(1) Bonanza Park, long seen as utilitarian, could someday be remade into an upscale district of shops, restaurants and residences. Please discuss your vision for the redevelopment of Bonanza Park, particularly in the context of Park City's existing commercial hubs like Main Street. What sort of role may City Hall play in reaching that vision?
Bonanza Park has great potential for redevelopment, albeit not upscale. It gives us the opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper. The original concept was and is to be more of a locals community where housing, retail and commercial spaces would provide its residents with a place to live, work and hang out without having to get in their cars. We've discussed form based code and how that would provide a template for growth with much less room for interpretation than our Current Land Management Code which has been described as "it depends". Our visioning consultant told us that any developer could find enough contradictions in the LMC to build just about anything. In an organic way Main Street is form based code. And it works. The City Planning Department and Planning Commission are already involved in early concept plans. Hypothetical outrageous ideas (eight story buildings? condos on the golf course? really?) were discussed, made us think and were rejected. Not gonna happen! That typified how a public process will be followed every step of the way to help us plan Bonanza Park to fulfill that original vision of another place besides Main Street for locals.
(2) An agreement has yet to be reached in the long-running discussions about the Treasure development on a hillside overlooking Old Town. Please outline what you see as being the best solution for the Treasure land. If you envision some of the development rights at the Treasure site being transferred elsewhere, please identify the location.
We can't lose sight of the vested rights agreement where part of the density of the Treasure development was transferred down into Creole Gulch in return for the open space we all cherish. Just try to imagine single family homes dotting that hillside. Now we have to deliver on our side of the bargain. The question is what's the payment? Over the past 30 years there have been many iterations of what might be developed. Disputes arose about the size of those vested rights and the City has chosen to take a facilitator's role in negotiations between private parties to potentially move some or all of the density. We passed a TDR ordinance to provide a means to mitigate the size and visual impact of any project. Receiving Areas in the current ordinance have been identified in the Deer Valley Snow Park parking lots, Snow Creek commercial area and Bonanza Park. These are not necessarily the best choices and could be expanded to other parcels depending on location and appropriateness. As different scenarios go forward they will be scrutinized in a public process to gather the information needed to make the best possible decisions for the best project possible.
(3) Main Street is enjoying a renewed round of City Hall investment, funded by a voter-approved increase in sales taxes, as the street tries to remain competitive with outlying business districts. How crucial is the public investment to the future of Main Street and why? If you support the continuing investment, please identify one project not already planned you want pursued. If not, please explain why.
Main Street is critical to the long term success of Park City. I've always described our economy as a three legged stool: Deer Valley, PCMR and Main Street. The ski resorts are private enterprises and must continually re invest their resources to ensure their continued success. Main Street is different. They are a collection of small businesses that contribute significant dollars in sales tax and property tax to the city. Stagnation is not an option. The street must remain vibrant and fresh if we are going to continue to distinguish ourselves from other ski towns and resorts.
The City does have an important role to invest in Main Street's success. The voters agreed and passed the Resort Cities Sales Tax increase to be spent on open space, infrastructure and Main Street improvements. With the significant involvement of the Main Street businesses the City has put together an improvement plan to be accomplished over the next five years which will help the Street maintain its competitive edge. It is a very comprehensive and ambitious plan that I completely support. The last large element is the Brew Pub Plaza and I want to see it planned for its highest and best use.
(4) City Hall's financial situation appears greatly improved from the lowest points of the recession, buoyed by strong sales taxes and an uptick in development since then. Please outline a fiscal strategy for the municipal government that you see as ensuring continued strength. In your answer, please discuss the prospects of a property-tax increase in the next four years.
FISCAL responsibility has been the hallmark of our budgeting. We continued the 20 + year streak of no property tax increase, while maintaining Levels of Service during the economic downturn. Carefully matching income and expense projections is a core value of our financial philosophy. The State Legislature approved a change this year to allow cities to increase their General Fund Reserve from 18% to 25%. As in the past we are committed to growing our reserve and maintaining it at the permissible limit. Several years ago we embarked on a new way of budgeting called Budgeting for Outcomes (BFO). This provides us with data to align our priorities with what we are willing to spend. We use our desired outcomes to evaluate economic impact, environmental impact, social equity impact and if we are responsive and transparent in our decision making process. And, while other municipalities were forced to implement versions of BFO as a means to cut budgets in the downturn we had the foresight to learn and implement it while not under pressure. We used it during the last budget cycle and as staff becomes more familiar with it we will continue to make better informed budget decisions.
(5) Sometime during the next four years, City Hall and the wider Park City community could be asked to support another bid for a Winter Olympics. Would you want Park City to have a similar role in a future Olympics as it had in 2002? If not, would you like Park City to have a greater role or a lesser one? Please explain.
Park City's role in the 2002 Olympics put us front and center on the world stage. I remember being out of town for a couple of days and watching the television images of the Motherlode Canyon Band playing on Main Street showing the world that Park City knows how to throw a party.
Our role was right for the time. As a result we have great venues in place and with the cost of Olympic games going higher ever higher we are a serious contender should we choose to be one. Adding the Downhill event to our events is a change that I think would enhance the spectator experience. That decision is years away and much could happen between now and then. We have the opportunity to determine if our Visioning values are consistent with hosting the games. As with every major decision with large impacts City Council and Planners would have to evaluate the true value of supporting a Winter Olympics bid.
(6) Park City's economy has performed well in the years since the depths of the recession, appearing to outpace much of the rest of the state and the country. Please offer a hypothesis explaining the success of the past four years. Identify one economic development policy or program you would pursue at the start of the next City Council term.
Sales and Property Taxes are a good indicator of Park City's economic performance. Since 2009, Park City's General Property Tax (excluding voter approved bonded debt increases) has increased by 48% from $6,415,000 to $9,476,000. Much of this has been the result of final development of Empire Pass (the Montage, etc.) as well as continued steady growth throughout town. Over the same time period Sales taxes have increased 27% from roughly $11,000,000 per year to $14,000,000 per year. These figures do not include the future impact of the recently enacted voter approved .5% increase in resort city sales taxes. The outstanding performance of our Chamber of Commerce in promoting Park City, the top of the list ranking of our three local ski areas, and the increased emphasis on shoulder season event activities have all contributed to the growth. We are focused on what we do best, and that is our tourism business. New economic development opportunities such as High Altitude Training to reduce our dependence on winter sports due to climate conditions are being pursued, but for now, our bread and butter is still tourism, and we continue to do that very well.
(7) Development in Old Town continues to confound decades after past leaders pledged to preserve Park City's history. The size of houses in the neighborhood has been a contentious point as has been the municipal process allowing old structures to be torn down. Why has it been so difficult for City Hall to balance preservation with growth in Old Town? Are you pleased with the processes now in place? If so, please explain. If not, please describe a new one you would support.
Development in Old Town continues to confound because there are so many different opinions about what is appropriate for the Old Town neighborhoods. Why is this so difficult? Because the concepts of preservation and growth are naturally in opposition with each other.
Traffic and density were of great concern to Old Town residents in the mid 90's (and still are), and the code was modified to encourage lot combinations to reduce the overall density. This brought larger houses that were out of proportion to the neighborhood. Steep slope development created cross valley views of five story facades. The 2009 Land Management Code changes addressed these issues. The City has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in trying to improve the classification, cataloging and administration of the demolition process and historic guidelines because of our desire to keep the historic charm. The processes in place can never be perfect, but the General Plan and Land Management Codes are not meant to be static, but to evolve with the community and will provide us with the tools we need adjust to the result of principles being put into practice .
(8) Park City leaders have long been proud that a middle class has thrived in the city even as it seems expensive real estate prices coupled with scattered job prospects would suggest otherwise. Please identify one program or policy that you would introduce meant to ensure the continued success of Park City's middle class.
We recently completed a Joint City Council Planning Commission meeting where we learned that we are actually doing pretty well in continuing to provide affordable workforce housing. The same is not true for our middle class residents. The unaddressed need is our middle class. Mid six figure homes are not within reach for growing families. It is not a problem that is easily fixed and government subsidies are not the answer. We are actively addressing that need. The cohousing project on Park Avenue and Park City Heights will begin to fill that niche. Bonanza Park has the opportunity to provide a true neighborhood where locals can afford to live and small business owners can thrive by providing goods and services to residents. Prohibiting nightly rentals would diminish appeal to investors that would help maintain reasonable market rate homes. Successful planning for this need will fulfill our vision to retain our sense of community.
(9) Please differentiate yourself from your opponents.
Attending Planning Commission and City Council meetings for 2 years prior to running prepared me for City Council. The decisions we make require the context of all sides of an issue and understanding its history. Representing Park City at the State Legislature, on the Utah Building Code Commission, the Utah Quality Growth Commission and as a Board Member of the Utah League of Cities and Towns places us in a prominent position to influence our future. For example, the League was a crucial part of our victory over spot zoning a movie studio that would have had NO land use control on size and scale impacts. The significant relationships I've forged as Council Liaison to the Planning Commission, Historic Park City Alliance and the Public Art Advisory Board as well as collaborating with the County on regional issues like the MIDA project at Quinn's and smart Economic Development ensure our success. I have actively participated in the implementation of a vision. Walkability was the vision of two residents who got a bond passed to fund neighborhood connectivity. I was a member of the WALC Committee that recommended projects that were hugely successful; tunnels under Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard among others. I understand that the visioning values are to be used as a lens through which all future decisions will be viewed. It's what I've done for the past four years and what I will continue to do for the next four years with your vote on November 5th.