Park City community development director plans to depart Marsac Building
Anne Laurent, the community development director in Park City since 2015, will leave the municipal government in early November to take a post with her former employer in New Mexico, a move that will be the second major Marsac Building departure in a month.
Laurent will remain at the Marsac Building until Nov. 1 and returns to Los Alamos County three days later as the public works director. The post also includes Los Alamos County’s sustainability programs. Laurent arrived in Park City in 2015 after seven years in Los Alamos County, ending as the community and economic development director there.
Laurent said the government in Los Alamos County underwent a reorganization since she left in 2015, explaining the new makeup of the county is attractive to her. She said the departure from the Marsac Building is based on the opportunity in Los Alamos County, indicating the position is rarely available.
Laurent holds a highly influential position at the Marsac Building. The community development director oversees the building, engineering, planning, transportation planning and affordable housing divisions. The divisions, taken together, are essentially responsible for managing growth and development in Park City.
The planning functions have traditionally been the most visible as staffers and then the Park City Planning Commission consider the wide range of development proposals. The affordable housing and transportation planning divisions more recently have also been especially notable as City Hall presses an aggressive workforce or otherwise affordable housing program and attempts to address widespread complaints about traffic. The building division has crucial duties in protecting the safety of the community while the engineering division also has critical duties as roads and utilities are designed.
Laurent’s four years in Park City were momentous in the divisions that she leads. She was the community development director for the final years of the long-running dispute about the Treasure development proposal, which ended with City Hall’s acquisition of the hillside land in a conservation agreement, and the municipal government has aggressively pursued housing projects during her tenure, drawing support and opposition. The transportation planning efforts have involved a broad set of possibilities, and she oversaw the engineering division at a time when the city engineer post was vacant for an extended period.
Laurent will leave City Hall a month after the sudden, unexpected departure of former Park City Manager Diane Foster at the beginning of October. It is rare for the municipal government to lose two staffers at such a high level in the period of a month.
Laurent’s move will also come as the municipal government continues work on an arts and culture district along the Kearns Boulevard corridor. It is an especially ambitious municipal project designed to house the Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute as the anchors. The municipal government is also pursuing Woodside Park, a significant housing project in the northern reaches of Old Town. The community development director and the divisions overseen by the position have important roles in projects like the arts and culture district and Woodside Park.
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Parkites see traffic and transportation as Park City’s biggest challenge over the next five to 10 years, a City Hall-hired firm that is leading the efforts to craft a community vision has found as part of its research. And they also see transportation solutions as one of the two top opportunities, alongside strategic development, during the same period, the research found.