Citizens especially worried about Deer Valley traffic, survey shows
Traffic is by a wide margin the greatest concern of opponents of a Deer Valley Resort concept for a major development at Snow Park, a survey has found, a result many would have expected with congestion on the roads long being one of the top complaints in Park City.
The group Protect The Loop commissioned the survey, which was conducted by a Park City-based communications agency.
One of the key questions in the survey asked for someone to rank their areas of concern regarding the project. Nine areas of concern were listed as choices.
According to the results, compiled by the communications agency Nose It All, 50.9% of the people who answered the question listed “Traffic along Deer Valley Drive and throughout the loop” as their No. 1 concern. The loop refers to part of the road system serving Snow Park. None of the other answers offered as part of the survey reached double-digit percentages as the No. 1 concern. Another 16.2% put the traffic-related answer as the No. 2 concern while 10.5% listed the answer as the No. 3 concern.
The communications agency report about the survey showed 939 people answered the question while 174 did not.
Traffic is typically one of the top concerns regarding development in Park City, and the results of the survey were likely not surprising to those monitoring the discussions about the concept at Snow Park.
The Park City Planning Commission is in the early stages of the talks about the concept, with fears about traffic already expressed by some concerned citizens.
Some of the other topics listed as the top concern by those who took the survey included:
• parking accessibility and availability at the base, at 9.5%
• impact to property values, at 7.8%
• accessibility of Snow Park base area skier drop off, at 7.6%
• environmental impacts — air quality, water scarcity, noise and light pollution, at 6.3%
Preserving wildlife corridors, at 22.9%, was the most popular selection for the least important concern.
A weighted-average ranking of the topics also placed “Traffic along Deer Valley Drive and throughout the loop” as the top concern.
Traffic and the closely related topic of transportation are expected to be especially difficult issues for the sides as the discussions continue. Deer Valley argues steps will be taken to ensure a traffic and transportation plan is workable. Opponents remain unconvinced the measures crafted by Deer Valley will be sufficient.
Angela Moschetta, a Park City activist, owns Nose It All and earlier in December publicly challenged whether a Deer Valley application that is key to the Snow Park concept remains valid. A City Hall attorney at the same meeting indicated the application is valid.
The intent of the survey is designed to assess community sentiment as well as learn usage, transit and access habits. The group wants the resort owner, Alterra Mountain Company, and Park City officials to use the results as a framework for understanding community priorities and greatest areas of need, Moschetta said.
Deer Valley wants to remake the Snow Park base with a hotel, residences, retail space, dining locations and entertainment. Large garages would be built to replace the parking spots in the lots that would be lost as the land is developed. The resort recently released a survey result that showed a majority of the people polled support the redevelopment of the land where the lots are now located.
There are development rights attached to the Snow Park land dating to the 1970s-era Deer Valley approvals.
Deer Valley provided a prepared statement at the request of The Park Record regarding the Protect The Loop survey.
“Deer Valley is committed to balancing the resort’s rich history and legacy while evolving to provide our guests, both local and visitors, a world-class resort experience,” it states. “Over the past year, we have received great questions and feedback across many outlets from Park City leadership and the community related to the Snow Park project. Although Deer Valley did not participate in the creation of this particular survey, we appreciate their initiative to compile the viewpoints of our closest neighbors and help us better understand the perspectives within the lower Deer Valley area. We are reviewing all of the feedback collected thus far, and are dedicated to continuing dialog through a variety of forums and methods to continue collaboration with the broader Park City community, our guests and staff members as we move through the planning process.”
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