Park City panel field sees drivers stuck, roadkill and land under attack
An eclectic field submitted applications to serve on the Park City Planning Commission during a recruitment that is especially notable with five of the seven panel seats to be decided shortly.
It is unusual that so many of the seats will be filled at once, a scenario that is a result of what had been the long-running Planning Commission discussions about the Treasure development proposal. The Park City Council extended Planning Commission terms to ensure continuity during the high-stakes discussions.
The Planning Commission’s talks about Treasure recently entered a hiatus as the sides await the results of a ballot measure that would fund a City Hall acquisition of the Treasure land. If the ballot measure passes, the development talks would end based on the City Hall acquisition. A reworked project would be presented to the Planning Commission should the ballot measure fail.
The hiatus allowed officials to advertise the Planning Commission spots. The City Council is expected to make the appointments on Thursday, at the earliest.
Summaries of the applications include:
• John Phillips, an incumbent Planning Commissioner who lives on Norfolk Avenue and has lived in Park City for 15 years. Phillips says in the application enforcing City Hall’s codes is important and the municipal government’s planning and zoning documents need updating.
• Laura Suesser, an incumbent Planning Commissioner who lives on Lowell Avenue and has lived in Park City for 10 years. Suesser says in the application important issues include traffic, pedestrian connections and housing that is affordable or attainable. She says sidewalks and stairways could be added in locations like the area around the Park City Mountain Resort base and Homestake Road. Suesser also outlines that a transit option could be considered to the airport in Salt Lake City.
• Jeff Batterson, who lives on Deer Valley Drive and has lived in Park City for seven years. He says in the application traffic, affordable housing and transportation are important issues. Batterson says there is too much traffic in Park City and “we need to promote Park City as a town that is accessible through its public transportation infrastructure.”
• Jordan Brody, who lives on Meadow Creek Court and has lived in Park City for two years. Brody says historic preservation, conserving natural resources and housing are important issues. Brody says in the application the stock of affordable housing has not kept up with demand. Brody also says open space in Park City has “come under attack in the past decade” and that a “city planned around open space gives the residents and visitors a much more enjoyable experience.”
• Robert Dillon, who lives on Golden Eagle Drive and has lived in Park City for 23 years. Dillon says affordable housing, the related topics of transportation and parking as well as commercial development are important issues. He says much of the future development in Park City will be commercial projects and “must be rationally dealt with.”
• Kathy Dopp, who lives on Little Kate Road and has lived in Park City for 34 years. Dopp says traffic, what she sees as “insufficient” work force housing and conserving water are important issues. She is worried about the impact of roads that are expanded.
“Widened roads and increased traffic is endangering people and wildlife, and, by killing wildlife, the health of our forests and climate,” Dopp says in the application.
• Sarah Hall, who lives on Aspen Springs Drive and has lived in Park City for approximately two years. She says in the application balancing the city’s economy against the character of the community is important. Hall also says transportation and parking are critical.
“We need properly functioning transportation and parking to ensure that our community will not only be productive, but that all people will enjoy their experience in town,” Hall says.
• Josh Hobson, who lives on Park Avenue and has lived in Park City for seven years. Hobson is a former City Council candidate and notes in his application he has “never been a developer or contractor.” He says in the application important issues include affordability, traffic and the idea of a sustainable community.
“Developers usually wish to maximize the return on their investment, which in our case, provides us with a glut of 3500-5000 sqft estate homes. While this is beneficial to our tax base, it does not address the attainable housing shortage in Park City,” Hobson says.
• Steve Hooker, who lives on Oak Rim Lane and has lived in Park City for 20 years. Hooker has a background as a leader along Main Street. He says in the application the related topics of lot sizes, buildings and hillsides are important as Park City attempts to “blend the old with the new and make it as seamless as possible.”
Hooker also says work force housing and the linked issues of transportation and parking are important.
“Thousands come in everyday to work and thousands leave everyday to go home. Thousands of guest get stuck in this mass exodus making the City government look bad,” Hooker says.
• Thomas Horton, who lives on Prospector Avenue and has lived in Park City for three years. Horton says in the application issues of importance include the Treasure development proposal should it move forward if a taxpayer-funded buyout fails, a planned arts and culture district and a future Winter Olympics. A second Olympics would transform Park City as the event in 2002 did, he says.
“This is a huge planning opportunity for Park City, and will give the city unusual political leverage to shape its destiny that must be used to advantage,” the application says.
• John Kenworthy, who lives on Main Street and has lived in Park City for 12 years. He says in the application housing, historic preservation and the linked topics of transportation and parking are important.
“Without housing priced at all economic levels this vibrancy will be diminished. I see the city has taken this head on but perhaps there is more we can do with developer incentives or allowing for more private-public relationships,” the application says, describing that senior housing is an area of concern.
• Carol Anne Kret, who lives on Daly Avenue and has lived in Park City for 22 years. Kret says in the application the Treasure proposal, work force or otherwise affordable housing and issues like open space and dog parks are important. Treasure is the most important issue, she says, describing that the project, if it is developed, “would have been an awful lot of density to an area that is highly visible and therefore it would forever change the quaint feel of our Historic Old Town.”
• Megan Ryan, who lives on Little Kate Road and has lived in Park City for 25 years. She was once a City Hall staffer with experience in the Planning Department. Ryan says in the application important issues include ensuring the municipal government’s detailed development rules reflect state code and regional cooperation.
“Our sense of place really is important to locals but also I would argue, a draw to our visitors and hence important to our economy,” Ryan says. “Our town is unique and we should try to make sure as we plan and grow we are not killing that soul . . . Some time less planning leaves space for that soul.”
• Mark Sletten, who lives on Holiday Ranch Loop Road and has lived in Park City for 23 years. He is a former member of the Planning Commission.
Sletten says in the application work force or otherwise affordable housing is critical and units should be designed “to integrate these affordable and workforce uses into the fabric of our neighborhoods.”
He also says the redevelopment of the base of Park City Mountain Resort and Bonanza Park are important issues. He notes the possibility of an arts district in Bonanza Park and that the process involves “integrating both Sundance and the Kimball so that those organizations have and impactful and sustainable presence in Park City.”
• Ed Wallace-Godycki, who lives on Main Street and has lived in Park City for 15 years. One of the issues he lists as important is a method to define that “individual homeowners are on the same footing as large investors and construction companies.”
• Sebastian Ziesler, who lives on Estates Circle and has lived in Park City for 10 years. Ziesler’s list of issues of importance includes the redevelopment of Bonanza Park as well as development at the bases of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort.
Ziesler also says Park City School District plans are important, an intriguing comment since the Planning Commission does not play a role in district-related development matters.
“My position on this issue is that the city’s complete community idea includes resident children not needing to be on a bus for an hour or more a day to get to school and/or their extra-curricular sports, etc. To me, to better achieve this idea means being supportive of school district plans which allow for a K-12 education within city limits,” the application says.
An attorney representing a critic of Park City’s plans to build restricted affordable housing in Old Town sent a letter urging officials to meet the same standards that would be required of a private-sector developer in the neighborhood.