City Council sides with developer in long-running dispute in Deer Valley | ParkRecord.com

City Council sides with developer in long-running dispute in Deer Valley

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

A developer in Deer Valley has fended off a challenge to the project’s timeline, convincing the Park City Council to extend a permit until mid-2012 in the face of opposition from someone who lives in the vicinity.

The City Council at a recent meeting did not spend an extensive amount of time discussing the issue before siding with the developers of a project known as North Silver Lake. The elected officials supported a lower panel’s decision and a determination by City Hall staffers to extend the permit.

Lisa Wilson, who lives nearby the site, had challenged the extension at both levels. Wilson is a longtime critic of the North Silver Lake project. There has not been apparent widespread interest among Parkites in the issue.

The City Council supported the Park City Planning Commission’s decision to extend the permit until July 1, 2012. The permit would have expired on July 1 of this year had the extension not been granted. If the permit expires, the developers would be required to wind their way through another lengthy City Hall process to secure another one.

The elected officials at the recent meeting limited the scope of the discussion to the timeline of the project, rejecting a desire of Wilson’s side to review the project more broadly. Wilson has criticized City Hall’s calculations of the land that will be left undeveloped in the project, and her side wanted to broach that topic during the meeting before being told the City Council would not do so.

Wilson claimed "very clever developers" had taken ski runs into account when calculating the amount of land that would be left open.

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A few other people spoke in opposition to the project.

The City Council, though, cast a unanimous vote rejecting Wilson’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s decision granting the extension. The Planning Commission had also cast a unanimous vote, 3-0, as it rejected Wilson’s arguments against an extension.

The North Silver Lake land is located close to the Evergreen and Bellemont neighborhoods. The developer, a Los Angeles firm known as Regent Properties, holds an approval for a project encompassing 54 units, a mix of houses and condominiums.

Work had previously commenced at the site, but the progress was later halted as the recession wore on. Construction crews by that time had already conducted extensive excavation, leaving a large hole in the ground when the work was stopped.

Richard Lichtenstein, a Regent Properties representative, said in an interview after the City Council decision the excavated site has been partially refilled with soil. The site has been replanted with grass and trees, he said.

Lichtenstein said the timeline for the development will be based on market conditions. The schedule likely will not be set until the middle of 2012, he said. He indicated the developer could ask for another extension of the permit after the July 1, 2012 deadline that the City Council approved.

Wilson said in an interview after the decision she does not plan to challenge the decision in court as of now. She said she would consider filing a lawsuit, though, if construction appears imminent.

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