Park City planning director, long an influential figure in growth matters, will retire in 2021
Bruce Erickson, a figure whose influence on growth in Park City has stretched longer than 20 years, plans to retire from the planning director post at City Hall in the summer.
Erickson has had an outsized role in development matters in the community, serving as a member of the Planning Commission previous to his hiring as the planning director. He brought a unique background to the Marsac Building as a professional planner specializing in designing mountain resorts.
Erickson, who is 67 and has lived in Park City for nearly 40 years, said his retirement date is currently set for July 1, the first day of the municipal government’s next fiscal year. He was tapped as the planning director in 2015 after serving in that role on an interim basis for several months.
The planning director post is a crucial one in the structure of the Marsac Building and is responsible for a wide range of duties in growth and development matters, which remain some of the most contentious in the community.
Erickson’s time as the planning director, importantly, stretched through the final years of the high-stakes discussions about the Treasure development proposal prior to City Hall acquiring the hillside acreage in a conservation deal. He also holds a role in the ongoing talks about a major development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort.
In an interview, Erickson noted the work on Treasure, PCMR and the Silver Star development. But he also highlighted progress on less visible work, such as rewriting City Hall’s detailed development rules, outlined in a document called the Land Management Code, as well as City Hall’s Old Town grant program.
He is also proud of staff retention. Erickson said he cares about staff development and the ability for staffers in the department to be promoted. He hopes there are promotions upon his retirement.
Erickson was a member of the Planning Commission for 16 consecutive years ending in 2005 and served as the chairman for three terms. In that post, Erickson helped guide the community through a 1990s population and development boom. The era included the especially polarizing proposal for a development in Empire Canyon south of Old Town, known at different times as Flagstaff and Empire Pass. Park City eventually annexed the land and allowed the project. He also addressed Treasure as a planning commissioner prior to his role in the Treasure talks as the planning director.
The Planning Commission is continuing the deliberations about the proposal at PCMR. It appears the Planning Commission will have cast a vote by the current July 1 date of Erickson’s retirement, but sometimes discussions about larger projects can extend longer than expected.
City Hall is advertising the planning director post and said on Tuesday it had received between approximately 15 and 20 applications by then. People in Utah and from outside the state submitted applications. David Everitt, a deputy Park City manager, said a precise timeline is not set but City Hall plans to make a hiring in the first half of 2021.
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