City Hall, weary, moves against three Main Street construction sites
March 4, 2014
The Park City Building Department in the past two weeks has ordered three Main Street construction sites to temporarily shut down, evidence of City Hall’s increasing weariness with the amount of work along the street.
Chad Root, the chief building official, said stop-work orders were issued at 562 Main St., 692 Main St. and 632 Main St. The orders at 692 Main St. and 562 Main St. were lifted the next day, but the situation will be reassessed at both sites on Friday. The order at 632 Main St. — the building widely known as the Silver Queen Hotel — remains in place.
The actions were taken amid a widening discussion about the impacts of a series of construction projects lining Main Street — both large and small. There have been complaints from Main Street businesses that the construction is hurting sales.
"I think the message is clear as it’s ever been . . . The message is that as far as any construction on Main, they need to comply with a construction-mitigation plan or be shut down, or not do business," Root said.
A construction-mitigation plan is a document that outlines the steps a crew will take to ensure that a construction site does not have significant impacts on surrounding properties.
According to Root, the stop-work order was issued to 562 Main St., next to the walkway between Main Street and Swede Alley where a sculpture of a bear on a bench sits, based on the look of the site. He said the crew was supposed to put interpretive signs and historic photos on the construction fence to make it look more attractive.
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At 632 Main St., Root said, the project is at a standstill. He said the building is dangerous, and bricks or rocks could fall from the top of the building. Root said a covered walkway was to be installed, but it never was. He said City Hall could step in through an abatement process to make the site safe. If that occurs, officials would have covered walkways built on the Main Street and Heber Avenue sides of the building.
The 692 Main St. site, meanwhile, was not following its construction-mitigation plan, Root said. Interpretive signs were not posted and decorations were not put on the fence, he said. Root also said the construction site is missing some of the lights that are required.
"It’s really frustrating, actually. How so? This is an agreement with the contractors," Root said.
The stop-work orders were issued as emotions ran high at another construction site on Main Street — building once known as the Main Street Mall. Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council last week heard from businesses close to the site that the project was hurting sales as people, confronted with the large construction site, have not been venturing past the location as they head uphill.
The elected officials on Thursday are scheduled to continue their discussion about construction on Main Street with a focus on the site where the mall once stood. Fifteen minutes are set aside for the discussion starting at 5:35 p.m.