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Two-day Park City Council retreat starts at the library Thursday

The Park City Library.
Parker Malatesta
The Park City Library.

The Park City Council will meet for its two-day retreat Thursday and Friday at the Park City Library. Topics include a deep dive on transportation and sustainability programs.

Thursday’s meeting will begin with a vote on a contract that could begin a study of the city-owned land at Kearns Blvd. and Bonanza Dr. that was previously envisioned as an arts and culture district.

The council will then discuss results from the recent National Community Survey, which include much higher participation than past years, but more dissatisfaction with some aspects of Park City life.

Also scheduled is a work session on community priorities, which are used to guide the city’s budget and projects. The four priorities the city currently uses are equity, environment, housing, and transportation.

After lunch, the council is set to hold an over three-hour meeting on transportation strategy and planning.

Park City Manager Matt Dias said that discussion will focus on trying to find consensus on key questions.

“Something like traffic — how are we going to approach traffic? Are we going to try to solve for all people all of the time, which is nearly impossible? Are we going to prioritize residents? Are we going to prioritize our workforce? Are we going to elevate moving visitors in and out?

"The hardest question is, we can’t solve for all people at all the time and remain effective, and so we’re going to have to make some hard choices down the road,” Dias said.

Friday’s meeting will begin with a briefing on sustainability, focused on the city’s efforts to run on net-100% renewable electricity by 2030.

That will be followed by a briefing on a trip a Park City delegation, which included Mayor Nann Worel, took to sister city Courchevel, France in early February.

Later the council has time set aside for a workshop on regulations involving international workers and rental properties around Park City.

Dias said that discussion came at the request of Worel amid worries about overcrowding in living situations, particularly among foreign workers on J-1 visas working at local resorts and other businesses for the winter season.

That portion of the meeting will be led by Dave Thacker, the city’s chief building official, and will address what the city has authority to change.

“Currently, we do license short-term rentals and we do not license long-term rentals," Dias said.

"Conventional wisdom has been we’ve been trying to ensure and reduce any barriers to long-term rental housing in our community. And I think there has been conventional wisdom that the more checks and balances and regulation you put into that, perhaps the less likely people are to offer their rental unit for a long-term basis.”

He said representatives from local nonprofits and ski resorts have been invited to join that discussion.

The meetings on Thursday and Friday both start at 9 a.m., and will be held in the community room on the third floor of the Park City Library. The public is invited to attend.

The agendas and a link to attend virtually can be found here.