Park City firm forgoes further development in vicinity of PCMR | ParkRecord.com

Park City firm forgoes further development in vicinity of PCMR

A Park City landowner this week agreed to strip the possibility of further development from the Kings Crown acreage close to Park City Mountain Resort, opting to instead preserve the ground as open space.

A Park City landowner this week essentially opted to forgo development on acreage in the vicinity of Park City Mountain Resort, extinguishing the prospects of a project someday on a piece of ground close to the location where the same firm is building substantial residential square footage.

CRH Partners, LLC, which is building the Kings Crown project, reached an agreement with the not-for-profit Summit Land Conservancy that strips the possibility of development from 11 acres through a tool known as a conservation easement. The acreage remains with the landowner under such an easement, but the development rights are removed. The firm was not compensated for the conservation easement.

The project is located at 1201 Lowell Ave. and stretches the length of what would be considered several blocks. The land involved in the conservation easement covers a hillside just outside the construction zone. The acreage roughly runs to the Kings Crown ski run at PCMR and south to the Treasure land overlooking Old Town.

"It makes sure any rights of development . . . are done forever," said Hans Fuegi, a partner in the development firm, about the land that was protected, adding, "It's now open space."

According to the Summit Land Conservancy, 237 houses accessed by four streets were once envisioned on 15 acres of Kings Crown land. CRH Partners, LLC, though, pursued a scaled-back project from the original idea. The development involves 27 lots for houses, 23 condominiums, seven townhouses and 15 housing units priced lower than the market, known as affordable or attainable.

Work recently started, and the construction zone is highly visible from numerous vantages.

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There may have been the opportunity someday for CRH Partners, LLC to tap a City Hall program that allows certain landowners to shift development rights to another parcel. A landowner like CRH Partners, LLC may have had the opportunity to seek a lucrative agreement with another owner to shift the leftover development rights to the other parcel. Fuegi said the firm was not interested in shifting the remaining rights elsewhere.

Fuegi acknowledged the developer anticipates a tax benefit as a result of the conservation agreement with Summit Land Conservancy. The dollar figure of a potential tax benefit is not known, he said.

The Summit Land Conservancy said in a release the conservation easement protects "the natural wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational, and scenic open space values of the property."

It said the land provides habitat for wildlife like moose, deer and elk "and is contiguous" to other wildlife habitat at PCMR. The release also said the undeveloped land guards against erosion and offers "an unobstructed ridgeline view of mixed forest that is recognizable when tree foliage is at its peak."

"Kings Crown will serve as one of the few green buffers between Old Town Park City and ski resort development," the organization said.