Record editorial: Park City housing developer, responsibly, acknowledges controversy

Development concepts for workforce housing in Park City, also widely referred to as affordable housing, can trigger a quick response from residents of surrounding neighborhoods and even people who do not live close to the land.

Some of the classic concerns are there will be too much traffic, there will be vehicles parked all over and a project like that could lead to a drop in nearby real estate values. In many cases, the developer seeking to build workforce housing rejects the arguments outright.

That is why a small section of a lengthy memorandum related to a Homestake Drive housing project sought through a public-private partnership involving City Hall and a firm called J. Fisher Companies is so intriguing. The memorandum includes the statement: “While most citizens appear to desire more affordable housing opportunities in the City, many do not want any such solution as part of their neighborhood fabric. No matter where affordable housing goes, it will generate controversy.”

The memorandum was included in the materials provided to the Park City Planning Commission as members prepared for a meeting that is scheduled on Wednesday.

It is language that so many people in Park City understand. The community through the years has repeatedly heard from those who say they back the ideals behind workforce housing but, in the next breath, argue such a project would be ruinous to a neighborhood.

We see the acknowledgment regarding controversy as being a responsible step early in the Planning Commission process. It appears to underscore that the partnership understands what it might encounter — resistance from members of the Planning Commission as well as the public — as the project is reviewed.

That understanding, if genuine, will serve all involved well as the project is reviewed and then, potentially, approved and developed. We hope it means the partnership will be willing to revisit, if not revise, certain elements of the proposal should resistance emerge.

A developer that is willing to act in such a manner is more likely to ultimately win an approval and maintain at least a cordial relationship with the neighborhood. There should not be any controversy about that.

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