Mountain Accord decision imminent
July 7, 2015
Summit County will likely stay involved in the contentious Mountain Accord process, Summit County Council members say.
County Council Chair Kim Carson and County Council member Roger Armstrong said the council is "leaning toward" pledging $150,000 over the next three years. The County Council will decide on Wednesday during the weekly meeting. The item is set for an hour-long discussion, which will include public input and a vote, at 5 p.m. in the Sheldon Richins Building.
"I suspect we will wind up approving it," Armstrong said of the interlocal agreement. "I’m still somewhat skeptical, but I’m willing to take the first steps to see where it leads. I think there is value in being at the table for the discussion."
The County Council has been on the fence about whether to contribute to the effort. In February, the County Council tabled the discussion. It has only revisited it once since.
But now, Armstrong and Carson say they are on board because the agreement will not be binding. If at any time during the next three years the County Council wants to back out of the process, it can, they say.
"I think we have built in some off-ramps in the case things aren’t going favorably," Armstrong said. "So we have the ability to step out and stop paying the money."
The Mountain Accord executive board has made significant changes to the plan’s blueprint in recent weeks, including removing the controversial tunnel connecting Park City with the Cottonwood canyons.
"There have been a lot of changes made to the Mountain Accord that addressed several of our areas of concern," Carson said. "I feel comfortable with the language confirming our ability to retain our local land use authority so that we do have final say in our local land use decisions and we have the ability to say no to something if we are not comfortable with it."
Last month, Park City leaders agreed to sign the Interlocal Agreement and pledge $300,000. Carson said the city’s decision only slightly influences the County Council.
"I think we take all things into account because we partner with Park City on so many things," Carson said. "I think if there had been a real sticking point that caused them not to approve we would be looking very closely at what that was. Are we going to approve it just because they did? No."
However, Carson said the issues Park City leaders considered are the same issues the County Council is discussing.
Both Council members encouraged residents to attend the discussion and provide public input before the County Council makes its final decision.
"Now is an important time to come and express those concerns to us," Armstrong said. "Please show up. This is a big deal and when you do something of this size and scope you want to make sure the public is aware of it. So now is the time to say something if you have concerns."