The Park City commute: Wasatch Front drivers clog roads | ParkRecord.com

The Park City commute: Wasatch Front drivers clog roads

When commuters leave Park City at the end of the workday, nearly one out of three of them are headed to the Wasatch Front, according to U.S. Census Bureau data that City Hall recently summarized as the municipal government continues to press housing issues.

Park City staffers gleaned the information from the 2010 census, the most recent year for which the detailed information is available. City Hall is engaged in a wide-ranging discussion about housing. The information was presented to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council at a recent meeting. Tim Henney, a City Councilor who has been especially interested in housing and growth issues, requested the data.

The census takers in 2010 counted 9,431 primary jobs in Park City that year. The City Hall report shows that a little more than 20 percent of the employees who work in Park City live within the city limits. Another approximately 23 percent lives outside the Park City limits but within the boundaries of the Park City School District, which generally cover Park City and the Snyderville Basin.

The largest percentage, though, 31.6 percent, encompassed the Wasatch Front counties of Salt Lake, Utah, Weber and Davis. Wasatch County, meanwhile, accounted for 10.5 percent of the employees while the East Side of Summit County tallied approximately 6.8 percent. Another 7.7 percent lived in unspecified other locations.

In another data set presented to the elected officials, staffers provided details about the residency of the 240 people who currently work for the municipal government on a full-time basis. Of those, 20 percent live within the Park City limits. The largest percentage group was the 26 percent who live in the Wasatch Front counties of Salt Lake, Utah and Davis. The Wasatch Front topped Wasatch County, with 25 percent, by a small margin. Another 16 percent live outside the Park City limits but inside the borders of the Park City School District while 13 percent live on the East Side of Summit County.

When part-time City Hall staffers were added to the figures, 28 percent of the overall municipal work force lives inside the Park City limits. The 28 percent was the highest percentage of any location.

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Rhoda Stauffer, the housing specialist for the municipal government, said the numbers will be used by a City Hall-hired consultant who is assisting on housing issues.

"What is the optimal goal," Stauffer said about work force or otherwise affordable housing in Park City.

The consultant is expected to recommend "a percentage goal for a realistic balance of workforce members living within City Limits and school district boundaries," Stauffer wrote in the report to the mayor and City Council. The consultant report and recommendations are anticipated early next year.

The numbers were compiled as City Hall is engaged in a broad discussion about housing issues. Park City leaders have long been worried the resort-driven real estate market prices out rank-and-file workers. Work force or otherwise affordable housing reduces commuter traffic, cuts emissions and provides Park City with socioeconomic diversity, supporters say.