Ex-city attorney brought back | ParkRecord.com

Ex-city attorney brought back

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall has tapped a former Park City attorney to assist with development issues as the local government searches for a new planning chief, returning to service a figure from the early 1990s boom years.

Jim Carter says he plans to work with City Hall on a contract basis through the end of April. He provides the city a background in municipal-level legal matters and planning matters. He is a certified planner working in a private-sector firm in Salt Lake City.

He expects to work at City Hall between 10 and 15 hours each week, and reviewing documents will add to his duties for Park City. He anticipates it will be "challenging" to manage the workload between Park City and his private-sector assignments.

City Hall did not release terms of his agreement. Carter says City Attorney Mark Harrington approached him in early February about filling in and whether he remained familiar with Park City issues.

Carter served as the Park City attorney from 1987 until 1993. In that position, he was City Hall’s chief legal adviser. Much of Park City’s legal work for more than 20 years has centered on planning and zoning.

He departed City Hall to work in the state Division of Oil, Gas and Mining and entered the private sector afterward, focusing on planning and zoning.

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Carter says he does not intend to apply for the permanent planning chief job. City Hall is advertising the Planning director position. Pat Putt, who holds the slot, recently said he would step down. His last day is Feb. 27.

Carter says he is familiar with the city’s zoning rules, and he assisted drafting part of the Land Management Code, the document that regulates development in the city.

City Manager Tom Bakaly says Carter will serve as a "technical resource" while he is under contract. The city manager says Carter will also be given the authority to make final staff-level decisions regarding whether a project fits the city’s development rules.

Carter is "very familiar with what we do," Bakaly says.

"We wanted someone who could quickly be a resource," he says.

Meanwhile, Gary Hill, who manages City Hall’s budget, will oversee financial and personnel matters in the Planning Department until a new person is hired to replace Putt.

Bakaly anticipates waiting three or four months to hire the next Planning chief.

The department moves come as the development community continues to enjoy a strong local real estate market. The Planning Department remains busy with applications for some large projects and many smaller ones.

A next round of talks regarding the Sweeney family’s Treasure Hill project will probably be scheduled soon, and there have been long-running negotiations about the development rules in Old Town.

Putt’s departure will follow quickly after the retirement of Eric DeHaan, who was the city engineer and another influential person in development issues.

Search continues

City Hall has not set a deadline to name the next Planning director, but City Manager Tom Bakaly says he expects to hire someone within three or four months.

The government continues to advertise the position, which pays between $66,300 and $87,394 per year. The person also is eligible for a benefits package and a performance bonus.

The city wants the Planning director to hold a master’s degree and have 10 years of experience in the field, including five years as a supervisor. The person must have a Utah driver license or be able to get one.

The Planning director works for the city manager, and the position is part of a team with the city engineer and the chief building official.

More information about the position is available on City Hall’s Internet site, http://www.parkcity.org.