Developers of a $60 million project in the heart of this resort community's historic Old Town have agreed to limit heights on new buildings to four stories.
That concession, made to address resident concerns raised during a public hearing last month, won the support of Park City's planning staff."The staff recognizes this project is of exceptional quality, and there can be no assurance the city would again see a project of this quality," staff members wrote in recommendations released recently to Planning Commission members.
Commissioners will discuss the proposed 15-year, phased-in project Wednesday. Staff Director Nora Seltenrich said the commission may act on the proposal or take it under advisement.
If approved, the project will go before the City Council. Some council members share concerns with area residents about the project's mass, the closure of key roads and the extension of a ski run into the neighborhood.
Park City, 35 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, was settled in the 1880s as a mining town and evolved into a ski resort in the early 1960s. Many of the original miners' homes remain in the Old Town area.
Plans originally proposed buildings along Deer Valley Drive as high as seven stories. By limiting heights to four stories, the project would be reduced from 500,000 square feet to 395,000 square feet of commercial space, skier services, support services and newly constructed hotels and condominiums.
"The buildings will be required to be stepped and use a variety of building materials to decrease the apparent mass of the buildings," the planning staff report said.
"The project would still be large and will definitely have an impact on the character of the historic residential community," the report said. However, "the project attempts to respect the character of Park City."
Buildings would be similar in design to those found in Colorado's Aspen or Vail resorts, a proposal that also raised concern among citizens speaking at last month's public hearing. Some residents felt the project would destroy Park City's unique historical character.
Still to be worked out is how the Town Lift ski run would be integrated into the community. Various proposals were presented in the staff's recommendations and planning commissioners will be asked to choose among them.
A key project element that has not received much opposition is the extension of Park City's historic Main Street to the north through what is now an open area adjacent to Old Town.
Despite the fact that the proposed development centers around the Town Lift, "this is not intended to be a base facility for the Park City Ski Area," the staff report said.
"Skier parking is not anticipated. Parking is intended for residents, visitors and shoppers and will be controlled with gates."