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Old Town meetings are scheduled

City Hall has scheduled a series of meetings to discuss the highly charged idea to revise the development guidelines in Old Town, providing at least three more chances through the middle of August for people to monitor the discussions.

The schedule:

July 23 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 205 of the Park City Library and Education Center. The Planning Commission is scheduled to debate the rules during what is known as a work session. The panel normally does not take extensive public input during work sessions, and it is unclear whether the July 23 work session will be different.

Aug. 7 in the same room. The Park City Council and the Planning Commission are scheduled to meet in a rare session involving both panels. The time had not been set by the end of the week.

Aug. 13 in the same room. The Planning Commission is scheduled to hold another discussion during a work session.

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The Planning Department expects additional meetings will be scheduled later.

The first of the upcoming meetings will follow a week after City Hall held two open houses, one for Old Town neighbors and one for architects and house designers. The well-attended open houses drew a split audience that showed there remains a rift between the sides.

The house designers and architects claim the Old Town guidelines are restrictive and do not allow them to put up the sort of houses their clients desire. There has been significant discussion about restrictions on the size of additions to historic houses.

Some neighbors, though, worry about larger houses and additions overwhelming the neighborhood.

Revisions to the guidelines would likely not be adopted for months, with the City Council having to wait for actions by lower panels like the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Board.

For more information, contact the Planning Department at 615-5061. Copies of the guidelines are available from the department.

Construction continues to lag ’07

Park City’s construction industry through the first half of 2008 trailed the numbers posted through the same period the previous year, the Park City Building Department reports.

According to the Building Department, the industry amassed about $109.3 million worth of construction through the end of June. Through the same period in 2007, the record year, about $128.7 million had been permitted.

Ron Ivie, the chief building official, says permits for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association’s Center of Excellence training center at Quinn’s Junction and a Park City Mountain Resort ski lift propped up the June figures.

The Building Department says about $16.9 million in construction received permits in June. Three houses valued at about $2.1 combined and two commercial buildings, with a combined value of about $4.3 million received permits.

Alterations and additions accounted for almost $4.2 million.

The monthly value in June outpaced the pervious month but trailed the same month the year before, when $20.9 million in construction was permitted.

The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed from the previous month and the same month the year before.

Building inspectors averaged 258 inspections each day in June, more than the previous month and the previous June.

Krista Parry, a PCMR spokeswoman, says the new ski lift, called Crescent, is a high-speed, four-person lift. It will run from the PCMR base area to a point on Crescent Ridge, a part of the resort that is popularly known as Ski Team Ridge.

The resort plans to debut the lift for the 2008-2009 season, and it will provide access to seven existing lifts. Crescent will replace the Ski Team lift. The older lift will be dismantled.

The construction industry remains solid even as the Park City area suffers a downturn in the housing market. The industry has set two consecutive records, with the 2007 standard being $239.7 million.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger

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