Another figure in disputed housing project seeks Planning Commission spot
February 4, 2014
A person involved in a disputed development in Old Town has submitted an application to serve on the Park City Planning Commission, the second person with ties to the project to do so while talks have been ongoing.
Sara Werbelow is a part of a group called GreenPark Cohousing, LLC. She is one of three people seeking appointment to a partial term on the Planning Commission. The panel is considering the GreenPark Cohousing, LLC development proposal.
It is not clear when the Planning Commission will cast a vote on the project. If Werbelow is appointed to the panel, it would be expected that she would remove herself from discussions about the project as well as the eventual Planning Commission vote. Having a matter before the Planning Commission does not disqualify someone from serving on the panel, though.
Werbelow did not mention her ties to GreenPark Cohousing, LLC in her application. She said in an interview she did not note the affiliation because there was not a question on the application asking about potential conflicts of interest.
Werbelow and her husband, Jeff Werbelow, plan to purchase one of the units in the GreenPark Cohousing project. The group wants to purchase land on the 1400 block of Park Avenue from City Hall and then build the project. The development proposal calls for 10 units — eight new townhouse-style dwellings and the renovation of two old houses on the property now. The sale to the group has not been finalized.
GreenPark Cohousing, LLC has encountered opposition in the neighborhood from people worried about the size of the project and other development-related matters. The Park City Planning Commission is continuing its talks.
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In her application for the Planning Commission, Werbelow said "conscientious growth," redevelopment and Main Street are important issues for the panel.
"We have a unique set of circumstances in our community. Our history is our reason for being, it is our soul and our brand. Our small look and feel is crucial to maintaining our core values," Werbelow wrote in her application.
The application also briefly addresses the lower Park Avenue corridor, where the GreenPark Cohousing, LLC project is envisioned. She says in the application lower Park Avenue is a location where "redevelopment and growth and possibly density."
"We have an incredible opportunity to design and program the ‘right’ mix of housing and commercial spaces to really feed our community properly," she says in the application.
Jeff Werbelow last fall vied for a spot on the Planning Commission as well. He was not selected.
The GreenPark Cohousing, LLC development would be the first so-called cohousing project built in Park City. Under the overarching ideals of cohousing, the people who intend to live in a project have a critical role in the design of the project.
The position on the Planning Commission is available as a result of Mick Savage’s decision to leave the panel prior to the end of his term. The position is a partial term that ends in July. The person selected would need to apply for a full four-year term later in the year to remain on the panel past July. The City Council will select the person.
Alex Butwinski, an ex-Park City Councilor who lost a re-election bid in November, is also competing for the position.
The other candidate is Clay Stuard. According to Stuard’s application, he has lived in Park City for 24 years. In the application, Stuard says he has spent 35 years involved in "planning regulations as a citizen advocate and developer-builder." He says issues of importance to the Planning Commission include City Hall’s growth documents like the General Plan and the Land Management Code as well as diversity.
"Economic and social diversity can be maintained through thoughtful planning, a limited quantity but wide range of appropriately designed and sited housing, regulatory encouragement of small vs. large scale businesses, and connecting our commercial, resort, residential and public spaces with pedestrian/bicycle friendly facilities," Stuard’s application says.
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