The Park City Planning Department, leading the efforts to redo a key City Hall document known as the General Plan, acknowledged recently it has fallen behind schedule.
In a memo submitted to Mayor Dana Williams, the Park City Council and top staffers, Planning Director Thomas Eddington said he wants another 3 1/2 months to complete a draft of the redone General Plan.
His department had previously indicated the draft would be ready by Oct. 15.
The General Plan is an overarching document that guides growth inside the Park City limits. City Hall's detailed development rules, though, are not outlined in the General Plan. Another document, called the Land Management Code, includes the detailed rules.
In the memo, Eddington said there has been significant progress on the General Plan, including the research and the analysis. Mapping has also progressed, he said. But staff departures earlier in the summer have "temporarily tightened the Planning Department's ability to stay on this schedule."
Eddington wants the timeline for a draft extended to Jan. 31, 2013. The memo indicates the extra time will allow the Planning Department to recruit staffers to fill the open positions. In the meantime, planners will shift their focus from the work on the General Plan to handling applications.
"This is necessary to provide the level of customer service that is expected," he said in the memo.
A timeline attached to the memo outlines a General Plan timeline between January 2012 and March 2013. Some of the key target dates include:
The Planning Department has shifted resources to the General Plan work, saying the redone document is critical in designing a growth strategy for City Hall. Leaders last overhauled the General Plan in steps over a five-year period between 1997 and 2002.
Officials have held open houses and meetings about the General Plan redo, attracting crowds various sizes. There has not appeared to be widespread public interest in the process in some time, though.
Katie Cattan, a City Hall planner heavily involved in the General Plan work, said in an interview the document will address a wide range of topics on the neighborhood and regional levels. She said the focus will be on Park City, but the General Plan will include goals to work regionally with Summit County and Wasatch County as growth issues are addressed.
Park City leaders have long seen growth in Summit County and Wasatch County as having impacts on the city itself. Traffic and the sort of developments approved by the other governments are some of the trends City Hall has monitored.
In a separate timeline provided to the elected officials, the Planning Department envisions finalizing a blueprint for the redevelopment of the Bonanza Park district in December.
The Bonanza Park district is centered between Bonanza Drive, Kearns Boulevard and Park Avenue. A major landowner in the district wants to reshape the district with a mix of new residential and commercial properties.
The Bonanza Park timeline outlined in the memo includes an October target for the blueprints to be presented to the Planning Commission followed the next month by another meeting of the panel about the topic. The City Council would adopt the document in December under the timeline.
The Bonanza Park document will outline growth ideas for the district, but it will not involve the approval of any developments themselves. The memo indicates a consultant involved in the Bonanza Park process is tentatively scheduled to make a presentation to the Planning Commission on Oct. 24.
City Hall officials and the major landowner in Bonanza Park, Mark J. Fischer, see numerous benefits to the community through a redevelopment of the district. It seems the figures involved desire housing options in a range of prices and commercial square footage. There also appears to be an interest in reworking the road system in Bonanza Park into one that relies on a grid.
The Planning Department sets aside time from its daily workload to focus on long-range issues like the General Plan. The long-range focus came amid a downturn in development activity during the recession that normally would have occupied the department's time. There are indications there could be a pickup in development activity, but it is unlikely it will reach pre-recession levels in the near future.