The Claim Jumper building on Main Street, shown in 2010, has sat vacant most of the time since the recession. It is perhaps the highest profile vacant
The Claim Jumper building on Main Street, shown in 2010, has sat vacant most of the time since the recession. It is perhaps the highest profile vacant building on the street. Main Street leaders recently considered a package of recommendations to more tightly regulate vacant buildings but did not endorse them. Park Record file photo

Main Street leaders recently considered but ultimately declined to endorse a package of recommendations to City Hall that would have asked the municipal government to more tightly regulate buildings that are vacant or are under construction along the popular shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

The Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents businesses on or close to Main Street, has been monitoring the construction situation and, before the uptick in work recently, the number buildings that sat vacant during the depths of the recession.

The board of trustees of the group, though, decided not to forward the package of regulations to City Hall, indicating that it is a private sector matter, according to the executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance.

Butz said the 15-member board of trustees did not cast a vote on the recommendations after comments during a discussion showed that the package would not have the support it needed. She said the board of trustees deemed the recommendations for further regulation inappropriate for a government body to adopt.

Some of the ideas in the recommendations included:

  • encouraging developers to progress on projects as fast as possible

  • asking City Hall to enact a requirement that building owners keep the lights and heat on when the properties are vacant

  • asking that historic photos or other displays be placed in windows of a vacant building

  • asking City Hall to enact a rule requiring that a building not be vacant for more than one year

    "The board was not comfortable with bringing these ideas to the city. It's a free market. A lot of things are driven by the market," Alison Butz, the group's executive director, said in an interview.

    Butz said, though, the board of trustees desires more of a role as plans are drafted to reduce the impact of construction projects on Main Street, known as construction mitigation plans. City Hall must approve plans submitted by a construction crew.

    Butz said the Historic Park City Alliance plans to speak with the Park City Building Department, which regulates construction projects, and property owners to address issues like the closure of sidewalks, dust and noise.

    The Historic Park City Alliance in November plans to draft a statement outlining a philosophy toward construction projects. It will be the official stand of the organization and is seen as being the alternative to asking City Hall to enact regulations.

    The discussions by the Historic Park City Alliance come at a time of extraordinary private sector investment along Main Street. Major and minor projects are underway up and down the street in what many see as evidence of Park City's strong emergence from the depths of the recession. During the downturn, some high-profile Main Street buildings sat vacant in what were perhaps the most visible signs of the recession's effects on Park City.

    Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council last week received a briefing about a construction boom along Main Street. The chief building official at City Hall provided an update about a series of projects, including their timelines. City Councilor Cindy Matsumoto was particularly interested in the number of projects under construction.