Most of the noise coming from Park City this summer will not be from bulldozers or chainsaws but rather planners, politicians, and citizens who will debate the pros and cons of major additions to the town.
The upshot for out-of-state guests, Utahns, and locals may be a wider choice of retail and professional services in Park City, as well as more rentals and second homes to choose from. Construction, however, must await both city review and an economic turnaround.
Two major development projects within shouting distance of the historic mining town's central business district will undergo scrutiny in the coming months.
The ambitious Bonanza Park project, located in the Kearns Boulevard-Munchkin Road and Bonanza Drive meet, is proposed by Park City landowner Mark J. Fischer and Park City Mountain Resort. Plans call for nearly one million square feet of buildings that would include retail, office and residential space. Fischer recently told city officials that the project will be phased in over several decades, with The Yard area off Kearns Boulevard as the first to undergo construction.
Planning Director Tom Eddington told the Park Record that he anticipates there will be significant discussions about issues like the height of the proposed buildings and how they are designed. He expects there will also be talk about mass transit and the amount of open space that will be strewn throughout the development. The road network will likely also be heavily debated, he said.
The second project involves a parcel called Treasure Hill, owned by the Sweeney family, which overlooks the downtown core and adjoins Park City Mountain Resort trails. Plans, which have been in the works for several decades, call for more than 700,000 square feet of residential space accessed by a cabriolet people-mover from Old Town's main streets. The Town Lift bisects the property. The proposal can be viewed online.
Complicating the Treasure Hill project has been a planning commission proposal to permit landowners to shift development rights back and forth within the city's boundaries. Debate over that concept will likely dominate the discussions this summer, as the city has long wanted to cut a conservation deal with the Sweeneys, according to news reports. Treasure developers resubmitted a revised plan in 2009 but, as of this spring, have not entered the city's review process.