Development critic injured in ski accident, key hearing pushed back
A longtime critic of a development planned in Deer Valley suffered injuries in a skiing accident on Thursday, leading the Park City Council to agree to delay hearing her appeal at a meeting that evening.
Lisa Wilson was injured at Deer Valley Resort, said Bob Dillon, an attorney who has represented the opposition side in the discussions about a development known as North Silver Lake. Wilson had appealed a Park City Planning Commission decision regarding the project’s timeline.
Dillon briefly spoke to Mayor Dana Williams and the City Council on Thursday night, but neither he nor the elected officials discussed the merits of the appeal itself. Dillon told the elected officials what had happened on the slopes earlier in the day. He did not provide details.
Wilson has repeatedly challenged North Silver Lake on a series of development-related points. She has been displeased with the project timeline as well. She has been in attendance at numerous Planning Commission and City Council meetings dealing with the project. It was unusual that she was not in the audience on Thursday night as the City Council prepared to start its discussions.
Williams, the City Council and top City Hall staffers discussed what could be arranged to ensure Wilson could appear at the hearing since she is the one who filed the appeal. They also touched on the developer’s desire for a decision to be made on Thursday.
Mark Harrington, the Park City attorney, recommended to the elected officials that the appeal be delayed. He said doing so would be a "common courtesy." City Councilwoman Liza Simpson agreed that delaying the appeal should be done "out of courtesy." She said she wanted the appeal scheduled soon, though. Andy Beerman, a City Councilman, said a delay was the "decent thing" to do.
Richard Lichtenstein, who leads the development team, told the elected officials he preferred the City Council hear the appeal on Thursday night. He said the appeal itself does not "make much rhyme or reason." A firm known as Regent Properties is the developer.
The City Council delayed the appeal until at least April 5. The April 5 date is tentative and will be finalized when the developer’s side agrees to the date.
The delay is the latest wrinkle in the ongoing discussions about North Silver Lake, which has been approved as a 54-unit project with a mix of houses and condominiums. The land sits close to the Evergreen and Bellemont neighborhoods.
The developer won an approval for the project in mid-2009. Ground was broken, but the project was later halted, leaving a giant excavation site. The site has since been refilled with dirt and replanted. The developer has said it wants to build the project when there is more economic certainty. North Silver Lake remains one of the stark examples of the recession’s effects on Park City.
Wilson is challenging the project’s timeline, which was delayed amid the recession. The developer earlier secured a one-year extension of its overall permit, keeping the permit intact through mid-2012. It later won another one-year extension lasting through July 21, 2013. Wilson wants the City Council to overturn the Planning Commission’s decision granting the extension through mid-2013. She had unsuccessfully challenged the earlier extension.
Wilson has wanted the City Council to conduct a broad review of the project rather than dwelling exclusively on the timeline. She continues to object to the design of North Silver Lake, questioning open space calculations among other planning-related topics. The City Council has refused to conduct such a review, though.
City Hall staffers issued a report in anticipation of Thursday’s meeting recommending the City Council reject Wilson’s appeal. Staffers have consistently supported the extensions of the North Silver Lake permit.
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