Park City poised to reconsider disputed Old Town event space
The firm redeveloping the property along Main Street where the Kimball Art center once was located is scheduled this week to hold another round of discussions with a City Hall panel about a request to operate an event space, a talk that will likely reignite what was a tense debate months ago as people who live nearby mobilized against the idea.
The Park City Planning Commission roster has changed significantly since the fall, when it last held a meeting about the event space, and the topic has proven to be a grueling one for the panel, the development team and people who live in Old Town.
A previous Planning Commission roster approved a permit to operate an event center. The opposition appealed the approval to the Park City Council based on concerns about the impacts on the neighborhood as worries mounted regarding noise and traffic. The elected officials in the spring of 2017 remanded the issue to the Planning Commission with directions to reconsider issues like traffic, parking and methods that could be employed to reduce the amount of noise that escapes the event space.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday is poised to discuss a package of steps proposed by the developer to address the concerns. The developer, under the corporate umbrella of a firm called Columbus Pacific Properties, submitted to the Planning Department a detailed report in anticipation of the meeting outlining the alterations. Project critics made submittals as well, leading to the likelihood that the meeting on Wednesday could be another tense one.
The redevelopment of the property is underway. The construction does not rely on the outcome of the discussions about the event space, but the developer has said the space is sought to ensure the overall project is financially sound.
City Hall staffers issued a report recommending the permit be denied, indicating the developer’s work since the remand has not addressed critical issues like reducing the noise that escapes into the neighborhood, traffic and parking. The developer, though, counters in the submittal that it took the steps needed to ensure the event space fits.
Some of the steps outlined by the developer include using what is described as a sound trap in a strategic location to lessen the noise and using insulated glass on some doors and windows. Another step involves automated devices that will ensure doors are closed. The developer also wants to use equipment that monitors and limits the sound of the event space. The firm does not want to alter the hours the event space would operate, running from 8 a.m. until midnight inside and 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. outside. The occupancy would be set at 480 people between the indoor and outdoor spaces.
The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building. A hearing is planned and the Planning Commission could make a decision.
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