Park City panel holds grueling meeting about PCMR development as progress appears to be limited
Baja Cantina owner Stephen McComb struggles to hire workers for the restaurant, located in a high-profile spot at the base of Park City Mountain Resort.
Some of the staffers rely on public transit, and as a Provo developer continues discussions with the Park City Planning Commission about a proposal for a major project on land that currently serves as the PCMR parking lots, worries remain about numerous points. One of them is the ultimate location of the primary bus stop at PCMR, sometimes called the transit center. It is currently just steps from the Resort Center, but there is concern it could be shifted elsewhere as part of the ongoing talks.
McComb on Wednesday testified at a Planning Commission meeting, mentioning the transit center in his comments. He wondered how the business would survive should the transit center be moved to another location at the base area. He also told the Planning Commission additional parking is needed for employees.
The comments from McComb were brief, but they highlight concern that has stretched through months of the talks about the project. Business owners and the owners of residential properties at the existing base of PCMR have consistently expressed concern about the possibility of a relocation of the transit center. If that occurs, the existing base, broadly known as the Resort Center, would be less accessible, some critics say. Properties there could then lose some of their value, the thinking goes.
Several others who testified on Wednesday also worried about the ultimate location of the primary bus stop or spoke more generally about the topic. Comments touched on issues like what is seen as the danger of undermining the amenities at the existing base area. There was also an opinion expressed that the project would enhance the bus stop.
The sides were not expected to make determinations on Wednesday regarding the bus stop, but the meeting, another in a series of difficult ones, illustrated the grueling nature of some development discussions in Park City. The meeting did not end until approximately 11 p.m.
Members of the Planning Commission indicated a decision is needed on the bus stop, but a timeline was not clear. The details of the bus stop are expected to influence other aspects of the talks.
Speakers on Wednesday also brought up a concern about traffic headed to or from the project using neighborhood streets like those in Thaynes Canyon, and they inquired about how a project at PCMR could be connected in some fashion to Main Street.
A Provo developer called PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement with PCMR owner Vail Resorts to acquire the land for the project. A previous owner of PCMR in the 1990s secured development rights on the land that went to Vail Resorts when it acquired PCMR. The transaction between Vail Resorts and PEG Companies is not expected to be finalized until after a decision regarding the development proposal.
It remains unclear when the Planning Commission will be ready to cast a vote. It will be one of the most notable Planning Commission votes in years.
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Deer Valley Resort wants to start construction on the first phase of a major development at Snow Park in April. It is an aggressive timeline that hinges on the high-profile discussions that started on Wednesday with the Park City Planning Commission.