Builder takes a seat on Planning
December 12, 2007
Dick Peek lives and often works on the other side of Park City from Quinn’s Junction.
But the inbound traffic from the U.S. 40-S.R. 248 intersection, which empties drivers into Prospector before they then fan out across the city, is worrisome to him nonetheless.
And developers have hardly started building at Quinn’s Junction, the preferred entryway to Park City for commuters from the East Side of Summit County and Wasatch County.
Peek, a newly appointed member of the Park City Planning Commission, will help guide growth at Quinn’s Junction, and he sees the intersection as being critical to the panel’s upcoming work.
"It’s changing an undeveloped area that is rapidly going to build out," says Peek, who will take office on Wednesday with developer Rory Murphy, another incoming Planning Commissioner. "People are going to see the changes quickly."
For much of the last 20 years, developers were more interested in the S.R. 224 corridor between Kimball Junction and Park City. But as land became scarce along the busier route into the city, speculators turned their eyes toward S.R. 248 and Quinn’s Junction, with its vast, generally level acreage.
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An Intermountain Healthcare hospital is under construction, the U.S. Ski Team plans to relocate its national headquarters nearby and landowners want to build significant residential development near Quinn’s Junction.
Meanwhile, there is talk of a major work force housing project there and a huge satellite parking lot, meant to cut traffic into Park City on S.R. 248.
Peek is intrigued by the park-and-ride lot and says it must be a convenient option for it to be popular with workers. He says he is interested in how a lot would influence traffic, how personal safety will be protected at such an outlying lot and where snow will be stored.
"If a worker finds it less of a hassle to park and ride, they’ll use it," Peek says, adding that more transit options, such as from the private sector, could serve Quinn’s Junction beneficially someday.
Peek, who is 50 years old and has lived in Park City most of the last 26 years, is a general contractor and once served on City Hall’s now-defunct Historic District Commission, a panel that held some powers over building designs in Old Town and was replaced by a similar group known as the Historic Preservation Board.
He is one of three brothers who work in the area, with Tom Peek being a real estate agent and Bob Peek running a house-painting contractor. Peek says he does not foresee conflicts of interests.
He lives in Park Meadows after living in Old Town for about 12 years.
Peek worries about Parkites one day leaving the city because they find it lacks the atmosphere that attracted them.
"If the local residents don’t find this a good, healthy, safe place to live and start moving away, that’s unfortunate," Peek says.
He recalls two well-publicized decisions that engaged Parkites — Empire Pass and the renovation of the Carl Winters Building into the Park City Library and Education Center. Peek says regular Parkites were influential in the Empire Pass talks, convincing the developer to alter the project.
Peek and Murphy replace Jim Barth and Mark Sletten, who each stepped off the Planning Commission before their terms expired. The terms end in July 2009.
Peek foresees the Planning Commission wrangling about the Sweeney family’s Treasure Hill plans on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort, one of the larger proposals he will likely see as a Planning Commissioner.
Talks stalled months ago, with the Sweeneys reconsidering designs and neighbors on streets like Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue leery of more traffic. The family wants to build the project on a hillside immediately west of Old Town, and the Sweeneys hold longstanding development rights at the site.
Peek says he has not followed the Treasure Hill discussions closely, but he worries about traffic. But Peek also acknowledges the Sweeney blueprints appear to be preferred to a spread-out project on the high-profile hillside.
"The alternative is a sprawling development," he says.