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City Briefs

Old Town talks scheduled

City Hall has drafted a four-month calendar of discussions about the rules regulating development in Old Town, with the local government anticipating the Park City Council endorsing a package of changes in February.

The calendar anticipates a series of meetings by the City Council, the Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Board, a panel that holds some authority in Old Town.

City Hall, property owners in Old Town, neighbors in the historic district and Parkites from other neighborhoods have engaged in sometimes-heated discussions through much of the year.

Property owners and house designers are worried that the changes might bring down values in the neighborhood and force them to build houses with little distinguishing architecture. Others, though, want City Hall to more tightly restrict the design and the size of houses in Old Town, saying some newer houses overwhelm the neighbors.

The schedule calls for the City Council to adopt guidelines for development in Old Town and changes to City Hall’s Land Management Code, a document that contains detailed rules for developers, on Feb. 5. The early February date is critical since a temporary ban on the most controversial demolitions in Old Town, put in place last summer, expires on Feb. 7.

Some of the important meetings on the schedule include:

A Historic Preservation Board hearing on Nov. 19. The calendar anticipates the panel forwarding a recommendation to the City Council during the meeting.

A Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 7, with commissioners tentatively scheduled to discuss the Land Management Code.

A City Council meeting on Jan. 29, when the elected officials are planning to hold a hearing about the Old Town guidelines and the Land Management Code.

Activists wanted the demolition ban enacted as a way to give City Hall time to consider changes to the Old Town rules.

Building figures remain down

Park City’s construction industry remains well off its record-setting pace of 2007, the Building Department reports, a downturn coming amid the struggling national economy.

According to the department, the industry had posted approximately $138.5 million in construction through the end of October. Through the same period the year before, the department had tallied approximately $217.9 million, on the way to a new standard.

In October, the department issued 129 building permits valued at approximately $4 million combined. The numbers fell from the previous month and the value was down substantially from the October 2007 numbers, when the Building Department issued approximately $43.8 million in permits. Alterations and additions were especially important to the October numbers, with the department issuing 105 permits valued at nearly $2.3 million.

The department issued permits for two houses, worth $867,118 combined, and one duplex, valued at $755,845. No permits were issued for multi-family units, commercial buildings or other sorts of buildings.

The number of electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits was mixed in October compared to September and the previous October.

The department’s inspectors, meanwhile, averaged 262.4 inspections each day in October, about the same as the month before and up slightly from the same month in 2007.

The Building Department has long projected that another record is unlikely in 2008, but the economic downturn that intensified in the fall seems to have ended talk about the industry approaching the $239.7 million benchmark.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger


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