Guest editorial: PCMR project building heights irreversible |

Guest editorial: PCMR project building heights irreversible

PCMR project building heights irreversible

Nancy Lazenby
Park City

“Park City is a town that exists between two eras, where modern-chic meets historic-rugged with the comfort and ease of two old friends. It has an unlikely, but incredibly alluring vibe and charm that draws a large number of visitors to the area every year.”

Anybody who was here this past ski season can attest to the number of visitors this town’s charm brought in.

“It’s a unique town with an authentic vibe that was created organically and over time. And just like anything that is worth having – it’s finite”- and worth fighting to preserve.

Before PEG, the developer, announced they would be making no more changes to their proposal in the October 2021 Planning Commission Meeting, and wanted the city to vote, the City Staff, Commissioners, Public, and Developer had made considerable progress toward shaping the PCMR Parking Lot proposed plan into something much better than what was initially presented. The meetings were productive and yielded changes. There was a sense that additional improvements were possible and that those changes would make the plan more viable for our residents and (I believe) PCMR and the builder alike.

Since the December 2021 meeting, three of the last four monthly Planning Commission meetings have been cancelled by PEG. That is where we stand, or maybe I should say wait, now.

So let’s take a moment to recap some of the gains that were made in the spirit of collaboration, and to remind PEG that by working together, there is still an opportunity to score a win-win in both the town’s and the developers columns.

1.Eliminated a complete one-way traffic loop throughout the resort that studies showed would have resulted in significant safety issues.

2.Created a ‘Pedestrian Only Walkway’ with no motor vehicle traffic across Lowell near the existing Resort Center so resort guests can cross continuously and safely.

3.Designed a true resort Transit Center that has room for 7 buses instead of the current 3. It will also have User and Driver amenities such as shelters, bathrooms and lockers.

4.Relocated two levels of the four level parking garage to underground on Empire Avenue.

5.Increased architectural stepping to the façade on the north side of the proposed condominium and ski club building facing Silver King Avenue and Three Kings.

6.Modified the design to include three-story townhomes fronting Empire Avenue at the south end approaching Manor Way. The original proposal was for an 87’ tall, 500-foot long structure stretching the entire parking lot from Shadow Ridge Drive to Manor Way.

7.Constructed a Pedestrian pathway that cuts through the proposed structure on Empire Avenue at 14th Street allowing pedestrians to access the resort without having to walk around the 500’ long structure.

We’ve come so far from where we started.

While traffic and parking are important issues still being worked on by the city and developer, they are fluid and can be massaged over time. However, there is one irreversible and consequential hurdle that has barely been addressed: Building Heights.

Once this development is built there will be no changing or adjusting the buildings. The buildings will be permanent and massive. We’re not talking about a 5% or 10% exception to height being requested by the developer; the lowest building PEG has proposed is 71 feet high, and the tallest is 103 feet high. Respectively, that is 200% and just under 300% higher than the City’s established 35-foot height limit.

I truly believe that by working together, we can still find some middle ground that exists between 35 and 103 feet. Together, we can create a plan that benefits the builder without sacrificing the allure, the beauty, and the historic vibe that brought all of us to this amazing community.

But we can’t do that if one side won’t come to the table. I am hopeful the discussions will continue….

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