Pipelines vs. trucks not an easy call
I have attended presentations on the Tesoro pipeline project, and did what review I could as a non-scientist. I appreciate it is a tough trade-off - pipeline vs. trucking - and especially so for our friends in Heber who suffer the bulk of the traffic.
I think the pipeline vs. truck decision is a difficult one. I hope you consider not only Summit County today in your review, but also the environmental concerns we see, given the anticipated boom in oil and gas development around Vernal and the Ute tribal lands.
Permitting a path that makes it easier and cheaper to refine increased crude production to Salt Lake City sets poor precedent. Their air quality issues already find their way up Parley's Canyon into our homes.
Recall also our regular flooding these past few years along Chalk Creek and other Weber River tributaries. We no longer have easily understood water patterns and can not identify once well-understood watersheds to appreciate impact and what remedial measures are required should a spill occur. There is no need to approve given such uncertainty.
I do appreciate that you all are concerned with this issue.
* * *
City needs to step in to solve ski area dispute
The dispute between Park City Mountain Resort and Talisker/Vail is hurting the town. As I write this, people are questioning their future ski trips to our town. Employees are worried whether they will have a job this winter. Residents are not buying season passes. Businesses are worried about their survival. The city is computing possible losses in sales tax revenue and other taxes. Enough is enough! I propose that the city of Park City step up and settle this now! Park City Municipal should use its power of Eminent Domain and "take" the upper mountain. Then a judge will decide what the purchase price will be at a later date. The city could form a "Redevelopment District" or some other vehicle to buy it. Later on the city can lease or sell the property to Park City Mountain Resort! Not doing something puts our golden goose at risk! Talisker pledged the upper mountain would always be connected with the lower resort when they did the "development rights" transfer to build the Hotel Montage. It is open space and ski terrain so the City has a "vested interest" to keep it connected. Stop the fighting now!
* * *
JANS expresses gratitude
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the JANS and White Pine Touring Super Bike Demo at Park City Mountain Resort on Saturday, June 21st. It was incredible to see so many happy, smiling faces, riding bikes and enjoying the trails. We can't tell you how much we appreciate your support of the JANS and White Pine Touring Super Bike Demo; we hope you found the event informative, convenient and most importantly, fun! Thank you for supporting your local shops, local resorts and local trails. See you next year!
JANS Events and Social Media Director
* * *
Lodging companies' complaints fall flat
Marsac Mill Manor and Silver Mill House Condominium Association's letter sounds alot like the same...What's In It For Me ... as their charge against the litigating parties. They seem to be clouding the waters with their own biases toward how they'd like the mediation/solution to play out. I know they don't coincide with my ideas for a just and appropriate compromise.
* * *
Here's an idea: ask Mitt to mediate
The dispute between PCMR and Vail/Talisker has already reached the point where the local economy and general well being is being affected. Without resolution it can only grow far worse. It is apparent that the two parties have developed animus toward each other and look to maximize their own gain.
Given this, the interests of the community are secondary at best. Under these circumstances, Judge Harris was wise to demand mediation. As it happens, we have a local resident, part time, who would be ideal to fill the position of mediator. That individual is Mitt Romney. He has both local and national clout. More importantly, he has significant experience in sitting down with people and valuing the worth of a business and/or its assets.
The Park City Council has said they will pay the cost of mediation. I suggest they follow up on this by reaching out to Mitt Romney.
* * *
Tollgate Canyon residents are boxed in by road construction
I am writing to express concerns about the I-80 paving project from Wanship to U.S. 40 (slated to take two years).
The Tollgate Canyon exit (exit 150), is the only interchange within this span. As such, it is the only neighborhood affected so gravely by this project.
For two weeks, the westbound ramp (at exit 150) has been blocked, forcing residents to drive an extra 10 miles (to Wanship and back) in order to reach Park City or Salt Lake City. Notably, no roadwork occurred in that time.
For the 8-mile span in which exit 150 is centered, I-80 is now limited to a single lane trapped between concrete barriers. Any stoppage in the one lane means it becomes a parking lot, and then residents are trapped. On Sunday and Wednesday, cars broke down, stopping traffic for hours.
This is already costing money and causing hardship, but the most pressing concern is safety. Fire is a constant concern, and last summer we watched in fear as the Rockport fire reached high across the road, a fear amplified by the fact that exit 150 is the only access. How will emergency vehicles arrive, and how will residents escape, if I-80 is not a viable option?
Many of the 850 residents (as well as recreational users and those using the LDS stake properties here) use the neighborhood for recreation, and we have already had ATV accidents and medical emergencies. What will happen now if such a victim cannot reach needed help?
The problem is not the construction - it is how incompetently the construction is being handled. It is inefficient, unnecessarily costly and very dangerous. This is a giant safety issue, and UDOT and our local government may have blood on their hands if this is not addressed.
* * *
County council isn't listening to residents
What a surprising turn of events at Wednesday's County Council meeting when one person's opinion swayed the Council to possibly change proposed code language affecting hundreds of residents in the Spring Creek, Silver Springs, and Silver Summit Phase A subdivisions. The Council's work session was a discussion of code revisions to allow legal, non-conforming structures a little wiggle room to change or construct additions to their homes. One squeaky wheel, however, convinced the council to look at language restricting this wiggle room, even though the meeting was not a public hearing. What is the point of having code revisions to lessen restrictions for legal non-conforming changes to residential structures and then say that these lessened restrictions need to be restricted?
I hope the residents of subdivisions in Spring Creek, Silver Springs, Silver Summit Phase A, and anyone else with a residential legal, non-conforming structure in Summit County pay attention to this one-sided decision. Owning a home within 40' of a wetland, 100' of a stream or lake, or 150' of East Canyon Creek, or in Silver Summit Phase A, should not sentence you to harsh restrictions based on one person's opinion. The County Council should be looking out for the property rights of everyone in the county and wait to revise the language further until a public hearing.