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Park City

Park City Planning Commission to decide PCMR chairlift appeal, Park Ave hotel permit this week

Park City Mountain Resort chairlift
Danny Moloshok
Park City Mountain Resort find out if it can move forward with its planned lift upgrades this week.

It’s been a busy week for the Park City Planning Commission ahead of its meeting Wednesday as it prepares to vote on topics that have brought significant community input.

After the Park City Planning Department gave administrative approval in April to Park City Mountain Resort’s plans to upgrade some of its chairlifts, the decision was formally appealed by a group of residents. The planning commission will hear that appeal Wednesday. It’s listed on the agenda as an action item, which means the commission can vote to uphold or deny the appeal.

PCMR wants to replace its Silverlode chair with an eight-pack lift and make the Eagle and Eaglet Lifts one six-person chair. PCMR has said that will reduce crowding by moving more people to the top of the mountain faster than before.

Park City Planning Director Gretchen Milliken says the chairlift upgrades are approved administratively because of a 1998 development agreement between the resort and the city. That agreement says that lift upgrades that fall under the resort’s mountain upgrade plan are to be approved administratively, as opposed to being voted on by the planning commission.

The appeal argues the upgrade project does not meet the necessary requirements for administrative approval in the city’s code. The appeal seeks to have the project voted on by the planning commission, which is an appointed board made up of residents, instead of city employees.

The appeal also says the resort’s parking mitigation plans are insufficient, and that PCMR has not shown how future paid parking will coordinate with off-site parking and prevent spillover into residential neighborhoods. According to the appeal, that violates city code.

According to the city, anyone with standing can appeal Wednesday's decision in Utah's Third District Court.

Also on Wednesday, the planning commission will review an application for a hotel in upper Old Town.

The applicant seeks to convert the Washington School Inn on Park Avenue into a hotel, which would enable it to host small events and guests of guests as part of its operations.

The inn is currently classified as a bed and breakfast, but its owner wants it to be a “minor hotel.” According to a staff report, the applicant does not plan to increase the number of rooms at the property.

Public feedback for the proposal has raised concerns about parking, events, and delivery services. Some people fear that allowing events at the property will produce unwanted noise, parking, and trash issues on the street. One letter to the city was signed by 28 residents on Woodside and Park Avenues.

Wednesday’s planning commission meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the Park City Council Chambers at City Hall on Marsac Avenue, as well as streamed online. A link to the full agenda and how to participate can be found here.