Deer Valley poised to launch talks with Park City planning panel about major Snow Park development
The resort holds longstanding rights to build atop the parking lots outside lodge, lengthy process expected
Deer Valley Resort on Wednesday is slated to launch talks with the Park City Planning Commission about what is envisioned as a major development at Snow Park, a gathering that will likely be closely watched as the community learns more about the proposal even if only limited progress is expected at the outset of the talks.
The project is known as Snow Park Village and involves the land where the Snow Park Lodge parking lots are located. The resort holds rights to develop the land dating to the 1970s, when an overall approval for Deer Valley was secured. Many locations identified in the overall approval have been developed over the decades, but the rights attached to the Snow Park land, covering nearly 15 acres, are seen as especially notable since a project will reshape a base area.
The Snow Park Village location is one of the last remaining major development sites within the Park City limits. There had been chatter over the past 20 years that Deer Valley was readying a project, but none materialized in the public realm to the degree of detail as the one that is scheduled to be discussed on Wednesday.
Deer Valley is expected to provide an overview of the project during the meeting on Wednesday, with the opportunity for questions from the Planning Commission. The panel is not scheduled to cast any votes. The Planning Commission agenda indicates public input could be taken, time permitting. A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting outlines that the Planning Department will take 10 minutes to cover the history, Deer Valley has 30 minutes to introduce the project and 20 minutes are available for Planning Commission discussion and questions. It appears the Planning Commission could address whether studies other than one focused on transportation and submitted by Deer Valley “are warranted to thoroughly review the impacts of this project,” the City Hall report says.
The meeting on Wednesday is the first of what is expected to be a lengthy Planning Commission review of the proposal. It sometimes takes the Planning Commission a year or more before it is prepared to make a decision on a development proposal as significant as the one at Snow Park.
The Planning Commission when reviewing large projects typically spends extensive time discussing issues like the overall layout of a project, the design of buildings, the traffic that is projected to be generated and the blueprints for transportation. The traffic and transportation talks could eventually become intriguing with the Snow Park location so heavily reliant on a stretch of two-lane Deer Valley Drive as the primary entryway and exit.
The project relies on the concept of building large underground garages to replace the parking spaces in the lots. The application in front of the Planning Commission involves the first of three phases that are expected over time. The first phase includes one of the garages and a hub for transit and mobility in addition to the overall plan for the land. The second phase would involve development like a hotel, residential lodging, retail space, dining locations and entertainment. A third phase would include another garage, residences and commercial spaces.
Deer Valley has said it intends for the project to jibe with the earlier approval regarding issues like building heights and square footage.
Large swaths of the broad Park City-area community will likely watch the discussions at some level with such an important location under review. People who live or have places in Deer Valley could be especially interested in the improvements to Snow Park while others will want to learn about the expected traffic impacts.
The start of the talks about Snow Park coincide with the Planning Commission’s ongoing discussions about a major development proposal at the Park City Mountain Resort base area. It is a rare overlap between the review of projects as substantial as the proposals at PCMR and Deer Valley.
The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually. More information is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link is: parkcity.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/38087/15.
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The conversations, which drew a combined 138 people, and the subsequent report were the first broad readings of sentiments in Park City and wider Summit County.
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