Ryan Summerlin October 22, 2013
(1) Bonanza Park, long seen as utilitarian, could someday be remade into an upscale district of shops, restaurants and residences. Please discuss your vision for the redevelopment of Bonanza Park, particularly in the context of Park City’s existing commercial hubs like Main Street. What sort of role may City Hall play in reaching that vision?
I envision buildings that would not compete with the heights of either Redstone or Main Street. This way we could maintain the views of the mountains so vitally important to the character, beauty and feeling of peace that is Park City.
I personally do not think City Hall should subsidize the development of Bonanza Park. The City is exploring one of the most expensive forms of development , i.e. Form Base Code and the citizens will have to decide if they want to "partner " to help private developers. BOPA should develop slowly and grow organically. It should grow in a way that reflects who we are and what we can support. The form (i.e. Form Base Code) we have chosen does not look and feel like Park City.
With buildings over 3 stories we lose our SENSE OF COMMUNITY and SMALL TOWN. If we are not careful BoPa will add another big condo project to our SMALL TOWN with no one living there. New areas must enhance and support what we have in place. So much of our vision seems to be leveling what we have to create new rather than working with the principles of integration and sustainability.
(2) An agreement has yet to be reached in the long-running discussions about the Treasure development on a hillside overlooking Old Town. Please outline what you see as being the best solution for the Treasure land. If you envision some of the development rights at the Treasure site being transferred elsewhere, please identify the location.
As far as transferring density, I think that there are only 2 places to receive at this time and that is PCMR and BoPa. Until the Treasure Hill project is through the Planning Commission , we have no idea how much density the developer can mitigate. We have been talking to the Sweeney family for years only to find out they are not the controlling interest and are asking a price that is double what they originally thought.We should send the project back to the Planning Commission and find out how much density the developer could actually mitigatethen we will know if the cost would even be feasible for the developer to mitigate.Originally, the citizens were told that an experienced, professional negotiator would handle discussions and this never happened. It was only dealt with by City Hall. In many ways our community has been held hostage by the "fear" of this project and the result is we have allowed the fear to escalate to the developers’ advantage.
(3) Main Street is enjoying a renewed round of City Hall investment, funded by a voter-approved increase in sales taxes, as the street tries to remain competitive with outlying business districts. How crucial is the public investment to the future of Main Street and why? If you support the continuing investment, please identify one project not already planned you want pursued. If not, please explain why.
Main St. is not competing with any other area of town .it is tourist based and has the historical draw for the tourists. The increased sales tax has impacted our businesses in other areas of town that are service oriented. I often hear people say they will take business out into the county rather than support local because they need to save that extra on price. We have an added responsibility to spend Main St. sales tax revenue wisely.
The City has already built two parking structures. The City has redone curbs and sidewalks in a way that is not honoring our historic nature and at the highest price. I believe it is important to support the tourist drawing card of Main St. However, I am acutely aware when we make spending decisions that seem extravagant and contrary to our mining history.
There are small and inexpensive ways we can improve the Main St. area. The City owns land in Swede Alley where we could repeat the small investment of the pocket parks. The trash can issue on Main Street needs to be addressed. I think there is a limit to what the public can invest in any area of town.
(4) City Hall’s financial situation appears greatly improved from the lowest points of the recession, buoyed by strong sales taxes and an uptick in development since then. Please outline a fiscal strategy for the municipal government that you see as ensuring continued strength. In your answer, please discuss the prospects of a property-tax increase in the next four years.
If our financial situation is so strong and if middle income families and senior citizens are our priorities .Why would we raise property taxes? This would be another way to force people out of Park City. I see Salt Lake as a greater threat than Redstone as competitors for our consumer dollars. The cost of commercial property taxesis passed on to the consumer. If we are not careful we will be sending our sales tax money to SLC.
We say we have not raised property taxes but we have passed bonds and that is a form of property tax. We seem to work better with our general budget but when it comes to big bond money I question if we have always done the right amount of value engineering before we commit to a project. How we spend this money should have a return to the City either in improving; HISTORIC CHARACTER, SMALL TOWN FEEL, SENSE OF COMMUNITY OR OUR NATURAL SETTING.
I believe we have to tone down the "money machine" and to keep taxes down evaluate some of the amenities that we perhaps cannot afford if we want to keep us a real town with a diverse population.
(5) Sometime during the next four years, City Hall and the wider Park City community could be asked to support another bid for a Winter Olympics. Would you want Park City to have a similar role in a future Olympics as it had in 2002? If not, would you like Park City to have a greater role or a lesser one? Please explain.
The Olympics has been one of our greatest achievements. The role that Park City played fit the size and scale of our town and was really all we could handle given our budget and size. Park City needs to support SLC in anyway it can if they bid. The 1994 Lillehammer Olympics will be the last small town Games. The next Olympics should be a chance, just like the 2002 Games were, to sell Park City for what we are: A SMALL TOWN, that cares about its HISTORIC CHARACTER, NATURAL SETTING and SENSE OF COMMUNITY. And that in my opinion cares more about people than profit.
(6) Park City’s economy has performed well in the years since the depths of the recession, appearing to outpace much of the rest of the state and the country. Please offer a hypothesis explaining the success of the past four years. Identify one economic development policy or program you would pursue at the start of the next City Council term.
I have been in Park City for three recessions we always go in last and come out first. This recession gave us a chance to step back and look at where we were going. I’m not sure we spent the slow time wisely. Every recession follows a big growth spurt, and that time is an opportunity to assess our strong points and mistakes so that we are ready when the economy returns. Handling a recession is easy handling a big growth spell is harder.
Perhaps it is the nature of government to be afraid to admit mistakes but mistakes are such a learning tool and if we won’t confront our errors how can we not repeat them ?
I believe the City should invest energy into expanding more tourist revenue generators UNLESS City Hall has set the goal to become a more year round urbanized community.
For a mountain resort, our municipal golf course is a prime example of an amenity that pays its way while contributing to open space enjoyment and tourist attraction in the summer.
City Hall wants us to grow and urbanize and many of the citizens believe this will destroy the environment and culture of Park City.
(7) Development in Old Town continues to confound decades after past leaders pledged to preserve Park City’s history. The size of houses in the neighborhood has been a contentious point as has been the municipal process allowing old structures to be torn down. Why has it been so difficult for City Hall to balance preservation with growth in Old Town? Are you pleased with the processes now in place? If so, please explain. If not, please describe a new one you would support.
WE did not make preservation our goal. We made growth our goal. Now because Old Town is more than 2/3 second homes there are few neighborhoods left. Allowing nightly rental and over-sized homes has forced it in this direction and will continue. City Council needs to take a hard and unpopular stand in favor of Old Town and not the investor. Some look at Old Town as an investment and others like myself look at it as our neighborhood.
Old Town has lost Its FUNKINESS and PLAYFULNESS. We have to support neighborhoods that don’t want nightly rentals. There has to be balance between Old Town neighbors and the merchants on Main Street. The Council has given us no support in the last four years. A decision must be made should we give up and promote Old Town as a second home community forcing more seniors and middle income workers out or get tough about size, mass, scale and nightly rental and make Old Town a place where people want to live not just visit.
Old Town is our canary in the mine. Like the domino effect it will be moving to other neighbors in Prospector, Park Meadows, Thaynes.
(8) Park City leaders have long been proud that a middle class has thrived in the city even as it seems expensive real estate prices coupled with scattered job prospects would suggest otherwise. Please identify one program or policy that you would introduce meant to ensure the continued success of Park City’s middle class.
Park City leaders are mistaken if they believe that a middle class is "thriving" in our town.
Much of the middle class has been forced out of Old Town as house prices shot up. If a person making $125,000 a year can qualify for assisted housing we have no middle class in Park City. We need to protect what we have in the way of middle class amenities before we look at trying to bring in more. The middle class needs places to live and work before they will think of staying in Park City. Homestake, Claimjumper, Ironhorse, and Fireside condos are all in jeopardy at this time. That could be up to 70% of our attainable housing. With the median household income of Park City being $61,912, 50% of the households in Park City should spend only $1,550 a month for housing. If we don’t protect what we have and destroy it in favor of developmen we will be going backwards.
(9) Please differentiate yourself from your opponents.
I know the history of our own our past mistakes and successes and have tried to learn from them.
I have raised a family in Park City and understand the challenge of wanting your children to appreciate what we have in our community and not have them take for granted what they have been given.
I have grown several successful businesses in Park City and know what the City can do to help and hurt a business owner.
I have been a member of the Park City Board of Adjustment for nine years.
I have been an involved citizen of Park City for 40 years in the schools , scouting and Old Town neighborhood work. Having lived in Park City for most of my life I have a passion that comes from seeing my town evolve and knowing the best that we are capable of being. I won’t let that go easily. I will speak out and work to preserve the Park City we love.