Worker housing decision looms
July 4, 2008
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday could decide whether City Hall will build a work force housing project off Park Avenue near Snow Creek.
The panel recently delayed a decision, but Planning Department staffers expect a vote at the upcoming meeting. City Hall wants to build 13 houses at 2060 Park Ave., one of the most significant work force projects proposed by the local government in recent years.
Katie Cattan, the City Hall planner assigned to the development, says staffers will recommend the Planning Commission approve the project. Commissioners are not bound by the recommendation, however.
At a recent meeting, the panel discussed the development and took testimony from five people, with the majority of the public speakers criticizing the plans. Neighbors have been worried about the plans for months, and the recent comments were similar to those made previously.
They said they want the land preserved as open space and the building will be too tall. They wondered about the project’s potential effects on nearby wetlands, although staffers say the development will be built outside the wetlands.
Rich Wyman, who has long championed work force housing and rents a similarly restricted unit, though, told the Planning Commission the housing "really works."
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Most of the eight-acre site will be left as open space. The land is directly east of the Park Avenue post office and the Park City police station.
Cattan said during the recent meeting the location is attractive for a work force housing development, saying the residents would live close to a grocery store, the post office, trails and bus stops.
City Hall officials for years have promoted work force housing as being important. They say the housing provides opportunities for rank-and-file workers to live in Park City, where the resort-driven real estate market would otherwise prohibit them from buying locally. They also say building work force housing reduces traffic because fewer people are forced to commute to jobs in Park City.