Deer Valley Snow Park road decision moves from Planning Commission to City Council

PARK CITY, Utah — Although the Park City Council and Planning Commission have requested alternatives, Deer Valley Resort’s proposed circulation plan for its Snow Park Village redevelopment still hinges on the city vacating right-of-way to a portion of Deer Valley Drive.

Under Deer Valley’s preferred alternative, the company would take over a portion of Deer Valley Drive from the city and Doe Pass Road would become the new connector between Deer Valley Drive West and East.

However, not all residents are optimistic about the proposed right-of-way vacation. The results of the Protect the Loop Community Outreach Survey, published on December 20, showed that close to 65% of respondents felt that the “negatives outweigh the positives,” in regards to the proposed transfer of public right-of-way access of the south end of the loop to Deer Valley, and that the “vacation isn’t justified.”

This survey was conducted by Protect the Loop, an association of homeowners, residents, and other stakeholders dedicated to the responsible development of Deer Valley’s lower lots, also known as “the loop.” Data was collected between August 14 and December 6, 2022, and the survey received a total of 1,1113 responses, over 60% of which self identified as members of the lower Deer Valley community.

When asked how current Snow Park Village redevelopment plans would impact the overall quality of life for respondents and their neighbors, close to 45% responded that it would “generally worsen” their quality of life, and close to 25% responded that it would “seriously threaten” their quality of life.

The Park City Planning Commission decided during a special meeting on Wednesday, January 18, that it will defer to the City Council as to whether or not the city will vacate right-of-way.

Planning Commission and City Council members requested that Deer Valley provide alternatives to this circulation plan at both the March 15 joint Council and Planning Commission meeting, and the December 19 Planning Commission Work Session.

“Council requested that the applicant work on alternative site and circulation plans and gain recommendations of the commission before returning to the council,” said Laura Suesser, Planning Commission chair. “We didn’t see significant alternatives in the nature of what was requested of council, we saw a couple of different variations on the same circulation plan.”

Suesser proposed a condition of approval that Deer Valley must widen Doe Pass Road in order to mitigate traffic impacts of the Snow Park Village redevelopment.

In a letter addressed to a member of the Park City Planning Department dated January 9, Jacob Romney, the director of development at Alterra, the company that owns Deer Valley, responded to several questions posed at the December 19 Planning Commission Meeting, including whether or not Deer Valley had explored plans that don’t require the vacation of right-of-way.

According to Romney, the company has looked at several versions of a plan that does not include a right-of-way vacation, but found that the plan that does require vacation is “very much superior to any other plan.”

“The plan today does not require variances and benefits the community with both on site offerings, a world class ski experience, connectivity (gondola and transit), and financially by the project generating money back to the city,” Romney said in the letter. “Overall, Deer Valley will provide significant community benefit through this plan such that we believe a ROW vacation will help to support the community and not detract from the quality of life in Park City.”

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