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Hillside Avenue work

City Hall is preparing to rebuild Hillside Avenue, a small Old Town street, and Planning Commissioners recently seemed OK with the designs.

Matt Cassel, the Park City engineer, briefly spoke with the panel, describing that the width of the road will change slightly after the work. He said there is between 14 and 17 feet of asphalt width currently. After the work, there will be 15 1/2 feet of asphalt and another 4 1/2 feet of curbs and gutters.

Hillside Avenue connects the southern end of Main Street, at the trolley turnaround, to Marsac Avenue. It also serves Sandridge Avenue. There is a steep drop from the downhill side of the road.

In its current condition, it is a tight squeeze for two drivers traveling in the opposite direction to pass one another on Hillside Avenue. Downhill drivers are supposed to yield to uphill traffic, but they fail to do so in many cases.

The Planning Commissioners spoke briefly about the designs of a retaining wall for the road, with Jack Thomas, a member of the panel, saying he favored a rustic look for the wall. Dick Peek, another Planning Commissioner, said the retaining wall could resemble one outside the Old Town transit center.

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Cassel said afterward City Hall plans to start the work in June. The work should last three or four months, he said. The project is expected to cost between $1.4 million and $1.5 million, Cassel said.

City Hall has spent much of the last decade improving Old Town roads. Some of the roads that received major upgrades include upper Park Avenue and parts of Woodside Avenue.

Housing Act marked

The Park City Council has honored the Fair Housing Act, the civil-rights era federal legislation that bans discriminatory practices in home selling and rentals.

The act dates to 1968, one of the seminal years of the civil-rights movement. In a resolution, the City Council declared April as Fair Housing Month.

The month is a time to "reflect on and reaffirm our national commitment to the ideal that fair housing opportunity is available to everyone in the United States without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex familial status and disability," the resolution says.

It indicates that City Hall has "committed to fully protecting and enforcing the rights of all residents of Park City to be free of unlawful discrimination . . ."

Housing advocates see the act as being instrumental since its passage. Scott Loomis, the executive director of Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, said in an interview he recalls there being restrictions on housing that disallowed blacks, Jews and Chinese people from living in some places.

"It disallowed discrimination against people who were being discriminated against at the time," Loomis said.

Loomis said he is not aware of a Fair Housing Act complaint in Park City in the eight years he has led Mountainlands. He said complaints to his organization typically involve tenant rights rather than discriminatory practices that are outlawed by the act.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger