Park City activist calls for Vail Resorts to commit to restricted housing on part of PCMR lots
A Provo developer intends to acquire the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots for a major project that has been envisioned since the 1990s, something that would transform the base area as PCMR readies for the coming decades under the ownership of Vail Resorts.
As PEG Companies, which earlier reached an agreement to acquire the lots from Vail Resorts, continues discussions with the Park City Planning Commission about a project, a Park City activist has outlined a scenario that would dramatically alter the talks about the development proposal.
Angela Moschetta, who is seen as the leader of a group called Future Park City, testified at a recent Planning Commission meeting regarding the project at PCMR, describing a radical concept she wants considered that would effectively require much of the current proposal to be reworked. The testimony over the months of Planning Commission talks has leaned heavily toward the opposition to the proposal from PEG Companies, but a key point in Moschetta’s comments diverged from other input received by the panel that was centered on core planning issues like the designs of the project.
Moschetta argued Vail Resorts should retain one of the parcels within the lots in the deal with PEG Companies. Under Moschetta’s concept, the Colorado firm would then “commit exclusively” to developing workforce or otherwise affordable housing on that section of the lots, she told the Planning Commission. She outlined that the current proposal from PEG Companies does not provide much of a benefit for Park City.
“I see plenty of upsides here for the potential seller of these parcels, Vail Resorts, if PEG develops them according to these plans, but I don’t see the tremendous upside for the community,” Moschetta said.
She did not provide details about the section of the lots that she prefers be retained by Vail Resorts for workforce or otherwise restricted housing. The agreement between Vail Resorts and PEG Companies involves the upper PCMR lots as well as the lower ones, and the development proposal stretches through them. Moschetta acknowledged her concept would require a major reworking of the development proposal instead of the sides attempting to craft an agreement on the current one under consideration by the Planning Commission.
“Now I realize that this would completely upend the current plans and economics of the project, and that would force everybody back to the drawing table. And to that, I’m sorry. I say ‘So what, and good luck to all parties involved,’” she said. “But I really would hate to see us spend months trying to condition and reason a whole bunch of exceptions when, again, there is not tremendous benefit to the community in development of parcels that have basically just been sitting there for years.”
Neither representatives of PEG Companies nor the members of the Planning Commission responded to the Moschetta concept of Vail Resorts retaining a portion of the lots. Vail Resorts itself has not had a lead role in talks before the Planning Commission.
The concept outlined by Moschetta would appear to require an extraordinary reimagining of the development. It is unclear whether such a redesign would require PEG Companies to restart the Planning Commission process with a new application and whether Vail Resorts would be brought into the discussions in a role of a developer of workforce or otherwise affordable housing on the land it would retain under the concept. PEG Companies and Vail Resorts would also need to closely study the economics of the concept, which would be expected to reduce the amount of development that would be available to be sold at market prices.
PEG Companies and the Planning Commission started the talks in late May. It seems a vote could be cast late in the year, at the earliest. The proposal, covering 10 acres, involves residences, a hotel, retailers and restaurants. Large garages would be built to account for the parking spots in the lots lost to the development. The development as proposed would also include housing for employees and housing set aside as affordable. The Moschetta concept would almost certainly involve significantly more housing for the workforce than the current PEG Companies’ proposal.
Moschetta in recent years rose to become a community activist through her work with Future Park City. She is seen as the leader and most visible member of the group. The organization has especially used social media to advance its efforts.
PEG Companies provided a prepared statement from Robert Schmidt, the president of PEG Development, in response to a Park Record inquiry regarding the comments by Moschetta.
“We appreciate the comments and focus on affordable housing, and are committed to providing sustainable, affordable housing. … We recognize how much affordable housing is needed in the Park City community, and want our master plan to be a part of the solution. Our plans are in accordance with the city’s affordable housing guidelines and include more than 70 units made up of dorm-style as well as one, two and three bedroom units,” Schmidt said in the statement.
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