Hot-air balloon lands in Park City neighborhood, drawing police attention
A hot-air balloon pilot on Sunday landed on private property in Park Meadows before moving the balloon to a nearby road, the Park City Police Department said, describing that the landing on private property was not authorized and a landing on the road is typically prohibited.
The police logged the case at 9:16 a.m. at or close to the easterly intersection of Meadows Drive and American Saddler Drive. A police officer on patrol saw the balloon land approximately 15 feet from the road, on an embankment that is private property.
Phil Kirk, a police captain, said the officer spoke to the pilot. The pilot told the officer he was “just touching down,” Kirk said. He ignited the burner, lifted the balloon off the private property and landed in the road, Kirk said, indicating the Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol blocked traffic for approximately 10 minutes while the balloon was deflated.
Kirk said the owner of the private property did not authorize the balloon to land. Landings are only allowed on the private property in the case of an emergency, the police were told. Kirk said there was also a dispute between the pilot and the officer about the legality of landing a hot-air balloon on a public street.
The Police Department forwarded the case to the Park City Attorney’s Office for screening. The pilot is 51 and from South Salt Lake.
Kirk said a hot-air balloon landing like the one on Sunday poses a danger to drivers and the people in the balloon. It could also cause property damage, he said. Hot-air balloon pilots should be concerned about issues like those, Kirk said.
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Parkites see traffic and transportation as Park City’s biggest challenge over the next five to 10 years, a City Hall-hired firm that is leading the efforts to craft a community vision has found as part of its research. And they also see transportation solutions as one of the two top opportunities, alongside strategic development, during the same period, the research found.