Park City working on plan to put affordable housing on Mine Bench site |

Park City working on plan to put affordable housing on Mine Bench site

The workforce units could be developed under a public-private partnership

Pamela Manson
The Park Record
The Marsac Building.
Park Record file photo

Park City Council members have directed staffers to continue working on a plan to develop affordable housing on a site 1 ½ miles south of City Hall on Marsac Avenue.

Park City has a goal to add 800 affordable units by 2026 and the housing on the city-owned Mine Bench property would be for employees who work in the area.

Staffers are recommending the city release a request for proposals (RFP) to find interested entities to participate in a public-private partnership to build the project. They are proposing a multi-family rental development, Housing Development Manager Jason Glidden said at a May 12 meeting.

“We don’t think this is a place where we should have a market rate,” Glidden said of the potential development, which would be located on the southern part of the 29-acre site.

A staff report says the project could be designed to include resident amenity areas, public transit services, parking reductions and, possibly, commercial space, such as a market. The portion of the Ontario Trail that goes through the property would have to be rerouted, according to the report.

“Releasing an RFP for the Mine Bench property, a location that has demonstrated interest from private sector lately, is not simple yet entirely feasible,” the report says.

To build the development, the parcel would have to be rezoned because uses under its Recreation Open Space zoning are limited to conservation, trails, horse and livestock grazing, recreation facilities, essential municipal public utilities and mines and mine exploration.

In addition, lead and other heavy metals from past mining operations would have to be removed and additional retaining wall permits, landscaping and revegetation would be required because of the site’s steep slopes.

The property has three structures on it that are used as office, maintenance and storage facilities, but they are not on the part that would be used for housing.

Park City has a history of developing successful affordable housing on city-owned land, including the eight-unit Snow Creek Cottages, the eight-unit The Retreat, the 11-unit Central Park Condos and the 11-unit Woodside Park Phase 1, the staff report says. The projects were funded through the city’s Lower Park Avenue Redevelopment Agency.

However, the for-sale model does not address the increasing need for affordable rental units, according to the report.

“As the City has begun to look at the opportunity to create public/private partnerships to develop affordable housing, it has become clear that the most significant contribution to these partnerships is through leasing City-owned land for a long term (50 years or more),” the report says.

The Mine Bench property is among several sites that have been under consideration since last year as a location for affordable housing.

City Councilor Max Doilney said the site would be an ideal spot for a group of employers or a single employer to develop. He wants the development to be all workforce housing and the developer to take the lead.

“We could give them some general parameters, but I want to see what they come with,” Doilney said. “I want to see their creativity, what they need for their employees. I want to see how many employees they think they can put there and show us that they have a history of hiring that many people.”

Doilney also said he would want employers to provide transportation to and from their spaces.

Staff members plan to return to the City Council with a proposed RFP after looking at how other communities handle similar developments, identifying best practices and studying factors such as income limits.

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