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Deer Valley residents voice concerns over Snow Park development

Conceptual design of the plans for the Snow Park Base at Deer Valley.
Deer Valley/IBI
Conceptual design of the plans for the Snow Park Base at Deer Valley.

Concerns center around a plan to alter Deer Valley Drive

Deer Valley Resort hopes to turn the current Snow Park base area parking lots into residential units, hotels, and commercial space.

Public reaction to the project as a whole has been largely positive, but many Deer Valley residents have begun voicing concerns over the proposal to alter Deer Valley Drive. Charles Haggerty is the president of the Solamere homeowners association and said many people feel their property values could suffer if more cars are diverted to Deer Valley Drive East.

“As long as Alterra does not ask for a lot of variances or exceptions, then I think people are willing to go along with that redevelopment because they feel that the property values in that area probably will go up because of it," said Haggerty. "If the city decides to abandon part of Deer Valley [Drive] West, those property values probably will go down.” 

If the project is approved as it is currently proposed, parking would be moved underground and Deer Valley Drive would be altered to incentivize public transit. That would make Deer Valley Drive East around the ponds the primary entrance to the base area.

Two-way traffic would remain on all parts of the road so residents can access their homes, but a one-way counter clockwise dedicated bus lane would also be added to Deer Valley Drive and Doe Pass Road around the ponds as a way to encourage the use of transit.

Christina Schiebler is a longtime resident of lower Deer Valley and shared Haggerty’s concerns over altering the road. She added she does not want to see the city prioritize Deer Valley customers over Park City residents.

“[The road is] an asset that taxpayers like myself have contributed to the upkeep and the maintenance of for many years," she said. "The fact that that’s even in question is absolutely concerning because it just seems to put the optics on [Deer Valley’s] end use only and their vacation end user use and experience. It’s just unfortunately not factoring in those of us who have the privilege of living here.”

Haggerty and Scheibler aren’t the only people with questions. Commissioner Laura Suesser asked whether Deer Valley Drive East would be too overloaded with traffic if all buses were routed onto the road at a meeting last December.

In a statement to KPCW, Deer Valley Senior Communications Manager Emily Summers said the resort has conducted multiple traffic studies for the area and is “working alongside Park City planning staff, the Planning Commission, and City Council to come together on the best solutions for future traffic patterns.”

Summers added that the resort recognizes that the development will have short and long-term effects on the surrounding community and continues to reach out to homeowners seeking feedback on the project.

But Haggerty said the traffic studies are out of date.

“They were done at a time when COVID was becoming very active, so the studies themselves are flawed," he said. "There’s no question about it. They need to be updated to today, not two years, two-and-a-half years ago.” 

A joint meeting of the Park City Council and Planning Commission on Tuesday, March 15th starting at 5 p.m. will examine the plans to alter Deer Valley Drive.

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.