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Ridge Avenue houses

Developers want to build three houses on a small Old Town street, a project made more difficult because it would be situated on a steep hillside.

A firm called Silver King Resources wants to put the houses at 255 Ridge Ave., a small street that rises above the west side of Daly Avenue, at the southern end of the neighborhood.

The Park City Planning Commission recently delayed making a recommendation on a plat amendment, which is needed for the project to proceed. The commissioners want to visit the site before making a recommendation to the Park City Council, the Planning Department reports. The City Council holds the authority to accept or reject the lower panel’s recommendation.

Several people from Daly Avenue attended the recent meeting.

Pat Putt, the Planning director, says there are concerns about the steepness of the hillside. Other worries include construction equipment working at the site, driveways, space for snow storage and noise, he says.

If the plat amendment is approved, the evelopers would be required to seek a permit to build on a steep slope, a practice regulated by City Hall, and the project’s design would be reviewed to ensure it fits in the historic district, another common practice.

It is unclear when the City Council would consider the request, once the Planning Commission makes a recommendation. The Planning Commission’s next discussion about the project is not scheduled.

Steep-slope development debates are common at City Hall and they have been more prevalent in the last decade as lots of the level land in Old Town has been built upon. Park City’s booming real-estate market makes it viable for developers to build on the steep slopes, which is typically more costly.

Hotel pushes up numbers

City Hall in January issued a building permit for a St. Regis hotel at Deer Crest, lifting the construction figures substantially, the Park City Building Department reports.

According to the department, just less than $41.9 million in construction was authorized in January, significantly outpacing the numbers from a year ago. In January 2006, a little more than $3.9 million in construction was permitted.

Chief Building Official Ron Ivie says the St. Regis accounted for almost $32 million of the figure. He says the department did not issue the hotel’s full permit and he expects the rest of the construction will be authorized later in 2007. Ivie says about 40 percent of the project’s value will be reflected in the later permit.

The hotel is in an area known as Roosevelt Gap, just east of the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge.

The Building Department, meanwhile, reports January was a strong start to the year in other segments of the industry.

According to the department, one multi-family project, totaling nine units, received a permit, valued at a little less than $2.6 million. Two duplexes received permits, worth a little less than $2.1 million combined, and three single-family homes were permitted, valued at about $1.6 million combined. One commercial building, valued at a little less than $2 million, was permitted.

Still, the number of building permits was down slightly from December and January 2006. The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed compared to December and the previous January.

The department averaged 260 inspections each day in January, up from December and the previous January.

The strong start to 2007 follows a year in which the construction industry in Park City throttled its previous record, tallying almost $173.3 million. The previous record, about $118.9 million, was set in 1999.

In January, Ivie predicted the numbers in 2007 would approach the 2006 record, depending on whether construction on the Montage, a hotel planned in Empire Pass, starts this year. The Park City Council recently reached an agreement regarding the Montage.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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