Bonanza Park must refine plans after securing early vote
Developer intends to return with details by middle of winter
The Bonanza Park developers, having secured a preliminary vote in favor of a redo of the district, will spend the early part of the winter crafting a detailed proposal for an ambitious project that stretches inward from Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard.
The Park City Planning Commission at a recent meeting unanimously agreed the Bonanza Park project fits City Hall’s General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth inside Park City. It was a critical vote. Had the panel found the proposal did not fit the General Plan, the developers would have needed to significantly rework the project and return to the Planning Commission.
But a preliminary Planning Commission vote like the one the developers secured triggers what will be a far more intensive review by the panel. The Bonanza Park partnership, consisting of Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria, must now ready an application for the development itself. The Planning Commission will scrutinize the upcoming application more closely than it did the preliminary one. It also seems likely there will be greater attention from the public since the project at that stage will be more clearly defined.
“We’re going to continue to listen to the public and staff input and tweak the plan,” Fischer said in an interview.
The project is envisioned as seven buildings totaling approximately 276,494 square feet spread through a patchwork of properties the partnership acquired over the years. There are a variety of businesses on the land now, including a clinic, a gas station and a coffee drive thru. A former site of a car wash is also there. The partnership intends to demolish much of the existing development and then rebuild. The project would involve a mix of residential and commercial space. The Bonanza Park team has said it would like the existing businesses to open in the new buildings.
Fischer said the Bonanza Park side anticipates spending up to two months readying the detailed development application for City Hall. A submittal is anticipated by the middle of February, Fischer said.
Planning Commission comments and testimony from the public during the preliminary phase touched on issues like the height of the buildings, the locations of the buildings and the proposed road network. The concerns were starkly outlined even amid the unanimous vote.
Fischer said the Bonanza Park side will design improved bicycling paths, will better define the locations and design of bus stops and refine the work force housing units that will be built as part of the project. He said the developers will also further explore the possibility of locating the Kimball Art Center and the Utah headquarters of the Sundance Institute within Bonanza Park, possibilities that were publicized just before the recent preliminary Planning Commission vote.
Fischer, meanwhile, said the developers will also address the road network in greater detail. He said Bonanza Park intends to eliminate some of the driveways entering and exiting the properties on Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard in an effort ensure traffic flows more smoothly on the busy roads. Fischer said there are now approximately 10 driveways. The detailed plans will call for the number to be reduced to three – one on Kearns Boulevard, one on Bonanza Drive and one on Munchkin Road.
Fischer said he hopes the partnership secures an approval of the detailed development application, known as a master-planned development, within six months of the application. If the application is submitted in mid-February, Fischer’s timeline envisions an approval late in the summer. Fischer said he would like to break ground in the spring of 2018, depending on the approval process. He said much of the work needed for the upcoming application, perhaps half, was conducted during the preliminary phase based on the breadth of the Bonanza Park redevelopment.
The timing of the first phase is partially dependent on the talks with the Kimball Art Center and the Sundance Institute, he said.
Bonanza Park criticized
A critic of the Bonanza Park redevelopment submitted a list of concerns to the Planning Commission prior to the panel casting a preliminary vote in favor of the project.
Clay Stuard, a Park Meadows resident who once served as a Planning Commissioner, is one of the more prominent figures questioning the plans for the district. In a one-page memo to the Planning Commission, Stuard outlined a range of issues. He said the 276,494-square-foot figure is too large and the buildings would be too tall for the site. The square footage “will cause adjacent streets and intersections” to fail, the memo says. It also says the buildings “will create a ‘canyon effect’ along Bonanza Drive.”
Stuard also claims the project will block views, is a “blatant disregard for the spirit of” City Hall restrictions on building close to street curbs and will “establish a ruinous precedent” for future projects in Bonanza Park. The Stuard memo also worries about the future of businesses in the district.
“The proposed project will displace affordable commercial and retail space utilized by small, local businesses. The loss of one of two public gas stations is critical,” Stuard says.
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