Conversation with the Council proves to be informal and wide-ranging
Summit County Council Chair Roger Armstrong and Councilor Glenn Wright stood before 20 or so residents early Friday morning at a Newpark restaurant answering questions and describing ongoing issues in the county in a more relaxed setting than the typical County Council meeting.
The first commenter thanked public works director Derrick Radke for quickly fixing a pothole in his neighborhood, but the conversation soon turned to broader issues like traffic, transit, regional cooperation, planning for growth and senior citizen issues.
Armstrong addressed a resident’s comment that he hadn’t seen this much traffic so early in the season by discussing transit solutions. He said there are roughly three bus lines serving the Snyderville Basin compared to seven in Park City, and that’s something the council would like to change.
Wright summed up the interlocal transit agreement between the two entities as “we pay half the money, they make all the decisions.”
Both elected officials touted “nodal development” where residents can access needed amenities like groceries without using a car. Armstrong pointed to the Canyons Village development agreement as a model to emulate. After recent negotiations, that agreement calls for 1,158 beds for employees, a grocery store and has a transit center within walking distance with bus lines running to Kimball Junction and Park City.
Armstrong added that Promontory was an example of a development that forces residents to drive for services like groceries.
Wright talked about the necessity of added density and height for new developments to catalyze that kind of growth.
“You can accommodate people in two ways: You can (build) up and you can (build) out,” Wright said. “If you go out, you create more traffic.”
One resident said the county should communicate that message to residents, as many are still opposed to added density and taller buildings.
Conversations with the Council happen roughly twice a year at a few restaurants around the county. The Newpark event was the third and last this week after one breakfast in Coalville and another in Kamas.
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Thanks to COVID-19 cutting into visitation numbers, Park City’s seasonal workforce is sufficient. In any other winter, “the hiring situation would be dire.”