PCMR development, arts and culture district talks await new Park City planning director
Gretchen Milliken will have a key role in high-profile discussions about two major projects
Gretchen Milliken, the new Park City planning director, steps into the influential post amid the discussions about one major development proposal and with the likelihood another one is approaching.
Milliken arrived at the Marsac Building at the beginning of February and most recently served as the director of advanced planning and sustainability for Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky.
The Park City Planning Commission by the time of her start date was months into the talks about a Provo developer’s blueprints for a large project at the base of Park City Mountain Resort. The development proposal at PCMR is, by a wide margin, the highest-profile project currently under review by the Planning Commission.
A Provo developer called PEG Companies wants to build residential and commercial square footage at the location of the current PCMR parking lots. A former owner of PCMR secured development rights on the land in the 1990s. The rights were included when Vail Resorts acquired PCMR. Vail Resorts later reached a deal to sell the land to PEG Companies in a transaction that is not expected to be completed until after a Planning Commission decision.
The Planning Department that Milliken leads is responsible for drafting reports about the proposal, reviewing studies and making presentations to the Planning Commission.
It is unclear when the Planning Commission will be prepared to cast what will be a closely watched vote regarding the proposal at PCMR. Milliken, though, would be expected to have a key role as the materials are prepared for an eventual decision.
City Hall itself, meanwhile, is continuing to debate the plans to develop an arts and culture district off Bonanza Drive and Kearns Boulevard. It is an especially ambitious concept that would house the Kimball Art Center and the Utah offices of the Sundance Institute. Workforce or otherwise affordable housing is also planned in the district. The Planning Department would process the application for a district.
Milliken’s eventual role in the talks about an arts and culture district is unclear and complicated by her marriage to the executive director of the Kimball Art Center.
There is also the possibility another large development proposal could be put to the Planning Department with Milliken as the director. Deer Valley Resort holds longstanding rights to develop the parking lots outside Snow Park Lodge. A project timeline, though, is not known.
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The Park City Police Department last week received complaints about noise that usually indicate the community was busy. In one of the cases, the Police Department was called to Empire Avenue, where someone reported the music was loud and there were “people yelling like they are having fun.”