Deer Valley outlines aggressive schedule to start work at Snow Park in April
Planning Commission starts talks about major development to remake base area
Deer Valley Resort wants to start construction on the first phase of a major development at Snow Park in April, an aggressive timeline that hinges on the high-profile discussions that started on Wednesday with the Park City Planning Commission.
Deer Valley during the meeting on Wednesday presented what it labeled an estimate for the timeline for the process. Under the timeline, the Planning Commission would approve a permit in December and an application for a building permit would be submitted in January. The timeline points to the start of construction in April, the month that the 2021-2022 ski season is expected to close at Deer Valley. The timeline projects the completion of the first phase in December of 2022, as the start of the 2022-2023 ski season arrives.
Neither the Deer Valley side nor the Planning Commission spent extensive time on the calendar for the first phase of work, but the projected dates could appear aggressive to some who closely follow City Hall planning and zoning issues. The Planning Commission is not bound by the timeline.
The Planning Commission sometimes takes months or, with especially difficult projects, years to consider major development applications. In the case in front of the panel, Deer Valley is proposing the first of three phases that are expected over time. The first phase involves one of the large garages planned as part of what is known as Snow Park Village and a hub for transit and mobility. The overall plan for the land is also included in the phase.
Although the first phase does not include lodging or commercial space that can sometimes draw out Planning Commission reviews, the elements of the current application are critical to the project. The panel will likely want to spend time on topics like the transportation plans and the layout details. The Planning Commission oftentimes can spend multiple meetings on those sorts of topics.
The meeting on Wednesday served as an introduction to the project and limited progress was anticipated. The Deer Valley team provided an overview and fielded several questions from the Planning Commission.
“This is a big, complicated project,” Steve Issowits, who is Deer Valley’s vice president of real estate and resort planning, conceded in his remarks to the Planning Commission.
Deer Valley holds rights dating to the 1970s to develop the land where the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge are located. The project would reimagine the lower Deer Valley base area with a hotel, residences, retail space, dining locations and entertainment. The resort would build large garages to replace the parking spots in the lots.
The upcoming Planning Commission discussions will likely stress issues like the layout and the related topics of traffic and transportation. In one comment on Wednesday, Laura Suesser, a member of the Planning Commission, questioned the approach of making a decision regarding the garage without knowledge of the details of the development. The Deer Valley side responded that it was unsure about some of the details and indicated some of the development may be shifted within the project.
The project is scheduled to return to the Planning Commission at a meeting in August.
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A former mayor of Park City, Jack Thomas, recently testified at a Park City Planning Commission meeting regarding the concept for a major development at Snow Park, essentially praising the overarching vision but cautioning the review will likely be extensive.