Seven Parkites in contention for Planning Commission spots |

Seven Parkites in contention for Planning Commission spots

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

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:

  • Strachan lives in Prospector and has lived exclusively in Park City for the past six years. He has lived in Park City most of his life, however. He touts his experience, his career as an attorney and knowledge of City Hall development rules as benefits. Strachan said in the application open space, Old Town’s character and traffic are issues of importance to the Planning Commission.

    "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.

  • Worel lives in Solamere and has lived in Park City on a full-time basis for five years after having spent part of her time in Park City for several years. She said in the application she has a "solid grasp" of City Hall’s development rules and the Planning Commission has "worked well as a group." Issues she sees as important include the redo of Bonanza Park, handling projects that were approved long ago and how a stretch of lower Park Avenue will be developed.

    "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.

  • Stephens lives in Thaynes Canyon and has lived in Park City on a permanent basis since 2001.

    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.

  • Joyce lives in the April Mountain neighborhood and has lived in Park City for seven years. He is involved with a number of not-for-profit groups and is a member of the current class of Leadership Park City, a program that prepares people for roles in civic life.

    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.

  • Hogle lives in Prospector and has lived in Park City since 1984. Hogle mentions a career in real estate but no community involvement other than being a resident of the city.

    "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 . . . "

  • Wong lives in Park Meadows and has lived in the city for three-plus years. He is one of the owners of a Main Street nightclub and is a member of the current Leadership Park City class. He said in the application he has an engineering background and mentions his business involvement. Wong said work force housing, developing in a sustainable fashion and Park City’s history are important. He said conserving water is among the crucial subjects since it is a limited resource.

    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.

  • Gross lives in Park Meadows and has lived in Park City for seven-plus years. He is a member of City Hall’s Board of Adjustment, a panel that is sometimes asked to grant variances to zoning rules or hear appeals. He has a background in commercial real estate and he lists his involvement in a number of not-for profit organizations.

    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.

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