Park City considers ‘super zoning’ to protect golf course
Park City could consider barring development at a series of popular municipal recreation locations by enacting tight zoning restrictions at places like the Park City Golf Club, an early step in a process that could be closely watched by people who enjoy the recreation spots but also monitored by housing advocates.
The Recreation Advisory Board, a City Hall panel that has influence on facilities like the municipal golf course and parks, recently met with the Park City Council to discuss a range of issues. One of the topics dealt with a desire by the panel to further protect the recreation locations.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting referred to the idea of enacting “super zoning” at the locations. Placing the locations under that sort of zoning would provide greater protections. The McPolin Farm, as an example, is more tightly protected than other City Hall-owned open space. A change in the conservation purposes of the farm requires a vote of at least four of the five members of the City Council followed by a ballot measure with at least 60 percent voter support.
The report lists five locations as possibilities for greater protections:
• the Park City Golf Club
• City Park
• Creekside Park
• Rotary Park
• Prospector Park
Details of further protections have not been crafted. It seems that the discussions could address what sorts of uses will be allowed at the locations should tightened zoning be put in place. There could also be talks about lost opportunities of some sort of development on the pieces of ground if restrictions are adopted.
The inclusion of the Park City Golf Club as a possibility for tightened protection is especially notable. There have been occasional ideas to put work force or otherwise restricted housing on the golf course, a swath of municipally owned land that is seen as a place suited for development since it is relatively flat and has easy access to roads.
Housing is a City Hall priority, and officials are aggressively developing units and seeking additional opportunities. Park City leaders say expanding housing opportunities for people otherwise priced out of the community’s resort-driven real estate market provides benefits like ensuring socioeconomic diversity and reducing commuter traffic.
A Park City activist who has sought elected and appointed office at the Marsac Building earlier in 2018 indicated City Hall could consider developing housing on part of the golf course. Josh Hobson’s idea was not pursued. Nearly five years earlier, a consultant hired by City Hall issued a report that broached the idea of someday converting the golf course into housing. Officials did not pursue that idea, either. There have not been indications of interest by leaders in developing the golf course.
Tighter restrictions on City Park would likely have moderate impact since there has been little change over the decades beyond improvements to the recreation facilities, and the land has not been seen as a place for development. The other three locations are not nearly as large as the golf club and City Park and are seen more as neighborhood destinations or places for small gatherings.
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