City Hall-Boyer partnership seeks key endorsement for Quinn’s project | ParkRecord.com

City Hall-Boyer partnership seeks key endorsement for Quinn’s project

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall and its Quinn’s Junction development partner, The Boyer Company, could secure a key endorsement on Wednesday for the project known as Park City Heights, an ambitious public-private venture that Park City leaders see as an opportunity to significantly boost the stock of work force housing.

The Park City Planning Commission might cast a procedural vote that would allow the partnership to press forward with the development. The procedural vote will determine whether the panel sees Park City Heights as fitting with City Hall’s General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth inside the Park City limits. If an affirmative vote is cast, the partnership is able to file further development applications.

City Hall staffers recommend the Planning Commission find the project fits with the General Plan. An affirmative vote on Wednesday would trigger another set of talks between the partnership and the Planning Commission. Those discussions would be more detailed as they focus on the layout of the development and other issues like the traffic that would be expected to be driving to and from the site.

The Park City Heights land spreads through 286 acres on the southwest corner of Quinn’s Junction, along the S.R. 248 entryway. City Hall previously annexed the land into the Park City limits. The partnership wants to build up to 239 residences — houses, condominiums, cottages and townhouses. Of the units, 160 would be sold at market rates while the remaining 79 would be set aside as work force housing put up for City Hall, The Boyer Company and hospital builder Intermountain Healthcare.

It is unusual for a development to have such a large bloc of work force housing, and the high percentage is attributed to City Hall’s involvement in the project. Under normal circumstances, a developer might situate only a handful of work force units in a project.

"You have the opportunity of providing 79 housing units for work force housing that is closer in," said Kirsten Whetstone, the City Hall planner assigned to the project, comparing the location of the Quinn’s Junction site to other places where the local work force lives like Heber and Salt Lake.

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Whetstone also noted that Park City Heights could be an attractive place for the work force since it offers easy access to trails and recreation opportunities. City Hall will eventually start a bus line to serve the project, she said, adding that she anticipates the development could cut traffic someday since workers would live closer to their job sites.

"It’s amazing. It is an opportunity for the community. It has to be done right, though," she said.

A member of The Boyer Company team assigned to Park City Heights did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. Phyllis Robinson, a City Hall spokeswoman whose background is in work force housing issues, also did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

There has been only limited interest in the project from regular Parkites. Park City Heights is distant from any existing neighborhoods, meaning that it is conceivable there will be little if any neighbor resistance.

But there could also be more interest in the talks from rank-and-file Parkites than would be expected if The Boyer Company was the sole owner. City Hall’s involvement in Park City Heights proved controversial when it was unveiled in late 2009. Under the terms of the agreement, City Hall paid $5.5 million for a 50 percent stake in The Boyer Company land, which encompasses most of the 286-acre site.

The agreement with The Boyer Company is highly unusual for City Hall, which normally negotiates land deals with the private sector that are for conservation purposes instead of for their development prospects.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. The panel is slated to hold a hearing before possibly voting.

Prior to the scheduled 6 p.m. start of the meeting, the Planning Commission is scheduled to visit the Park City Heights land. People who want to accompany the Planning Commission on the visit to the site should meet at the Talisker parking lot on Richardson Flat Road.