PCMR development returns with difficult talk about traffic, transportation expected
Discussions poised to restart after a one-month delay as Provo firm addressed the complex topics
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday is scheduled to return to the discussions about a Provo developer’s concept for a major project at Park City Mountain Resort and is poised to hold what is expected to be a difficult meeting centered on traffic and transportation.
The panel had been scheduled to address the closely related topics at a meeting in February before that discussion was delayed. City Hall and PEG Companies after the delay indicated more time was needed to work on the details of traffic and transportation. City Hall days before had issued a report that was highly critical of the project’s concept for transportation.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Wednesday outlines what is labeled the developer’s “preferred transportation alternative.” Some of the highlights include:
• bus-only lanes that would be south of the intersection of Silver King Drive and Empire Avenue.
• four traffic signals at the base area of PCMR and a signal for a pedestrian crossing that would be located on Lowell Avenue between the intersections with Shadow Ridge Road and Silver King Drive.
• what is described as an “enhanced” bus station and turnaround for buses on Lowell Avenue. An approximately 1,100-square-foot waiting area is envisioned.
The report says the concept is a “significant improvement” from an earlier iteration outlined in 2020. The earlier concept called for a one-way traffic loop at the base area. It also says, though, staffers are concerned that the concept “still lacks overall adequate pedestrian, bike, and trail connectivity for the anticipated volumes the site will experience during normal and peak conditions.”
Some of the written input received in recent weeks continues to address the eventual location of the primary bus stop at PCMR, oftentimes labeled a transit center. People who own properties at the base area have expressed concern that the transit center could ultimately be moved as part of the project. That sort of scenario would make it less convenient for people staying at the existing base area to take buses, the thinking goes, potentially leading to more people opting to drive themselves and increasing traffic.
PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement to acquire the PCMR parking lots from resort owner Vail Resorts. The deal is not expected to be finalized until after the discussions about the proposal. There are development rights attached to the land dating from an overall approval secured by a former PCMR owner in the 1990s.
The Planning Commission discussions have been difficult as the panelists weigh the proposal from PEG Companies against the 1990s-era approval. People who live or have properties in the vicinity of the PCMR base area are worried about issues like traffic, the size of the proposed buildings and the overall design.
The Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. It will be held virtually as City Hall continues online meetings in an effort to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. More information about the meeting is available on the City Hall website, parkcity.org.
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Park City Attorney Margaret Plane recently sent a memo to elected and appointed officials, as well as candidates in the City Hall election, cautioning them about making public statements regarding development proposals. The memo outlines that stands on planning and zoning matters could jeopardize a later process, such as when a decision by the Planning Commission is put to the City Council through an appeal.