The Park City Planning Commission is having a work session Wednesday to parse through an upcoming development that’s part of the original Deer Valley master planned development approval. The 40-acre, 15-unit subdivision is called “Hunstman Estates.”
Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson says the original development had 30 approved units on the site. That was reduced to 15 when Jon Huntsman Sr. bought the parcel in 1987 and built a house and garage up there. That property, and the 14 units that remain, will be accessed by Royal Street. Because there’s 30 years of history behind the development, Erickson said the planning department wanted to workshop the application.
“The planners decided it was a good idea to have an early work session and just let the public know what's going on, rather than getting too far through that,” Erickson said.
The home located there currently is 22,000 square feet. Under the development agreement, the parcel does not have a maximum house size limit. However, the staff report says the planning commission can determine a maximum size to make the homes compatible with surrounding neighborhoods. Homes in adjacent neighborhoods have an average of 7,000 square feet.
The Park City Council has had discussions recently about home sizes, and the impact large homes have on the environment as well as the staffing required to maintain the home. Erickson says it’s a philosophical issue.
“If you were gonna take the contrarian view, in terms of the amount of workforce services, if you had a 10,000-square-foot house or four 2,000-square-foot houses, who has the most driveway to clear?" Erickson said. "There's some broad, conceptual issues that need to be worked through on this one, and it's not a simple problem.”
The area is heavily forested, and a couple of trails run nearby. Erickson says the planning department recommends a forest health study and to balance protection of vegetation with wildfire prevention.
“Back in the day, we used to save every tree, and you could only cut down a tree within, like, two feet of your house," Erickson said. "That's not really good for a wildland fire and not good decision making for the health of the tree, so we're trying to grow up here a little bit and do good wildland fire and good tree health.”
The Park City Planning Commission’s work session is open to the public and starts Wednesday 5:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building.