Editorial: Last call for General Plan comments
December 10, 2013
The only thing worse than a bad plan is no plan at all, and that goes for cities as well as individuals. Park City Municipal has been trying to update its overarching General Plan document for more than a year and is hoping to ink the final language by the end of the month.
The approaching deadline, though, is making some homeowners nervous. Several are suggesting that the deadline should be extended. They say that they haven’t had enough time to review the language in the final document, and that some new provisions have been introduced that they believe could compromise their neighborhoods.
To its credit, the city government has responded by adding open houses and public hearings to take last-minute input, which has yielded valuable feedback. For instance, many residents are justifiably concerned about opening their neighborhoods to affordable housing and additional development.
But, in fact, the document has been in the making for a long time and citizens have been invited to review it on many occasions. It is time to wrap it up.
We understand it is difficult to wade through volumes of bureaucratic minutia and that is why, until now, most Park City Planning Commission meetings have been sparsely attended.
Nevertheless, in order to attain our goals for a sustainable, diverse mountain community with unique neighborhoods and a vibrant commercial center, we need to agree on a written description of that vision. The new General Plan aims to do just that.
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Granted, it may need a few last-minute tweaks. We agree, for instance, with those calling for stronger language to preserve the municipal golf course which has become not only a revenue source but also a beloved natural refuge in the heart of our growing city.
It is also important to note that planning documents are never carved in stone. They can be amended and reinterpreted as conditions warrant.
So let’s get this done. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing today (Wed. Dec. 11) at 5:30 p.m. and the City Council will do the same on Thursday at 4:20 p.m. It is not too late to speak out, but failing to finalize a plan as soon as possible will only extend the uncertainty that homeowners say is currently jeopardizing the security of their neighborhoods.
The document can be located on the city’s website, http://www.parkcity.org by clicking "Draft General Plan" under the "News" section on the home page.