In shake-up, three newcomers appointed to Park City Planning Commission
November 26, 2013
The Park City Council last week appointed three people to the Planning Commission, opting to put newcomers on the influential panel instead of retaining two incumbents who were seeking another term.
The three are Preston Campbell, Steve Joyce and John Phillips. They take their seats in January for terms that expire in July of 2017. The City Council did not appoint two sitting Planning Commissioners — Charlie Wintzer and Brooke Hontz — who had applied for new terms. The term of Mayor-elect Jack Thomas also ends in late-2013, and the third appointment will serve as a replacement for Thomas.
The City Council essentially shook up the seven-member Planning Commission with the appointments. It is unusual for three new people to join the panel at one time.
In a report to the City Council prior to the appointment vote, meanwhile, City Hall indicated another member of the Planning Commission, Mick Savage, has tendered his resignation. His term expires in 2014, and officials plan to select a replacement in January. Once that occurs, a majority of the Planning Commission — four out of the seven members — will be new to the panel.
The Planning Commission ranks second in influence to the City Council of City Hall’s panels. The Planning Commission has a key role in growth and development matters. It has the authority to approve or reject many categories of development applications. It also has a critical role as City Hall makes changes to crucial documents like the growth-guiding General Plan and the Land Management Code, which details Park City’s development rules.
The City Council chose the three from a list of 10 people who sought appointment, including the two incumbents.
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Liza Simpson, a City Councilor, said in an interview the 10 were qualified. The City Council was interested the Planning Commission candidates’ ability to press ahead with changes to Land Management Code that will stem from a redone General Plan.
"This is in no way a negative reflection on Charlie’s tenure or Brooke’s tenure or their years of service," Simpson said, adding, "They’ve both done a fabulous job."
Highlights from the applications of the three appointees include:
"Dealing with major developments . . . all can dramatically change the culture and livability of town. Transfer density. Limit master plan time frames in the future. Find solutions that don’t add lots of cars. Concentrate on historic look and feel," Joyce said.
"I am convinced that having someone who has been on the other side of the table sit with them for a change will help the Commission view complex issues more fairly," Campbell said.
Issues Campbell sees as important include affordable housing, transportation and open space. He said he wants people who work in Park City to be able to live in the city. He said he does not want a "haven for the ‘haves’ while the ‘have nots’ are forced to commute from ever further worker colonies."
Issues of importance to Phillips include the General Plan, preservation and balancing the needs of full-time Parkites and visitors.
"It is important to preserve the essence of our historic structures as opposed to preserving their floor boards and rotting timbers. Where it is reasonable to preserve existing structures, I do believe that is important, but what I value more is preserving the vision of a structure," he said.