PCMR project talks, still difficult, could be moving toward a conclusion
Planning Commission, it appears, may be readying to cast vote on development
The difficult Park City Planning Commission discussions about a major development proposal at the Park City Mountain Resort base area could be moving toward a conclusion of some sort, perhaps within months, even as the sides continue to attempt to reach agreement on a range of topics related to the project.
The Planning Commission and PEG Companies, the Provo firm that is pursuing the project, on Wednesday held another in a series of lengthy meetings about the proposal, which would remake the PCMR base area with development atop what are now the resort’s parking lots.
The sides briefly addressed possibilities for the next several months that may involve the Planning Commission readying to cast what will be one of the most momentous votes by the panel in years. The discussion about a potential timeline was held toward the end of a meeting that stretched past 10:30 p.m. and was held electronically as City Hall continues to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Planning Commission did not identify any specific dates for the possibility of a vote, but it appears some of the work required to prepare materials in support of a vote could be readied later in the summer, perhaps in August. It was not clear, though, whether the Planning Commission would be ready to vote that month.
It is not known which way the majority of the panel is leaning regarding the project. Members of the Planning Commission have expressed concerns about various aspects of the project throughout the months of discussions even as the developer argues the worries have been addressed through a variety of modifications to the proposal. There is also opposition within the community, particularly on streets in the vicinity of the PCMR base area.
Robert Schmidt, the president of PEG Development, told the Planning Commission the firm has been working on the project for longer than three years and agreed to modify aspects of the proposal such as the traffic blueprints, the transit plans and the architectural details as a result of the discussions with the panel. He noted measures like pedestrian upgrades and the traffic circulation designs.
Schmidt said the firm has made “every effort” to address concerns. But, he said, PEG Companies was unsure where the process stood after the meeting on Wednesday. He told the Planning Commission a path forward is needed.
“Believe me, we want to get it right,” Schmidt said about the project.
The remarks by Schmidt, made near the end of the meeting, followed after Planning Commissioner John Phillips toward the beginning of the meeting also spoke about a desire to move toward a conclusion of the talks. Other members of the Planning Commission at that point signaled they wanted additional information about topics like transportation and parking prior to crafting a decision.
Once the Planning Commission determines it is prepared to cast a vote, City Hall staffers must prepare the documentation in support of the decision. The municipal government’s attorneys and planners would be heavily involved in drafting the documentation, which would then be presented to the Planning Commission. Phillips said the Planning Commission at that point would hold more talks centered on the language of the documentation.
The next Planning Commission meeting about the PCMR project is scheduled on July 21. It seemed possible after the meeting on Wednesday that a subsequent meeting about the development, planned in August, could involve a review of the possible documentation.
It seems likely any vote by the Planning Commission will be appealed to the Park City Council. PEG Companies could ask the elected officials to review the proposal in the event of a ‘Nay’ vote by the lower panel while the opposition to the project could ask the same should there be a ‘Yay’ vote by the Planning Commission.
PEG Companies earlier reached an agreement with the owner of PCMR, Colorado-based Vail Resorts, to acquire the parking lots. A previous owner of PCMR in the 1990s secured an overall approval for the redevelopment of the base area. The development rights went to Vail Resorts when it acquired PCMR. Vail Resorts has moved its focus away from development, leading to the deal with PEG Companies.
The 10-acre development proposal from PEG Companies calls for residences, a hotel, retailers and restaurants. Large garages would be built in place of the parking spots in the lots that would be built upon.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday received additional testimony in opposition to the project. The input over the course of the discussions has been lopsidedly against the proposal. Speakers at the meeting were worried about pollution, the possibility of people headed to PCMR parking in the surrounding neighborhood and the impact of the project on streets south of the base area.
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A member of the Park City Planning Commission for at least the second time in less than a year spoke publicly about a concept that would financially involve City Hall in a development proposal at Park City Mountain Resort. Planning Commissioner John Phillips did not address the concept in any depth during a lengthy meeting.