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Park City Council to revisit affordable housing goals

Other items on the Park City Council agenda Thursday include paid parking in Old Town and upgrades at the MARC.
Other items on the Park City Council agenda Thursday include paid parking in Old Town and upgrades at the MARC.

How much affordable housing does Park City need? That’ll be the topic of discussion at Thursday’s city council meeting.

In 2016 the Park City Council set a goal to build 800 new affordable housing units by 2026.

The city is on pace to have nearly 700 units completed by then, in addition to another 200 units that are expected to be entitled or under construction.

Park City Manager Matt Dias said it’s now time to set a new goal.

“Not everyone can live here, and I don’t mean that to be pejorative or flippant,” Dias said. “It is a very difficult place to live. The lack of affordability is a serious concern for the municipality, hiring law enforcement officers and building inspectors and plow drivers. It’s become an issue for us. We know it’s an issue for many of the small businesses and the large employers in town."

Park City is the only city in Utah that has a workforce (11,000) larger than its population (8,500). It’s estimated that over 8,000 local workers, with an average salary less than $40,000, commute from outside Summit County to Park City jobs.

The average rent in city limits is nearly $2,000 a month, leaving many workers priced out. Park City also leads the state with 44% of existing housing listed as short-term rentals, like Airbnb and VRBO.

Along with setting new housing goals, the council will also review the lite-deed program Thursday, which incentivizes property owners to house primary residents instead of short-term renters.

Earlier in the meeting will be a discussion about paid parking in Old Town. The Historic Park City Alliance, which represents Main Street businesses, is requesting a free parking “holiday” at the China Bridge Garage from mid-April through the end of May. It’s an effort to combat a water main project that will heavily impact traffic on Main Street during that period.

Thursday’s meeting begins at city hall at 3:45 p.m. The agenda and a link to attend virtually can be found here.

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