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Park City addresses long-term housing needs with a $1M pilot program

Park City affordable housing condominiums
Park City Municipal
Park City affordable housing condominiums

Park City is looking for people to help solve the area’s housing crisis.

The Park City Council committed $1 million to fund a pilot housing program they hope will improve long-term rental inventory. The mayor and city council will select five Park City residents or employees to sit on the Live Park City Advisory Committee. The committee will help determine Park City properties that can participate in the program.

Browne Sebright is Park City's housing program manager. He says over the next year, the committee will receive applications from folks who have a home or property in Park City who are interested in what the city calls a "lite deed" on the property. "That deed will essentially restrict the ownership or rental of the property for long-term residents," Sebright said, "which is to prohibit nightly rentals on them voluntarily in exchange for a cash payment."

Sebright said six people have applied for the advisory board, but they hope to get more by the August 5 deadline. Eligible advisory board candidates must live or work in Park City limits.

"And we're specifically looking for folks who have backgrounds in land use, affordable housing development, financing, or local lending and banking experience."

Sebright said many mountain towns face long-term housing shortages. Sixty-five to 70% of Park City's housing stock is short-term, nightly rentals.

"The goal of this program is to keep units occupied year-round, whether that person who's been in the community for a long time or renters and bringing more long-term housing options onto the market for these neighborhoods," Sebright said. "Our percentage of full-time residents is declining slightly over time. And so, this program is one tool of many that can help promote more year-round residents in our existing housing stock."

Sebright said the advisory committee members must be readily available to evaluate properties within Park City limits and negotiate offers to homeowners who apply for city funds.

"We don't know exactly how many applicants we will be able to fit in under that million-dollar amount. We're guessing somewhere in the range of a dozen or so properties, maybe more, maybe less," Sebright said. He added the advisory committee will receive the applications, review them for consistency with the program, evaluate the value of the property, and determine how much money is appropriate to offer in exchange for a deed restriction program.

Paying property owners for a lite deed restriction is done throughout resort towns in the Mountain West. Park City modeled the pilot program after the town of Vail, Colorado.

"It's going to be a one-time payment, 10 to 20% of the value of the property, depending on location," Sebright said. "The deed restriction will be in perpetuity for all time. So, it'll be between the city and the property owner, recorded against the property at the county, and it will be in effect in perpetuity." 

For more details, see the program guidelines and application to join the advisory committee. The deadline is August 5.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.