Politics

In split vote, Park City moves forward with Homestake Lot affordable housing project

PARK CITY, Utah — At a meeting on Thursday, the Park City Council, in a 3-2 vote, approved a professional service contract with Specific Performance, Inc. (SPI) for help with developing the city’s affordable housing project at the Homestake Lot.

The vote was split 3-2, with new council members Tana Toly and Jeremy Rubell voting ‘no.’ Ryan Dickey, who was recently appointed to overtake Nann Worel’s (city council) term, was sworn in at the beginning of the meeting, and voted in favor of approving the agreement. Nann is the newly elected Mayor of Park City.

Ryan Dickey being sworn in at the beginning of the Park City Council meeting on Thursday.
Ryan Dickey swears in at the beginning of the Park City Council meeting on Thursday. (Photo: Park City Municipal)

“It’s definitely not lost on me that we 100% need to move fast on affordable housing,” Toly said. “I just really think that we need an overall plan for that entire area.” She said the city needs to have a master outline to make up for the loss of parking, as restaurants like Blind Dog and Boneyard Saloon use it for overflow during busy periods.

Toly also said she doesn’t think people should live next to a power grid. “Understanding that there are some concerns about the power grid, I still believe that that’s a really good space for us to use for housing,” councilwoman Becca Gerber said.

“I guess my hang-up here is I don’t want to continue to spend money until we make sure that we’re good on what the plan is, and if there’s a middle ground option here that would work for everyone,” Rubell said.

“We’ve been talking forever about public-private partnerships, about how do we tap into the resources that our community has… this is an example of exactly that,” councilman Max Doilney said. “I cannot see a reason why we would not move forward with this particular item right now,” he said.

At the meeting, City Manager Matt Dias said that Park City doesn’t “have the resources in-house” for what he referred to as a “legacy item” as they begin to negotiate a lease agreement with JF Development. SPI will charge the city $14,500 per month for services rendered, not to exceed $174,000 to complete the scope of the work.

“I think these types of services are best relied on in the private sector,” Dias said.

Formerly Park City Home Builders, Inc., SPI is led by local Peter Tomai, who is listed as the firm’s only employee on LinkedIn. SPI’s former projects include The Lodges at Deer Valley, The Chateaux at Silver Lake, and The Canyons Village Specially Planned Area and Forum Development.

When asked about his affordable housing experience, Tomai highlighted his work bringing 950 affordable units to The Wharf development in Washington D.C.

The city owns the Homestake Lot, located at 1875 Homestake Road, and sees it as “an ideal location” as it tries to create 800 affordable housing units in city limits by 2026, an objective set by the city council in 2016.

133 affordable units have been built in Park City since 2016, according to a Feb. 2021 staff report.

“Public/Private partnerships were identified as a key strategy to help reach the goal,” Park City Housing Development Manager Jason Glidden said in a staff report. “SPI has acquired deep and broad real estate, construction, and land use experience in both the greater Park City/Summit County regional market as well as nationally.”

Jeff Jones, economic development and housing director at Summit County, said in 2021 that 14% of Park City’s workforce lives within city limits.

In the past year, the median price of a single-family home in Park City rose 32% to $3.3 million.

According to research from the University of Utah, in 2021, short-term rental listings made up 21.5% of total housing units in Summit County, the highest rate in the state.

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