Old Town man, a City Hall critic, dies after car pins him
June 8, 2010
An Old Town man died Saturday night after he was pinned underneath his car, the Park City Police Department said, a freak accident that claimed a figure well known in City Hall and development circles.
Kevin King was 45 years old and had lived in Park City for 19 years. He was a house designer who worked in Old Town and closely watched development trends in the city. He frequently disagreed with City Hall’s tight development rules in Old Town, the most disputed neighborhood in Park City.
King in recent years was seen at numerous City Hall meetings and also regularly canvassed the Marsac Building hallways discussing Old Town issues with staffers. He took the opposing side on many City Hall policies.
"At times very tough to deal with," Mayor Dana Williams said about King on Monday, calling King "very passionate." "At times, that put us at loggerheads."
Phil Kirk, a Police Department captain, said the authorities received a call from the upper reaches of Norfolk Avenue at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Saturday reporting the accident. The caller said a man had become pinned underneath a car, Kirk said.
The captain said it appeared the car slipped off a jack, pinning King underneath. An ambulance took King to Park City Medical Center. Kirk said he died at the hospital. Kirk said the case has been ruled an accident. The state medical examiner, though, is investigating, Kirk said.
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An obituary provided to The Park Record indicated King was working on a 1949 DeSoto when the accident occurred. The obituary said King graduated from Mississippi State University in 1987 with an architectural degree and moved to Park City four years later. It went on to add he was a snowboarder and a bicyclist.
Many Park City people who monitor City Hall will remember him for his challenges to the local government. He was seen as a part of a group of architects and house designers highly critical of the Old Town rules, claiming that the restrictions are too tight and discourage creativity in the design process. His obituary said King was "passionate about historic buildings and his profession."
He recently testified at a hearing about the City Hall budget, saying that some municipal staffers had redundant jobs. There are too many staffers working for City Hall, King said in his brief remarks at the recent hearing in front of Williams and the Park City Council.
In late 2009, King was among the people who took a tour of the Sweeney family’s Treasure land overlooking Old Town, acreage where the family holds ideas for a disputed development.
King at the time did not take a position on the development, but he said the Treasure buildings would be set against the mountainous backdrop and would be nestled into the hillside. remaining neutral, King went against what had become a prevailing opinion against Treasure.
"The majority of the people on the tour had already made up their mind and were not objectively looking at the facts or looking at the project from a neutral standpoint," King said in an interview after the tour of the Treasure land.
The mayor said he had known King for more than a decade, describing him as being one of just a few people who would stick with an issue until it is resolved. Williams said he respected King’s participation in City Hall issues.
"He brought a spirit to things that I didn’t necessarily always agree with," Williams said.
King is survived by a son, his parents, a brother, a sister and two nieces. He will be remembered at a celebration at 10 a.m. on Friday at Park City Community Church. Condolences may be sent to: P.O. Box 1957
Park City, Utah
In lieu of flowers, his son has asked people to donate to Mountain Trails Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding the local trails network.