Options presented for Park City Library field, a development battleground
September 1, 2015
Park City leaders on Thursday are scheduled to address the future of the field outside the Park City Library and Education Center, a green space that in recent weeks quickly became a development battleground even before City Hall has proposed a project at the site.
The field, located on the north side of the Library and Education Center, is a popular place for people to play sports, run their dogs and meet their friends. It has long been one of the favored hangout spots in the neighborhood.
The development prospects of the field, though, were broached during a design studio organized by City Hall in the summer. The studio involved architects, planners and designers. It focused on a patchwork of municipal properties along the lower Park Avenue corridor, including the field.
The design studio crafted scenarios that envisioned the development of work force or otherwise affordable housing on portions of the field. Sketches of housing on the field were drafted.
The concepts drew opposition from people who want the field left as it is. They say it is a nice open place in densely packed Old Town. A few people who live in the neighborhood started an opposition group called Save the Library Field with the goal of ensuring the field is protected from development.
Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council on Thursday are expected to address the library field as part of a broader discussion about the lower Park Avenue corridor.
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A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting outlines the crucial question about development the elected officials will need to answer. The report, written by City Manager Diane Foster and Phyllis Robinson, who is the public affairs manager, offers two options.
One is not developing the field. The other involves development of some sort. The development ideas listed in the report are:
The elected officials could choose not to develop the field, they could select one of the development options outlined by staffers or they could mold another idea from the ones presented by staffers.
It is not clear if the mayor and City Council will make a decision on Thursday, but they could signal their intentions. The elected officials are not scheduled to cast a formal vote on the matter. There seems to be some elected official resistance to developing on the library field.
The discussion about the lower Park Avenue corridor, including the library field, is scheduled to start at 5:20 p.m. in the City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. A hearing is not scheduled, but the mayor sometimes allows public input anyway.
The meeting on Thursday is also expected to touch on other City Hall-controlled locations along lower Park Avenue, including the Park City Senior Center, the Mawhinney parking lot and properties on Woodside Avenue and Park Avenue.
Officials are considering an overall plan for lower Park Avenue, an area of Park City that is seen as a transition between Park City Mountain Resort and the Main Street district. City Hall itself has significant influence since it holds some of the strategically placed properties.
The elected officials are expected to discuss a series of topics related to the lower Park Avenue corridor in the fall. The report written for the meeting on Thursday offers a timeline indicating the elected officials could provide a tentative direction in December. Workshops, neighborhood meetings and City Council discussions would occur in the fall, according to the timeline.
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