Residents of the Snyderville Basin can expect more trail connections in the near future. The Snyderville Basin Special Recreation District was granted two open space parcels on Wednesday.
The properties include a seven-acre parcel adjacent to the Liberty Peaks apartment complex near the Tanger Outlets and a 325-acre parcel located in upper Summit Park. The former will help complete a trail connection for the Millennium Trail system while the latter would provide greater contiguous open space, as it is adjacent to the Toll Canyon open space parcel.
Basin Recreation District Director Rena Jordan said she has been approached by community members who have inquired as to when the Millennium Trail would be connected near Liberty Peaks.
"We had been waiting to work with the Park City Tech Center on how to create a trail connection," Jordan said. She added the trail continues on past Liberty Peaks toward the Tech Center but stops abruptly shortly after. "What we saw very clearly is that people had found a way through the property anyway on bikes to have a shortcut to get toward Whole Foods."
Jordan said the proposed paved connection, which will skirt the Tech Center to the south, will be a more direct route to Kimball Junction without pedestrians having to go through roundabouts or busy traffic.
The seven-acre parcel was deeded to Basin Recreation by Cowboy Properties, which owns Liberty Peaks. The open space parcel it is deeding to Basin Recreation was required for the density that was granted to Cowboy Properties. Even after the deeding, the company will still have fulfilled its open space obligations.
Basin Recreation will plan to budget for the Liberty Peaks trail connection this fall, which will be 5,900 linear feet of paved trail.
The 325-acre Summit Park parcel, which Basin Recreation acquired from the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands (FFSL), borders the Toll Canyon open space, which lies directly to the south.
"We already have trails on [the Summit Park] parcel we have a responsibility and an agreement to maintain those trails and to help maintain that piece of property in the corridor that those trails are on," Jordan said.
FFSL already has a conservation easement on the Summit Park open space. As it is not common for the holder of a conservation easement to also be the fee title holder, the Division approached Basin Recreation about assuming the title.
Currently, there is a proposal for a seven-lot subdivision on a 25-acre parcel surrounded by the Summit Park open space. A potential access point to that subdivision could be through a portion of the open space that is blocked from motorized access. That road is owned by FFSL, which has a 30-foot-wide easement.
The main benefit of placing the Summit Park parcel under Basin Recreation's control is that it will create contiguous open space between Summit Park and Hi Ute Ranch, according to a Basin Recreation staff report. It will also allow for Basin Recreation's direct management of the land, rather than through a third party.
Jordan also realizes that with the deeding of these parcels to the district comes the responsibility to maintain them.
"Obviously you can't just buy something and not take care of it," Jordan said. "We have fully found we need to create a budget to help maintain these parcels. The value of the open space and all the attributes that it brought are maintained."