Park City panel delays key talk about PCMR project proposal at request of Provo developer
Planning Commission had been poised to discuss difficult topics of traffic and transportation
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday night delayed what was anticipated to be an important discussion about a major development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort, pushing back talks about the difficult topics of traffic and transportation.
The panel had been expected to delve into the details of the related issues. Traffic and transportation are crucial to the overall talks. There are deep-rooted concerns at City Hall and in the neighborhood surrounding PCMR about the amount of traffic a project would attract and whether the transit elements of the blueprints are adequate.
The Planning Commission was told the discussion about the PCMR project would be put on the March 17 agenda, making it a one-month postponement. The panelists did not address the delay in any depth. Laura Suesser, a member of the Planning Commission, though, noted time had been spent preparing for the discussion that had been scheduled on Wednesday.
The Provo firm that is pursuing the development, PEG Companies, provided a statement regarding the delay at the request of The Park Record.
“We asked for additional time to work with staff and our respective transit experts to make the preferred plan the best that it can be for the project and for helping to meet the greater community’s goals,” the statement said.
City Hall in the hours before the meeting posted a message on the municipal website indicating the PCMR discussion would be delayed.
The delay followed in the days after City Hall issued a report that was highly critical of the transportation concept outlined by the PEG Companies side. In one crucial section of the report, the City Hall side said staffers could “not recommend the Planning Commission approve the current site plan with respect to transportation at the present time.” It was an especially direct statement in a report co-written by three City Hall staffers and a consultant retained by the municipal government.
The report argued the developer had not provided operational plans to reduce traffic. The staffers and the consultant said the proposal “effectively makes transit to the Resort look like an afterthought or add on to the design” and that there are not adequate connections for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as trail connections. The transit station proposed by the developer “has limited amenities and does not meet the City’s expressed recommendations which Transit determined as necessary to encourage, enhance and efficiently expand existing bus service,” the report said.
Neither City Hall staffers nor the PEG Companies side made a detailed presentation on Wednesday prior to the Planning Commission agreeing to the delay.
In an interview prior to the meeting, the planning director at City Hall, Gretchen Milliken, said the developer on Tuesday requested the delay. She said the sides “want to get it right” as she explained the delay.
“We’re working with the developer on ironing out the traffic and transit issues,” Milliken said.
PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement with PCMR owner Vail Resorts to acquire the resort parking lots for a project. There are rights attached to the land dating to an overall development approval secured by a previous owner of the resort in the 1990s. The PEG Companies acquisition is not expected to be finalized until after a decision regarding the project. The PEG Companies development proposal includes a hotel, residences, retailers and restaurants.
The opposition to the project is worried about a series of issues like traffic, the height of the proposed buildings and pedestrian safety. There are broad concerns about whether the proposal jibes with the 1990s-era approval as well.
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