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Homestake affordable housing project nears planning commission approval

A rendering of the proposed Homestake affordable housing development.
Park City Municipal Corporation
A rendering of the proposed Homestake affordable housing development.

The Park City Planning Commission held a public hearing to review the Homestake affordable housing project Wednesday, and heard from neighbors who weighed in with pros and cons.

The proposed Homestake project would replace the parking lot adjacent to the Kimball Art Center with a 45-foot tall building containing 123 apartments.

80% of those would be affordable and earmarked for people making no more than 60% of the area median income, or AMI. 60% AMI in Summit County is roughly $56,000, according to Mountainlands Community Housing. The remaining would be market-rate, and nightly rentals would be prohibited throughout the property.

The land is owned by Park City Municipal, and the project is a public-private partnership with J Fisher Companies. The developer told the planning commission Wednesday it’s abandoning plans for any commercial use at the site.

During public comment, the commission heard from residents in favor and opposed to the project.

Many who support the project cited the desperate need for affordable housing in Park City, especially for workers.

Those with concerns highlighted the addition of density to the neighborhood, the building’s height, and the loss of parking.

Ronnie Weddig is a member of the Historic Park City Alliance board and works at neighboring Boneyard Saloon.

“I’m in complete support for employee housing, as we employ a number of people and see the need for a more diverse community," Weddig said.

"The issue I bring today is of total occupancy as it relates to the parking there, and as we see there is not enough stalls to accommodate it as it sits now. I currently fight off cars in the parking lot of Boneyard during all seasons of the year.”

He suggested the city instead look to develop affordable housing on the vacant land designated for the arts and culture district.

Park City High School physics teacher Matthew Nagie offered a different take.

“There’s a concern that Boneyard is going to have people using that lot. If it makes anyone feel better, people like me that need affordable housing can’t afford cars," Nagie said.

"So as we’re talking about families growing in this housing and that kind of stuff, we’re not talking about the traditional Park City families that are buying their 16-year-olds BMWs.”

The developer is proposing 125 parking spaces underground, along with six curbside spots. The garage will require permits and will be monitored 24/7. Preliminary plans are to grant one space to each resident.

Jason Glidden is the city’s affordable housing manager.

“The project itself, the location of the project is centrally located near major employment hubs," Glidden said. "It’s very close to transit. It is exactly the kind of properties that we’re looking to identify to build these types of projects.”

Commissioner Sarah Hall called for the developer to include more covered parking, but was generally supportive.

“There are no requested exceptions. No variances for height, setbacks, parking, open space," Hall said.

"I mean it fully complies with the code. Our job here to just to process an application for code compliance. And as presented, it essentially complies, because there’s no requested exceptions.”

Commissioner Bill Johnson wanted to see further analysis of the electromagnetic fields emitted from the adjacent power station. J Fisher is proposing to build an eight- to 10-foot wall in front of the station.

The city plans to renovate Homestake Road in the coming years regardless of the project’s outcome. That would involve building a 12-foot multi use path along the road’s eastern side.

The commission will address the project’s traffic circulation at its meeting on October 26. At that meeting it could forward a positive recommendation to the city council for final approval. Another public hearing will occur on the 26th.

Corrected: October 6, 2022 at 5:17 PM MDT
A previous version of this article had Matthew Nagie's last name written as Nagle.