Homestake development praised for affordable long-term housing solutions

PARK CITY, Utah — On Wednesday, July 27, the city planning commission discussed the Homestake Road affordable housing development with lead developer Rory Murphy.

The proposed plan includes a total of 123 units for rent; 46 one-bedroom units, 74 two-bedroom units, and three three-bedroom units to be built on the 1.86-acre triangle-shaped lot. Included is 42,237 square feet for 125 underground parking spaces. The maximum occupancy will be around 400 renters.

One drawback mentioned of the proposed location is that it is currently used as overflow parking by many businesses.  

“Traffic is a significant concern. We are counting on the city’s improvements to Homestake and to Munchkin to mitigate that. It’s a big part of our plan, and we know that is something that needs to be addressed in that area.” Murphy said. “Right now, walking on that road, particularly at night, is unsafe. It’s too narrow. When people park on the western side, it does create a bottleneck, and you have a significant line of sight issues. So if I were walking with a dog or a child, I would be very concerned.”

Commissioner Christin Van Dine echoed the safety concerns raised by Murphy saying, “I ride my bike there often, and it is not safe right now at all.”

One potential proposal by the Park City Engineering Department is for an eight-foot walking lane to be built next to the road. There will be other issues regarding infrastructure, such as sewage, parking, traffic, and the effect that would have on the walkability of the area, which Murphy cited as a critical aspect for renters.

According to all involved, is the confirmation that the property will remain affordable housing compliant, as this is an IRS program, and not stray from that in the future. Long-term residents will be required to sign a one-year lease as a minimum. Subletting or nightly rentals will be prohibited; this includes increased visitor periods like Sundance.

Planning Commissioner Sarah Hall praised the development for the number of market rate versus affordable units.

“This is 80% affordable units when the code only requires 50% to qualify for the affordable MPD,” Hall said. “So that in itself is also going above and beyond.”

A central point was made by Commissioner John Kenworthy, who emphasized the quality of life for the residents.

“You’re giving people an opportunity to live here, to work here, to help on many levels. But it doesn’t work if they don’t have a quality of life”, said Kenworthy.

He added that he would like to see the amenities in town and surrounding properties benefit the residents. With that in mind, the commissioner said he does not believe it is appropriate for the recycling center to remain in its current location.

“I think we have to address the Recycle Center. It is something we’ve talked about forever, and it’s another one we need to accomplish right now in sync with this,” said Kenworthy.

The Homestake Road development will continue to be discussed with the planning committee and concerned parties such as the Blind Dog restaurant, Claimjumper and Homestake condominiums owners, among others. There are still questions to answer, such as parking, traffic, and a solution for the toxic soil from stockyards in the past. The improvement of Munchkin Road and Homestake will also be a vital issue moving forward.

The proposed future timeline will continue on August 24, with a 4 p.m. site visit and a 5:30 p.m. work discussion on traffic, sustainability, building height, and setbacks. A further discussion of the project will be done on September 28, with a public hearing, and on October 26, 2022, with the potential for a final decision or continued discussion on this day.

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