A business question: is there enough housing in Park City? | ParkRecord.com

A business question: is there enough housing in Park City?

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Is there enough housing?

That is the overriding question that City Hall is asking the Park City business community as leaders consider the municipal government’s housing policies and programs. City Hall has posted a nonscientific survey seeking information from businesses about employee numbers and housing.

The survey was posted as Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council anticipate spending significant time in coming months on housing issues. The elected officials have made housing one of City Hall’s priorities.

Rhoda Stauffer, the affordable housing specialist for City Hall, said officials are especially interested in the number of workers various industries anticipate hiring, known as the employee-generation number. She said the number will assist City Hall as it determines formulas for the work force or otherwise affordable housing required as a part of development approvals.

"It’s going to tell us the employee-generation numbers for different kinds of businesses," Stauffer said.

The survey requests general information about a business, such as how long it has been open in Park City, its sector and the space it occupies, including square footage. It wants to learn whether a business offers employees housing of some sort. The survey, though, also delves into details about employee counts, housing and whether a business anticipates increasing staffing, decreasing the number or keeping it the same.

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"The purpose of this survey is to update the City’s employment-generation rates with information that accurately reflects the local business environment," the introduction to the survey says.

Some of the questions include:

  • the number of workers employees during the busy season and how many hours they work.
  • whether the availability of housing impacts the "ability to hire qualified staff." Multiple-choice answers include "not an issue," "a minor issue" and "a major issue."
  • estimating the number of employees based on annual income. There are seven income ranges listed as answers, ranging from less than $25,000 to more than $85,000.

    The 15-question survey, meanwhile, also offers an opportunity for someone to provide comments about City Hall’s affordable-housing efforts.

    City Hall hired a consultant with offices in Denver, Economic & Planning Systems, to conduct the survey. Stauffer acknowledged the survey results are not likely to impact the housing situation during the upcoming ski season.

    The survey will remain posted until early October. Stauffer anticipates the elected officials will receive an update in November. She said, potentially, recommendations for changes to City Hall’s detailed development rules could be proposed early in 2016. There could also be recommendations for changes to City Hall’s housing resolution at about the same time, she said.

    Park City leaders argue housing is a critical issue for the community, pledging to address the issue in a variety of ways. They say creating housing opportunities for the work force and others like senior citizens in what is the state’s most expensive housing market has many benefits, such as reducing commuter traffic and ensuring socioeconomic diversity in Park City.