Park City police won’t slap cuffs on disputed event space
The Park City Police Department in June formally reviewed a developer’s wish to operate an event space in a building along Main Street, making a series of recommendations but not indicating it would slap cuffs on the controversial proposal.
It is unusual for the Police Department to become involved in a project under consideration by the Park City Planning Commission, but the three-page review is further evidence of the high-stakes nature of development in the Main Street core.
The firm redoing the property that once housed the Kimball Art Center wants to operate an event space and needs to secure a permit to do so. The developer, under the corporate umbrella of a firm called Columbus Pacific Properties, won the necessary Planning Commission permit, prompting the opposition to appeal the approval to the Park City Council based on neighborhood concerns. The elected officials remanded the issue back to the lower panel for more discussions about issues like parking, traffic and methods that could be used to reduce the amount of noise that escapes from the event space.
The Police Department review was drafted in anticipation of a Planning Commission meeting. Officer Franco Libertini wrote the report, covering a series of Police Department recommendations regarding the event space. The recommendations provide a law enforcement perspective on what is a planning-oriented discussion.
“Events are an important part of our community and activities related to such events should be fun for those involved, as well as provide safe environments.
The public has an expectation and a right to be safe at all public and private events and those holding such events have a responsibility to guarantee their attendees and surrounding neighborhoods the healthiest and safest practicable environments,” Libertini writes in the review.
The document includes 1 ½ pages of Police Department recommendations that, combined, are meant to ensure the operations of an event space properly take into account the neighborhood. Some of the recommendations include:
• requiring a plan for security and operations be submitted to the Police Department, including “a provision for a representative of the establishment to meet with neighbors upon request in order to attempt to resolve any neighborhood complaints regarding the operations on the business premises.”
• prohibiting amplification of sound in exterior parts of the project and requiring live entertainers be located inside an enclosed area
• requiring a parking plan that would “include consideration of the impact of the traffic flow in the area, parking in adjacent and/or surrounding neighborhoods.”
• requiring Police Department review and approval of floor plans for events, including the possibility that a police review “may require design features for the purpose of reducing alcohol related problems such as consumption by minors, driving under the influence, and public drunkenness.”
The document also addresses issues like the safety of the flow of pedestrians, picking up trash, sound levels and the naming of an event organizer.
Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, said the Police Department crafts similar reviews as officials weigh whether to approve a permit for an individual special event. He said the police also are involved in Planning Department issues regarding noise and enforcing codes.
He said staffers anticipate consulting the police review should the Planning Commission request a set of conditions that would be attached to an approval. The police review could guide some of the conditions, he said.
Jay Randall, a sergeant in the Police Department, said the police interest in the event space was based on the noise concerns. Randall said the Police Department sees the discussions about the event space as headed in a “good direction.”
“Every one of them, by itself, can be a little bit of a challenge,” Randall said about the issues broached in the police review, adding that, taken together, they could create a nuisance if they are not addressed.
The upcoming discussions about the event space are expected to include more information about noise volumes and traffic. The Planning Commission also wants to visit the location. The developer’s side argues the issues like noise, traffic and parking can be addressed while the critics in the neighborhood dispute that assertion.
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The Tech Center development proposal seems to have entered a new phase, after county councilors indicated their receptiveness to the more ambitious proposals offered by the developers in their original application, including a new transit center.