PCMR project decision looms: ‘We’re nearing the end of this application’
Panel could cast vote later in year
The Park City Planning Commission may be approaching a decision on a Provo developer’s proposal for a major project at the base area of Park City Mountain Resort.
But it appears a vote will not be cast until after additional rounds of grueling discussions among the panel, the developer and the opposition.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday continued the difficult talks about the project, engaging PEG Companies as details about topics like parking were discussed. The meeting ran until approximately 10 p.m., another in a series of lengthy discussions about the proposal that have stretched into the nighttime hours.
Some of the discussion on Wednesday, though, pointed toward the prospects the Planning Commission could begin to craft a decision shortly, perhaps in August. It seems highly unlikely the members will be prepared to cast a vote at that time, but they could start to work with staffers in preparing the documentation for a decision. If that is the case, it seems possible there could be signals regarding the direction of the vote at that time.
“We’re nearing the end of this application,” Planning Commissioner John Phillips acknowledged early in the meeting on Wednesday.
Phillips wondered whether the Planning Commission would be ready to begin debating the documentation at the next meeting, expected in late August. He said the Planning Commission will likely require several meetings to finalize the language of the documentation. Under that scenario, it seems that the Planning Commission could be ready to cast a vote sometime in the fall.
The discussion about the timeline was not extensive, but it was noteworthy anyway more than a year after talks launched between the Planning Commission and PEG Companies.
The talks, which started in May of 2020, have covered numerous issues like traffic, parking, the height of the buildings as designed and the layout of the proposal. The developer’s side argues the project fits and concerns about traffic and parking will be addressed with a variety of measures. The opposition to the project, centered on nearby streets, argues there are numerous problems with the proposal and that the traffic and parking issues remain unresolved.
The 10-acre proposal covers the land where the PCMR parking lots are located. PEG Companies has agreed to acquire the ground from PCMR owner Vail Resorts. The land holds development rights dating from the 1990s. A former owner of PCMR secured the rights, which went to Vail Resorts when it acquired the resort. The agreement between PEG Companies and Vail Resorts is not expected to be finalized until after a decision on the development proposal.
The PEG Companies side on Wednesday indicated it was ready to move toward addressing the documentation needed before the Planning Commission could cast a vote. Robert Schmidt, the president of PEG Development and one of the figures who has repeatedly appeared before the Planning Commission, did not speak in any depth about the topic as he provided the comment.
The eventual Planning Commission vote will be the most momentous by the panel in years. It will undoubtedly draw attention from rank-and-file Parkites and the business community in addition to those who are closely watching the discussions since a project will have broad impacts on issues like traffic and Park City’s resort-driven economy.
It seems likely any decision by the Planning Commission will be appealed to the Park City Council. The opposition could challenge an approval while the developer could request the involvement of the elected officials if the vote is “Nay.”
The Planning Commission received approximately 40 minutes of testimony on Wednesday. The input over the course of the discussions has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the proposal. Speakers on Wednesday mentioned issues like a concern about traffic on Empire Avenue, a call for the project to be developed around the wishes of the community and a claim that the developer has made misleading statements.
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Deer Valley Resort on Wednesday is slated to launch talks with the Park City Planning Commission about what is envisioned as a major development at Snow Park. The project is known as Snow Park Village and involves the land where the Snow Park Lodge parking lots are located.