Park City official, regulator of hot construction industry, will depart |

Park City official, regulator of hot construction industry, will depart

Chad Root’s tenure at City Hall was marked by a strong comeback by builders

Chad Root, the chief building official and fire code official at City Hall, will depart on Friday after regulating the Park City construction industry during an extraordinary period of expansion following the depths of the recession.

Park City Manager Diane Foster on Monday confirmed Root is leaving the municipal ranks. She said he plans to move to Napa Valley in California, a renowned wine-producing region. Root did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Root arrived in Park City in mid-2011 after spending more than four years in a similar position in the slopeside community of Mountain Village, Colorado, just outside Telluride, as well as a chief building official post in suburban Denver.

His tenure in Park City was marked by a sharp uptick in construction as the area enjoyed a strong emergence from the lowest point of the economic downturn. Homebuyers and developers saw Park City as a smart investment with prices that had not yet reached the levels of those in some of the competing mountain resorts in the West.

The Park City Building Department issued a series of high-profile permits during Root’s five-plus years. The Stein Eriksen Residences in Deer Valley, the Rio Grande development in Old Town, the redevelopment of the DoubleTree by Hilton Park City – The Yarrow and work at Park City Heights along the S.R. 248 entryway are among the notable projects that were permitted under Root’s guidance of the department.

There were also numerous permits involving smaller dollar figures issued across Park City as property owners built additions or remodeled their places. Between the larger projects and the remodels and additions, construction crews were seen across Park City, sometimes creating rifts between the crews and the neighborhoods where they worked. Along Main Street, where there was heavy construction activity during Root’s time at City Hall, the Building Department stopped or greatly limited work during some of the busiest tourism stretches of the year to ensure the construction projects did not disrupt the shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

The construction industry in 2015 and 2014 reached the $100 million figure, a bellwether number for building in Park City. It was the first time the industry hit at least $100 million in consecutive years since a four-year string between 2005 and 2008.

The city manager said there was an “incredible amount of building” while Root has led the department. Foster said Root has a strong relationship with the construction industry and he has an important role in helping craft state legislation related to building and fire codes.

“He put together a really good team,” Foster said, adding, “You can’t do that by yourself.”

Michelle Downard, the deputy chief building official, has been named the acting chief building official. City Hall has started to hiring process for a permanent chief building official and fire code official. An advertisement posted on City Hall’s website indicates the position has an annual salary range of between $86,706.96 and $94,798.37. The position requires a bachelor’s degree and 10 years of experience in the field, including two years in a supervisorial role.

Foster said City Hall has received applications from strong candidates at a time when Building Department posts are difficult to fill since the private-sector construction industry remains hot.

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