Deer Valley development concept involving City Hall vacating sections of road is broadly criticized

Testimony to Park City leaders tilted heavily against the resort’s efforts at Snow Park

A crowd at the Marsac Building on Thursday evening tilted heavily against the idea of Park City vacating sections of road in lower Deer Valley as part of a wider Deer Valley Resort development concept.
David Jackson/Park Record

A crowd at the Marsac Building on Thursday evening broadly criticized the prospects of Park City vacating sections of road in lower Deer Valley as part of a wider Deer Valley Resort development concept at Snow Park.

Mayor Nann Worel and the Park City Council received extensive testimony in opposition to City Hall vacating parts of Deer Valley Drive West and Deer Valley Drive South. Deer Valley Resort, which is seeking the road vacation, would dedicate Doe Pass Road to the municipal government as part of the overall traffic circulation designs.

The opposition in recent months has coalesced against the concept even as it is unclear when a decision will be made. The decision about the vacation of the road will be an important one in the context of the overall development discussions since it is a key to the concept.

The Deer Valley side on Thursday argued a City Hall vacation of the section of road would lead to a better-designed development. Deer Valley talked about a multimodal transportation center, a plaza, and après ski opportunities creating vibrancy. A transportation center is seen as especially important to the efforts to reduce traffic headed to and from the project. Traffic is expected to be a difficult topic as the talks proceed.

The elected officials received testimony from more than 15 people with the comments tilted heavily against the Deer Valley efforts. The speakers covered topics like concerns about safe access to nearby developments, a claim that residences close to Snow Park would be unfairly burdened by the flow of traffic and a contention that it is not the duty of the community to create what was described as the arrival experience at Snow Park. There were questions about whether any eventual paid-parking system at the location would reduce demand for spaces. There was also a comment about the possibility of adding a lane of traffic from Snow Park to S.R. 248.

Lisa Wilson, a Deer Valley resident, told the mayor and City Council the traffic is the worst she has experienced in 30 years. She said she “basically can’t leave.”

“We need to have these roads,” she said, questioning what sort of precedent would be set if Park City agrees to vacate the sections of road.

Todd Bennett, the president and chief operating officer of Deer Valley Resort, addresses Mayor Nann Worel and the Park City Council at the Marsac Building on Thursday. Bennett is part of the Deer Valley team that presented a Snow Park concept as the talks continue between the resort and City Hall.
David Jackson/Park Record

The limited support at the meeting touched on issues like a desire to address traffic in lower Deer Valley and what some see as Deer Valley’s responsiveness as it considers a project.

The City Council was not scheduled to make decisions on Thursday and they did not discuss the matter. A timeline is not clear.

There are development rights attached to the Snow Park lots dating to the 1970s-era overall Deer Valley approval documents. The resort, though, must secure additional approvals before a project could proceed. A development itself would include a hotel, residential lodging, residences, retailers and dining options. Large garages would be built to account for the parking that is lost when the lots are developed.

The meeting on Thursday was one in what is expected to be numerous meetings centered on Snow Park as the sides debate the road vacation and the wider proposal.

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