Park City housing projects seen as offering the ‘liftie level’ a chance to own
Chris Liu, a Newpark renter who works as a food and beverage director in the Park City area, earns a salary that is high enough that he would not qualify to acquire a unit in one of City Hall’s income-restricted workforce housing developments.
But Liu supports the municipal government’s housing efforts regardless of whether he qualifies for a place. Liu was in attendance on Tuesday evening at a City Hall-hosted open house at the Park City Library designed to provide information about the municipal work plan. The event covered numerous projects and programs, but the City Hall housing plans appeared to attract significant attention in a room that offered details about a wide range of other high-profile topics like the waterworks system and transportation.
Liu, who has lived in the Park City area for 2 ½ years, said in an interview there is a lack of housing in the community. People who work in the service industry should have an opportunity to live in Park City, he said.
“There’s not enough affordable housing as is. We need to push to open up more opportunities for people of all income levels,” Liu said.
He described what he sees as a community benefit of the housing program, saying the opportunities result in a “more stable workforce.” The housing offers people at the “liftie level, at the service-industry level” opportunities in Park City, he said.
Liu spent time on Tuesday evening learning about the Woodside Park housing, an ambitious district pursued by City Hall in the northern reaches of Old Town. The first phase of Woodside Park — four houses and four townhouses with each of the townhouses having an attached studio unit — is largely complete on the 1300 blocks of Park Avenue and Woodside Avenue. Officials earlier in September hosted an open house to showcase the first phase of Woodside Park. A more ambitious second phase of Woodside Park is planned as well.
City Hall staffers who manned the housing station at the event answered questions as crowd members steadily moved to the location, studying the information as they readied their inquiries. Anne Laurent, the community development director at City Hall, said in an interview many of the people she spoke to requested information about the first phase of Woodside Park.
The municipal government is readying the selection process for the sale of the units, and there is expected to be widespread interest. Laurent said officials want to outline the selection process and the timeline by the end of October. City Hall recently publicized the prices for the places in the first phase of Woodside Park, running from $205,000 to $565,000. The units are classified as either affordable or attainable under the City Hall housing program. Someone must qualify through their income to be eligible to acquire one of the units. A lottery will be held to choose the buyers.
“They’re excited. There’s still time to be part of the selection process,” Laurent said about the input she received on Tuesday evening.
She said some of the people at the event wanted to learn how to put their names on the city’s list of housing candidates.
“There’s definitely a strong interest and need for affordable housing in our community,” Laurent said.
The two phases of Woodside Park are part of an aggressive housing program at City Hall designed to add 800 units of restricted housing deemed to be affordable or attainable by the end of 2026. The supporters say the housing offers an opportunity for people who are otherwise priced out of Park City’s resort-driven real estate market, the most expensive in the state. They say there are broad benefits to the housing program like maintaining socioeconomic diversity and reducing commuter traffic.
The housing station also provided limited information about another potential City Hall project in Old Town, along Marsac Avenue. Details about a development at 100 Marsac Ave., toward the southern end of Old Town, have not been crafted. The municipal government has indicated the underlying zoning at the location would allow a project of up to 43 units, should the places be workforce or otherwise restricted housing. Officials have said they do not intend to pursue the full 43 units.
The crowd on Tuesday evening did not appear as interested in the housing possibilities at 100 Marsac Ave. as they did in the Woodside Park units.
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The large fireworks shows scheduled for July 3 and July 4 at Park City Mountain Resort have been canceled because of worries about fire risk and drought conditions.