It is seven-person contest for the Planning Commission |

It is seven-person contest for the Planning Commission


Seven people are vying for a spot on the Park City Planning Commission, the City Hall panel that holds wide-ranging duties in growth and development matters.

The terms of two members of the Planning Commission are expiring. One of the incumbents, Clay Stuard, wants to be reappointed. Stewart Gross, the other Planning Commissioner whose term is expiring, did not seek reappointment.

The Park City Council will interview the Planning Commission candidates and then make the selections.

The Planning Commission has long been seen as ranking second in importance among City Hall’s boards and commissions, trailing only the City Council. The Planning Commission has the authority to approve or deny many types of developments. It also has a key role in crafting City Hall’s growth blueprints, outlined in a document called the General Plan, as well as the municipal government’s detailed development rules, which are outlined in another document known as the Land Management Code.

Planning Commission terms are four years. Over the next term, the Planning Commission is expected to handle large projects, such as Treasure and, possibly, a Deer Valley Resort development proposal on the Snow Park parking lots.

City Hall released the applications in response to a Park Record request under state open-records laws. The addresses were redacted.

Highlights of the applications include:

  • Beth Armstrong has lived in Park City for nine years and is involved with the Park City Medical Center and the Promontory Foundation. She says development, transportation and tourism are important issues.

    "Tourism is our lifeline. If we allow overdevelopment, congestion and shortage of services and open space, we will stop attracting visitors to the area," Armstrong says in the application.

    Armstrong also says "you simply can’t say no to development but must thoughtfully plan it out . . . "

  • John Mueller has lived in Park City for seven years and is involved with the Park City Community Foundation and is a graduate of the Leadership Park City training program. He says responsible development, maintaining Park City’s sense of community and diversifying the economy are important.

    "One of the many ‘special’ things about Park City is our diverse, and at times quirky, community. We should continue to foster this via affordable housing, support for our Latino population, support for local non-profits," he says in the application.

    Mueller also says "growth is inevitable but should be managed in a responsible manner."

  • John Fort IV has lived in Park City since 2007 and lived in the city for seven years in the 1990s. He is a graduate of Leadership Park City. Fort says growth pressures along the Park City entryways, broad development and redevelopment issues and Park City’s next 25 years are important issues.

    "Park City continues to feel the pressures of development along the entry corridors to town. Our town is no longer defined just by the City Limits, and as we struggle to maintain our historical small town atmosphere, we need to play a very active role and seek some creative dialog and solutions with Summit County," he says.

    Fort also discusses redevelopment projects, saying Park City "has an opportunity and an obligation to actively participate . . . "

  • Richard "Dan" Portwood has lived in the city for 19 years. He attended the Leadership 101 seminar designed to introduce people to the mechanics of the community in 2014. He is also a scout leader.

    Portwood says access, protecting and improving Park City businesses and the desires of Parkites are important. Some of the issues he lists include traffic, the effects on Park City of commercial growth at Kimball Junction and the protection of historic sites.

    "Living in Park City is a privilege. Property owners must be vigilantly and carefully protected by policies and plans instituted," he says.

  • Clay Stuard has lived in Park City for 24 years and served on committees in the 1990s addressing the General Plan and sensitive lands. He is serving a partial term on the Planning Commission and is seeking his first full term.

    Stuard says issues of importance include the General Plan and the Land Management Code, economic and social diversity and respecting development patterns in neighborhoods.

    "Maintaining our small town scale and character is essential if we are to remain a unique, viable and desirable mountain resort community. Growth for growth’s sake will not improve Park City. Bigger isn’t necessarily better," Stuard says in his application.

  • Melissa Band has lived in Park City for 11 years and has a broad background in community involvement, including a Leadership Park City alumni group, an anti-bullying coalition and a blue-ribbon commission that recently studied the compensation of Park City’s elected officials.

    Band says traffic, revising the Land Management Code and creating balance in Park City are important. She mentions traffic being an issue in the City Hall elections in 2013.

    "Traffic not only threatens our quality of life here as locals, but the visitor experience as well. While I feel that Park City has been very aware of this problem and proactive in dealing with it by improving walkability and public transportation, I think that more needs to be done, specifically traffic from the airport and visitors driving into town," Band says.

  • Douglas Thimm has lived in Park City for 14 years and says he has coached youth soccer for more than a decade. He is an architect and a planner who has worked in Utah, Southern California and Idaho.

    "At the center of everything, my efforts have included recognition of creating great streets and public spaces and plazas that tie into the neighborhood fabric," he says.

    Issues of importance include connectivity in Park City, "sensible growth" and continuing to revitalize Main Street.

    "We all know that Main Street is a show place for people from far and wide. I feel that there is a disconnect between ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ Main Street that needs to be stitched together as development occurs. The ‘missing tooth’ at the Kimball Art Center should be carefully filled in with development that promotes continuity of the Main Street experience," Thimm wrote.

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