Park City envisions Old Town housing project, continuing aggressiveness
Park City officials have scheduled an event on Monday designed to introduce the possibilities of a workforce or otherwise restricted housing development in the southern reaches of Old Town, a gathering that is planned early in the discussions about the prospects for ground along Marsac Avenue.
City Hall has not crafted project details for land at 100 Marsac Ave., but officials see there being development possibilities at the location. The municipal government is pursuing an aggressive housing program and land like 100 Marsac Ave. is under consideration as part of the overall efforts.
The 2.1 acres are located on the east side of Marsac Avenue directly across from the intersection with Hillside Avenue. The municipal government tapped an architectural firm to consider development ideas. City Hall does not yet hold designs for a project, though.
Jason Glidden, who manages housing development for the municipal government, said the size of a project is undetermined. He said, though, the project is currently anticipated to involve houses or duplexes rather than condominiums. Glidden said officials want to “make sure it fits the look and feel of the neighborhood.” He said City Hall staffers are aware the location could pose issues for any development based on contaminated soils dating from the silver-mining era and road access to the land.
A previous owner pursued workforce or otherwise affordable ideas at the location, encountering resistance in the neighborhood. One of the ideas entailed 10 houses, and an earlier concept called for 20 units in 10 duplexes, as the owner at the time saw a project at 100 Marsac Ave. as something that could partially fulfill the housing requirements tied to Empire Pass.
City Hall has drafted an information sheet regarding 100 Marsac Ave. that outlines that the municipal government is considering ideas that fit with the zoning at the location and development rules. It says a highly visible stone wall, which is deemed to be historic, will be preserved as part of any development.
An open house centered on the possibilities for 100 Marsac Ave. is scheduled on Monday from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. City Hall staffers and members of the project team will be available for questions. A formal presentation is not scheduled, though.
The location of a project at 100 Marsac Ave. will likely become sensitive as City Hall pursues development. The ground is across the street from the tightly packed neighborhood in southern Old Town. There have been persistent complaints about traffic in the vicinity of 100 Marsac Ave., including on Hillside Avenue, and some could see a development as adding to the congestion. The roads close to the location carry residential traffic, delivery trucks and other commercial vehicles like those from ridesharing firms.
City Hall, though, is pursuing a goal of adding 800 units of housing priced at affordable or attainable levels by the end of 2026. The 800-unit goal has required staffers to consider a series of locations, including the Woodside Park section of Old Town.
Leaders say the housing program provides benefits like socioeconomic diversity and reduced commuter traffic. Critics typically do not dispute the overarching ideals of the housing program, but they question locations, unit numbers and design. One of City Hall’s most ambitious projects — the 58-unit second phase of Woodside Park — encountered opposition, recently resulting in a rare appeal of the project approval.
More information about the event scheduled on Monday is available on the City Hall website.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.