Deer Valley headed to City Hall for talks about parking strategies |

Deer Valley headed to City Hall for talks about parking strategies

The Deer Valley Resort parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge, shown in 2017, hold upward of 1,250 spots and are the primary lots for skiers headed to the resort for the day. The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss the parking situation outside Snow Park Lodge months after an especially busy ski season.
Park Record file photo

Deer Valley Resort and Park City officials on Wednesday are scheduled to discuss the parking situation outside Snow Park Lodge, five months after a dispute between the resort and City Hall centered on the overflow of vehicles from the lots and four months before the mountain is scheduled to open for the next ski season.

The Park City Planning Commission is slated to discuss the matter, but a decision is not scheduled to be made. The panel on Wednesday, though, could signal its intentions for a later meeting.

The discussions with the Planning Commission are necessary after a ski season when the Snow Park Lodge lots were jammed at many points, forcing vehicles onto the side of the stretch of Deer Valley Drive outside the lots. There are upward of 1,250 spots outside Snow Park Lodge, and the lots are the primary parking spaces for skiers arriving for the day.

The planning and zoning documents that govern the development of Deer Valley allow overflow parking from the Snow Park lots onto Deer Valley Drive on 10 percent of the days the resort is open for skiing during a season, or approximately 12 or 13 days per season. The resort during the 2018-2019 ski season exceeded the allowance, triggering City Hall to prohibit the overflow parking for the rest of that ski season.

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The sides pledged to discuss the parking situation with the possibility of changes for the next ski season.

A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the Planning Commission meeting indicates Deer Valley is interested in expanding the lower lots, providing space for at least 80 additional vehicles.

Municipal staffers, though, question that strategy, saying in the report, in part: “In general, staff does not recommend a pave-first strategy.” The report says “a broader approach is more consistent with” City Hall goals like encouraging alternative transportation modes and reducing the number of vehicles in Park City with just the driver inside.

“Staff suggests a renewed focus on a combination of implementation strategies in addition to a potential parking lot expansion because drawing more visitations from single occupancy vehicles, guests and staff, directly conflicts with mitigation of the Resort parking,” the report says.

Some of the discussion on Wednesday could focus on the parking possibilities on Deer Valley Drive, but the report notes bicycle lanes would need to be eliminated under that concept. The report states the elimination of bicycle lanes “would be in direct conflict with the City Council’s priorities” and the municipal General Plan, which is an overarching document that guides growth.

Deer Valley provided a prepared statement in response to a Park Record inquiry. It reads: “We are assessing Deer Valley’s historical parking arrangements as recently requested by PCMC and will have a goal of reasonable short term solutions while we collectively work towards longer term transit and roadway improvements which service the area and the resort.” The acronym “PCMC” refers to City Hall.

A hearing is not scheduled at the meeting on Wednesday, and it is unclear whether the Planning Commission will take comments from the public. The meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building.

The parking issue arose last ski season as Deer Valley drew large crowds during an especially snowy winter. The introduction of a multi-resort season pass, known as the Ikon Pass, that includes Deer Valley and other mountain resorts in the U.S. as well as international destinations also contributed to the skier increases at Deer Valley.

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