Development in Park City might morph into a mix-and-match exercise |

Development in Park City might morph into a mix-and-match exercise

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall this week started formal discussions about creating a program meant to shift development from land that leaders want to protect to places they see as being better suited for growth, an arrangement that would have important implications throughout much of Park City.

The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday night talked about a preliminary list of land where development shifts could occur should City Hall adopt a program, mentioning a series of high-profile parcels as possibilities.

The panel members said the Sweeney family’s Treasure acreage on a hillside overlooking Old Town, open lands on the periphery of Park City neighborhoods and undeveloped lots in Old Town are places where development could be shifted from.

Places mentioned where development could be shifted to were: Bonanza Park, Silver Lake Village, Park City Mountain Resort’s parking lots, the Snow Park Lodge parking lots and Park City Heights.

The two lists were not finalized on Wednesday, however.

Officials referred to the two categories as sending zones and receiving zones, meaning that development rights would be sent from one place and received at another. The idea is often referred to in bureaucratic circles as transferring development rights or transferring density rights, and it is sometimes called solely by the acronym TDR.

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The Planning Commission was told the Legislature in 2011 might tinker with state laws regulating development transfers and City Hall wants to have a program under consideration prior to the January start of the legislative session.

Polly Samuels McLean, a City Hall attorney, said she anticipates drafting the details of a program by a December Planning Commission meeting. It was not clear whether a vote would be cast at that meeting. She told the panel the sending and receiving zones can be altered after a program is created.

She also cautioned that landowners would continue to hold development rights based on zoning maps regardless of whether their parcels are put into one of the two categories. Katie Cattan, a City Hall planner who authored a report in anticipation of Wednesday’s meeting, though, said the municipal government could create incentives meant to discourage development in the places that leaders want to protect.

Cattan said in an interview afterward City Hall had not discussed a program with specific landowners with holdings in sending or receiving zones. Landowners with parcels in areas where development would be shifted away from would be compensated. Details about values were not discussed on Wednesday night. There did not appear to be representatives at the meeting from the areas mentioned.

The Treasure mention as a place where development could be shifted away from is especially noteworthy as negotiations continue between the Sweeney family and City Hall about the prospects of an agreement to protect all or part of the hillside acreage from development.

The negotiators could craft a deal for Treasure that requires a program that allows development rights to be transferred between parcels. In the Treasure case, they could be shifted to one of the receiving zones from the Sweeney land, which is one of the sending zones mentioned on Wednesday.

The Planning Commission agreed to hold a special meeting on Nov. 23 to further discuss a program. There will likely be an opportunity for public comment at that meeting.