City reopens farm discussions
By midweek, Friends of the Farm board member Denise Carey, reports she has already received two phone calls about hosting weddings by the charming white barn on State Road 224. Later, she must break it to the wedding planners that they need to look elsewhere for an event location, she says. The Farm was purchased by the city from the Osguthorpe family in 1990 for $3,735,000, according Park City’s Finance Department. One renovation and one decade later, the city, and Park City residents, chose to preserve the land as an icon of open space a relief from the growing amount of development in the area, according to Park City Public Affairs Director Myles Rademan. "Everything else is building up around here so quickly, so we wanted to keep [McPolin Farm] as an entry statement: relax," he explained. Prompted by a call from the Summit County Land Conservancy, that would like to further preserve the 50-acre McPolin Farm with a conservation easement, the city will hold a meeting to discuss the past, present and future of the Park City landmark this Wednesday. Rademan expects the public will continue to want to protect the land as a public, quiet space. "I think the prevailing feeling and I’m just imagining, just supposing is that [the public] will want it to be the same: [that] we can have events, but they’re limited in number," he said. Recently he received an e-mail from Citizens Open Space Advisory Committee (COSAC) board member Linda McReynolds. "I believe the Farm compound should be a visual amenity, not a venue for concerts If you are keeping a tally of public opinion, I still agree with that decision. Let’s please allow our entryway to be just an unspoiled place of quiet beauty," she said. Logistically, it is difficult to hold big events at The Farm, in part, because there are only 25 parking spaces on the other side of the road, notes Rademan. For events, the city uses the 400-square-foot farmhouse and additional renovated out buildings furnished by the Friends with antiques. The maximum capacity for any event is 75 people, according to Carey. The 7,458 square-foot barn has been steadied by heavy cables, but is not safe enough to open to the public, Cary adds. In 1999, the city approved 12 one-day city-sponsored events annually. However, Friends of the Farm takes advantage of only four of those opportunities: a summer hoe-down and pig-roast, an autumn scarecrow event, and a snowshoe event in February, Carey says. The city decided that no significant changes would be made to the property without a public referendum on a November ballot, she adds. Daniel McPolin purchased the Farm in 1900, and the barn itself began to be built in the 1920s. The Farm was later inherited by Patrick and Grace McPolin, who used it as a dairy farm. and later was sold to veterinarian D.A. Osguthorpe in 1948.
Lori Colette, from the city’s finance department, says the property has not been appraised recently, since the city has no plans to sell the property to developers.
According to Rademan, the meeting will be about getting everyone together again, to invite public input.
"There are always people who suggest different things about the Farm. There will always be someone coming in asking why we don’t have rock concerts out there. And then I can tell you that there is a rather large group of people who would rather that nothing happen there," Rademan said. The city will host a public discussion on the McPolin Farm from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7, at The Park City Council Chambers in the Marsac Building at 445 Marsac Ave.
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