Park City planning panel expected to turn over at crucial juncture with PCMR undecided, arts district looming
City Hall seeks applications for spots on the influential commission
There are at least two spots available on the Park City Planning Commission that are expected to be filled early in 2021, making it nearly certain there will be turnover on the influential panel amid the continuing talks about a major development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort.
City Hall is currently advertising the posts. According to the municipal government, the slots are those of John Phillips and Mark Sletten. Phillips in December indicated he plans to resign based on unspecified personal reasons while Sletten left the seven-member Planning Commission after a wildfire in Oregon destroyed a family cabin in September. It was unclear early in the week whether another spot, now held by Sarah Hall, is also part of the recruitment.
City Hall is accepting applications until the posts are filled. The Park City Council makes the selections. Officials said the timeline tentatively calls for the City Council to interview the candidates by the end of January followed by appointments by the middle of February. Planning Commissioners must be Park City residents. The municipal government by early in the week had received up to six applications.
The anticipated turnover on the Planning Commission will come at a crucial juncture as the panel continues its discussions about the development application at PCMR. The Planning Commission holds the power to approve or reject the application, though a decision could be appealed to the City Council.
A Provo developer earlier entered into an agreement to acquire the PCMR parking lots from resort owner Vail Resorts. There are development rights dating from the 1990s attached to the lots, and PEG Companies has spent months in talks with the Planning Commission regarding a proposal.
The discussions have been difficult and have pitted the developer against people who live or have properties close to the PCMR base, as well as people from elsewhere in Park City. PEG Companies argues the project fits with the overall 1990s approval while the opposition claims otherwise.
It appears it could be months before the Planning Commission is prepared to cast a vote on the proposal at PCMR. That means it is likely the new members will join the panel after a previous roster of the Planning Commission covered a series of important issues, such as the project designs, and with the panel moving toward what would be one of the most consequential votes in years.
The turnover would also occur as City Hall itself is readying to engage the Planning Commission about an arts and culture district that would stretch inward from the intersection of Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. It is an especially ambitious municipal project that is envisioned to be anchored by the Kimball Art Center and Utah offices of the Sundance Institute. The project also calls for workforce or otherwise affordable housing. The arts and culture district will likely require an extensive review by the Planning Commission as the panel considers the details of a major development at such a critical location.
More information about the planning commissioner recruitment is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org. The direct link is: parkcity.org/Home/Components/News/News/38469/23.
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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.