Influential Park City panel needs one more member
December 1, 2015
City Hall is accepting applications from people interested in serving a partial term on the Park City Planning Commission, an opening created after a panel member won a seat on the Park City Council on Election Day.
The Planning Commission opening is a result of Nann Worel’s successful campaign for the City Council. Worel, now a member of the Planning Commission, will step down from the position as she prepares to take office as a City Councilor in early January. She plans to remain a Planning Commission member through a meeting scheduled on Dec. 9, which will likely be the last meeting of the year.
The Planning Commission term held by Worel expires in July. The person selected will be appointed to serve the remaining months of her term. They would need to apply for reappointment to a full term of four years during that selection process, which is expected to take place in late spring or early summer.
The seven-member Planning Commission is seen as ranking second in influence of City Hall’s panels, trailing only the City Council. The Planning Commission holds wide-ranging duties in growth and development discussions. It has the authority to approve a variety of projects and holds a key role in other matters, such as crafting City Hall’s broad growth plans and the municipal government’s detailed development rules.
It is not clear what projects or policies the Planning Commission will address during the partial term. It seems possible the panel could delve into topics like the future of the Bonanza Park district, the lower Park Avenue corridor and Old Town issues in the time before the term ends in the summer.
It is also possible the Planning Commission could discuss high-profile development proposals like Treasure and ideas at Park City Mountain Resort during the partial term.
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Planning Commission agendas in recent months have included topics like City Hall’s regulations of Old Town demolitions and numerous development applications ranging from small ones to larger project proposals.
The Planning Commission has for years also served as a springboard to elected office in Park City. There has been a series of Planning Commissioners who went on to win a seat on the City Council, the same route taken by Worel to the City Council. Mayor Jack Thomas once served on the Planning Commission and, earlier, Brad Olch served on the Planning Commission on his way to eventually serving three terms as the mayor.
Someone must be a Park City resident to serve on the Planning Commission. The panel meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month starting at 5:30 p.m. Some of the meetings extend well into the nighttime.
Planning Commissioners are compensated at a rate of $100 per meeting. They also receive privileges at the Park City Municipal Athletic & Recreation Center and are eligible to use City Hall ski passes.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 18. The application includes questions such as the perceived mission of the Planning Commission and the three issues someone sees as being of prime importance to the panel. It asks for positions on the issues. The City Council appoints members of the Planning Commission. The elected officials typically hold interviews with the candidates prior to a selection.
Applications are available on the City Hall website, http://www.parkcity.org. Select ‘Planning Commission Position Available’ on the front page of the site. They are also available at the Planning Department. The department had not received an application by Monday morning.
Contact Louis Rodriguez at the Planning Department, 615-5061, for more information about the position or the application process.
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