Park City orders construction restrictions during Sundance
The Park City Building Department has issued an order prohibiting most construction on sites on Main Street or close to the street during three calendar stretches through the end of January, indicating that the days are expected to be crowded in the city.
The first runs from Saturday until Monday and covers the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend, a popular time for ski vacations. The other two will be put in place during the Sundance Film Festival, another time when Park City is usually busy. The first Sundance restrictions run from Jan. 21 until Jan. 25 while the second one is scheduled between Jan. 29 and Jan. 31.
The Sundance restrictions cover the especially busy opening days of the festival as well as the closing weekend. Main Street is one of the hotspots during Sundance, drawing large crowds throughout the day and into the early morning hours. There are official Sundance venues along Main Street and numerous corporate interests open temporary spaces in Main Street buildings.
Park City officials say the restriction on construction during Sundance is important to the overall operation of Main Street. There are normally traffic backups and shoulder-to-shoulder pedestrians on the sidewalks at many points. Construction crews could exacerbate the traffic situation and make it more difficult for pedestrians to pass, officials argue. They also worry about deliveries to construction sites while Park City is busy.
The Park City Building Department was not sure late in the week how many construction sites would be impacted by the order, which is similar to those issued in past years. Orders were also in place over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.
A Building Department memo to contractors provides a vague description of the areas affected Old Town, Marsac Avenue and Park Avenue. The memo also says areas surrounding those locations are also impacted.
The Building Department says work would be permitted in those areas if it is inside and is determined to have little impact, such as low volumes of noise. The chief building official would be required to approve work during the restricted days, the memo says, explaining that a construction crew would be required to submit a work plan for those days.
There has been little public resistance by developers or construction firms regarding the restrictions. Some have said it is difficult to work along Main Street during Sundance anyway since Old Town is especially crowded and parking is difficult.
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Park City Mayor Andy Beerman on Tuesday suggested the community does not want to destroy livability in order to address affordability. The mayor made the comment toward the end of a City Hall-hosted online event and as he was addressing housing discussions at the Legislature.