Seven Parkites in contention for Planning Commission spots
Seven people submitted applications to serve on the Park City Planning Commission, a pool that includes two incumbent members of the panel and a diverse group of others who want to be appointed.
There are two terms expiring and an additional opening created by Julia Pettit’s recent decision to step down. The Park City Council will conduct interviews with the Planning Commission hopefuls and then make the appointments. Two of the appointments will be for full four-year terms while the person who succeeds Pettit will be granted a term expiring in mid-2014.
The two incumbents who want to keep their spots are Adam Strachan and Nann Worel. The others who submitted applications are: Douglas Stephens, Michael Wong, Nani Hogle, Steve Joyce and Stewart Gross.
Interviews with the City Council are tentatively scheduled on July 26. The appointments will likely not be made until the week after the interviews, at the earliest.
The Planning Commission is seen as ranking second in influence of all of City Hall’s panels behind the City Council. The Planning Commission has wide authority in growth and development matters, and it often casts the final vote on project proposals.
The people who are appointed will join the Planning Commission at a time when it appears the number of major development applications could begin to dwindle amid the economy and a scarcity of large vacant parcels inside the city limits.
The Planning Commission, though, will likely handle projects like Treasure and the redevelopment of the Bonanza Park district over the four years of the terms. There is a possibility the panel will also be addressing developments at Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort in that time as well.
Summaries of the Planning Commission applications follow:
"Home sizes continue to increase and the homes are slowly becoming less historic," he said in the application.
He said there have been successes with the Park City trails network, but Stachan also said in the application ideas need to be crafted to persuade people to choose other transportation options besides vehicles.
"The area is one of the first impressions visitors have of our community yet it is aging and in need of updating," she said of lower Park Avenue, which is generally considered the section of Park Avenue between Main Street and Deer Valley Drive.
He notes his time as a consultant to the Planning Department handling Old Town issues and his experience restoring historic homes in Park City.
He said in the application Park City needs to "deal intelligently" with the environment, the size of developments and work force housing. He mentions the importance of an ongoing rewrite of City Hall’s General Plan, a document that guides growth in the community.
"I feel that Park City has an interesting opportunity under the current economic conditions to be forward thinking in anticipation of the future development pressures the city will be facing and to set the values of the community with the revisions to the General Plan," Stephens said in the application.
He said important issues for the Planning Commission include large developments like Treasure and Bonanza Park as well as Main Street. He said Main Street "is becoming less competitive and interesting."
Joyce said in his application Bonanza Park could be a spot where development rights could be shifted toward from other locations and he wants the district to be pedestrian friendly.
"Bonanza Park — this project could be a huge boost to Park City if it is built as a livable community," he said.
"I have a real estate background in Park City therefore I feel I am qualified to address those issues that Park City is dealing (with) as it continues to grow," the application said.
Hogle did not address specific issues in her application. She said "continued growth issues" are of importance to the Planning Commission. She wants Parkites to have pride in the community and said in the application the mission of the Planning Commission is to promote "an organized growth for Park City for the future . . . "
He said work force housing, sometimes referred to as affordable housing, is also critical.
"The ability to live where one works is paramount to a thriving community. Whether owning or renting, the option needs to be available," Wong said.
He said in the application creating a strong economy is critical, explaining that an issue of importance is "comprehensive planning to provide an economically vibrant community for our future." Gross also argued for government transparency.
"Park City is my home today and forever. I’d like to bring my 39 years as a professional in commercial real estate to help my community," Gross said.
A critic of a Park City workforce or otherwise affordable housing project in Old Town said he is considering an appeal of the Park City Planning Commission’s approval of the development.