BoPa is the project you never heard of. Our attention as a community has been focused upon the debacle that is the PCMR/Vail lawsuit and the iceberg that now sits at Quinn's Junction (the movie studio). However, BoPa could have a greater long-term effect on Park City than any other project.
BoPa is short for Bonanza Park, the area inside Park Ave., Kearns Blvd, Deer Valley Drive and Bonanza, plus the east side of Bonanza taking in the Fireside Condominiums, Miner's Carwash and the strip malls where El Chubasco, and the old Taco Time restaurants are located. It is a big 99-acre area and is now the subject of a complete zoning rewrite, known as the Form-Based Code that will finally put the City into Park City. To appreciate the scope of this development, it is best to get the entire 93-page plan. It is a very difficult document to read but may be found at parkcity.org. Click on Doing Business, Document Central, Planning, Planning Commission, 2014, 8.16.14 PC Packet Special BOPA Mtg.
So much for making things easily available. To give a quick flavor of what is being proposed, the BoPa area will be crisscrossed with streets to divide the area into about 28 blocks. This includes many new roads with some that will punch through existing structures such as where the Homestake Condos, City Bus Garage, Fresh Market, Windy Ridge and Sports Authority now stand. This will be an area of intensive development of commercial, retail, residential, mixed use, and civic areas.
Development is dense with little space between structures. For example, with full incentives met, Bonanza Drive will be lined with five-story buildings on both sides with little to no space between them and just 5 to10 feet behind the existing sidewalk. Park Avenue and Deer Valley Drive are designated as Resort Gateway and will be built out with hotels, shopping and dining. Buildings will also be required to be tightly packed filling at least 80 percent of the street frontage. The theme is "work, play, live" for locals. Really? This is big-time resort development. Investment on this scale will require a return and that return cannot be had from small, local establishments. It will require national anchor tenants in both retail and food service. Most everything you find in BoPa today will no longer be able to afford it.
At the Planning Commission meeting I attended, the process was being controlled by Scott Polikov, the principle of Gateway Planning, the consultant on this project. I have never seen a consultant so aggressive or so vested in his vision. Gateway Planning is located in Texas and can be found on the Internet at gatewayplanning.com. Their concept is the new urbanism, which is actually, in many respects, a positive vision for creating sustainable urban neighborhoods. But is an urban development that fits well in say Dallas, or Fort Worth, Texas what we want at the center of our town? I would like to keep my views of the mountains, open spaces, and dedicated bike paths. BoPa needs a development plan, but one that is consistent with our vision as outlined in the General Plan. Let me repeat that vision here: small town, sense of community, natural setting, historic character. Let's leave urban densities and tall buildings in the big cities and not bring it to Park City.
Get involved. Talk to your City Council. Demand a full three-dimensional model be built of the proposed BoPa Form Based Code plan with full incentive build-out and that it be placed in the Marsac for us all to see. How about placing flags on poles at the full incentive 5-story height a few feet off Bonanza Drive to see how that feels? Given how much money we have already paid the consultant this is a small additional cost. Do not let this be approved without full community input and involvement.