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Attorney put on Planning Commission

Park City Councilors appointed an attorney to the city’s Planning Commission Thursday night, putting Adam Strachan on to replace a former chairman of the influential panel who resigned displeased with City Hall’s growth policies.

Strachan lives in Prospector and works in a Main Street law firm. The elected officials did not discuss the appointment at length in a public setting before Thursday’s decision. The City Councilors typically debate appointments in closed-door sessions before announcing a decision.

His term is for four years. The Planning Commission next meets on Wednesday. Two work force housing projects at 2060 Park Ave. and 100 Marsac Ave. highlight the agenda.

Strachan takes Michael O’Hara’s former seat on the Planning Commission. O’Hara resigned in April. He was especially displeased with the proposed Park City Heights development at Quinn’s Junction, saying it encompassed too many units.

The City Councilors continue to consider the project. The land must be annexed into the city limits before the developers can pursue what they envision as a mix of market-priced units and work force housing.

Strachan, who did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment, arrives on the Planning Commission as the panel continues to grapple with growth.

The Planning Commissioners in coming months are expected to consider high-profile development requests like the Sweeney family’s Treasure Hill on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort. During his term, there is also a likelihood Deer Valley Resort will start talks with City Hall about a long-planned development on what are now the Snow Park Lodge parking lots.

Strachan, who is in his early 30s, said in his application for the Planning Commission he has lived in Park City for parts of the last 20 years, including the last two. He served on a City Hall committee that considered which pedestrian and bicyclist improvements should be funded with money from a voter-authorized bond. The committee met last winter, and the City Council on Thursday night, as it approved the municipal budget, endorsed a range of improvements.

He also said he is a member of the board of directors of the Main Street Business Alliance, a merchant group.

In his application, Strachan lists the amount of development, open space and work force housing, which he labels "low income housing," as important issues for the Planning Commission.

Some of his opinions, described in the application, include:

He is concerned Park City "will become densely developed in the wrong areas." He said places that are not already highly developed "should not change. Or at least not charge drastically." Land seen as potential open space "should not be considered for development, dense or otherwise, until the possibility of open space designation is eliminated."

Strachan said in the application there is not enough work force housing offered in Park City. He said the housing should be "interspersed within current city limits," and developers should finance the housing. "Many small low income housing developments, instead of a single large one, is the best approach in my view," he said.


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