Deer Valley development critics want Park City planner removed from matter |

Deer Valley development critics want Park City planner removed from matter

City Hall fully supports work of staffer amid correspondences expressing concern

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Park City has received at least three correspondences requesting or suggesting the City Hall planner assigned to a high-profile Deer Valley Resort development-related application be removed from the matter.

The correspondences were sent in January and released by the municipal government as part of the materials compiled in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting scheduled on Thursday about the Deer Valley efforts.

Deer Valley wants City Hall to vacate parts of Deer Valley Drive West and Deer Valley Drive South while the resort wants to dedicate Doe Pass Road to the municipal government as part of the overall traffic circulation designs for a major development concept at Snow Park.

There is opposition in the vicinity of Snow Park, and the municipal government has received extensive public input questioning the concept. The three correspondences requesting the City Hall staffer — senior planner Alexandra Ananth — be removed from the project represent just a small percentage of the communications released by City Hall, but they are nonetheless noteworthy since it is unusual for public comment, either written or verbal, to so openly challenge a planner’s assignment to an application.

A planner has a broad role as an application is processed, including writing staff reports for meetings of the Park City Planning Commission and the Park City Council as well as presenting on behalf of the municipal government during those meetings.

Christina Shiebler, who lives in the Rossi Hill neighborhood, wrote one of the letters questioning the work of Ananth in regard to the Deer Valley talks. The correspondence, dated Jan. 20 and sent to Mayor Nann Worel, Park City Manager Matt Dias and Park City Planning Director Gretchen Milliken, described what Shiebler sees as Ananth’s backing of Deer Valley.

“Her repeated signaling in direct support of the applicant and her unwillingness to represent facts . . . continues to cast doubt on her abilities to perform,” the correspondence says.

It also says: “Additionally the optics that the Planner Ananth is running the meeting is unfortunate given her continued support” of the request by Deer Valley to vacate sections of road. The correspondence adds: “I suggest/hope that she either recuse or be removed.”

The city manager in a prepared statement requested by The Park Record said Ananth has nearly 20 years of experience as a planner, including five in Park City. Senior planners like Ananth are assigned “our most complex projects,” Dias said.

Ananth “has no personal or professional conflicts that impact her work on the DV application, and she has our full support,” he said.

Deer Valley holds longstanding rights to develop the land where the Snow Park lots are located. The resort, though, must secure additional approvals from City Hall before a project is able to proceed. The discussion about the possibility of City Hall vacating a section of road is one element of the municipal review of the wider proposal to remake the Snow Park base.

The City Council meeting on Thursday is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building. It will also be broadcast online. More information about attending online is available on the municipal website,

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