supportive of not adding parking and vehicle trips at the base area, and the potential for the planning commission to consider a reduction in the required number of parking spaces.”
PEG presented a scenario on Wednesday where it would make a one-time payment to the city to help construct the forthcoming park and ride at Quinns Junction and increase the city’s bus fleet in exchange for use of the site. PEG estimates that approximately 270 cars would need parking and transit from Quinns Junction to the resort on the busiest winter days.
The Quinns Junction park and ride is scheduled to break ground next spring and will have over 500 parking spaces. The park and ride project is independent from PEG’s proposal.
With no additional parking planned for the base area, several commissioners questioned how to improve the drop-off and loading experience at the resort. PEG and Vail proposed a temporary expanded dropoff zone in one of the parking garages earlier this year that would then be open to parking after a certain hour in the morning.
Commissioner Bill Johnson encouraged PEG and Vail to come to the resort this weekend and observe the current situation.
“So you’re gonna have 800 kids getting dropped off on Saturday," Johnson said. "Why don’t you go up, take a look at it, and come back to us and explain how you see it’s gonna work? That’s the struggle, is how are the shuttles gonna work? How are the rideshare and the dropoffs gonna work? That’s just my take on that. I see your numbers working, and your traffic numbers working, but, ultimately, it’s the use up there.”
PEG VP of Development Robert Schmidt countered by saying that’s already happened. He added that Vail supports its plans for the base area and urged the commission to vote on the proposal.
“I feel like we’ve done that analysis," he said. "We’ve got Vail Resorts on the phone, they operate the resort. They have a pretty good feel for what happens up there. What we’re proposing, they’re very much comfortable with. They wouldn’t agree to something that would be detrimental to the resort and their operations … Frankly, it’s the best plan that’s been proposed in 20 years, and we’re ready to move forward. We would like the commission to go into deliberations, go through the findings of fact, conditions of approval, and take a vote. It’s time.”
Schmidt added that apart from the plans for the forthcoming Quinns Junction park and ride, he does not expect to make any significant changes to the company’s proposal for the base area.
No action was taken by the planning commission.
The next planning commission meeting for the PEG proposal is tentatively scheduled for January 19th.