Park City planning panelist again talks of City Hall financial involvement in PCMR project
The concept based on an earlier municipal agreement with previous owner of resort
A member of the Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday for at least the second time in less than a year spoke publicly about a concept that would financially involve City Hall in a major development proposal at the Park City Mountain Resort base area.
Planning Commissioner John Phillips did not address the concept in any depth during a lengthy meeting centered on the development proposal at PCMR. He inquired whether there was an opportunity for the municipal government to improve a project in some fashion through financial involvement.
He based the comments on an agreement nearly 10 years ago between City Hall and the owner of PCMR at the time, Powdr Corp. At that time, Powdr Corp. was preparing to develop the PCMR parking lots with an action-sports camp as the anchor.
Powdr Corp. and the slate of Park City elected officials of that era negotiated an agreement to put up to $10 million toward the work at PCMR. The monies from City Hall were designed to fund a transit hub, a garage and related infrastructure at the resort. The City Hall leadership of then saw the investment as something that would advance the area’s transportation goals.
The work envisioned in the agreement between City Hall and Powdr Corp. never materialized, though, as the PCMR owner became embroiled in a lawsuit that ultimately led to the sale of the resort to Vail Resorts. The Colorado firm eventually reached a separate agreement to sell the PCMR parking lots to a Provo developer called PEG Companies to pursue the project that is currently under consideration by the Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission does not hold the authority to negotiate an agreement to financially involve City Hall in a project. That power rests with the mayor and the Park City Council. The current slate of elected officials have not discussed the concept of City Hall financial involvement in the project.
Phillips acknowledged the concept was merely an idea. The president of PEG Development, Robert Schmidt, responded to the comment with a statement that he could not speak on behalf of any City Hall interest in such an agreement.
The Planning Commission and project critics in the community remain worried about various issues related to the project. Some of the worries are based on the transportation and parking infrastructure proposed by PEG Companies. The earlier agreement between City Hall and Powdr Corp. was negotiated with the hopes that a partnership could better address issues like the ones that are currently a challenge with the project from PEG Companies.
The comments by Phillips on Wednesday followed nearly a year after he made similar statements amid the talks about the PCMR proposal. In comments in August of 2020, Phillips spoke about the prospects of a City Hall partnership with Vail Resorts and PEG Companies and mentioned the earlier one between the municipal government and Powdr Corp.
It is not clear whether the concept of City Hall financial involvement in the project will be put to Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Council. The elected officials are not expected to have a role in the discussions about the development proposal at PCMR unless a Planning Commission decision on the overall project is appealed.
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A former mayor of Park City, Jack Thomas, recently testified at a Park City Planning Commission meeting regarding the concept for a major development at Snow Park, essentially praising the overarching vision but cautioning the review will likely be extensive.