Park City will soon ask: What’s your vision for the community?
Park City is poised to engage the populace in what will be a wide-ranging and perhaps contentious discussion about the future, a question that appears simple to ask but one that could be difficult to answer.
City Hall plans to conduct what it describes as a community visioning, an effort that is expected to start later in 2018 and last through 2019 before finishing in early 2020. It will be the first such effort since 2009.
The community has changed dramatically in the nine years since the 2009 visioning. Park City at that time was suffering through the recession and was still a few years away from an economic uptick that continues. The 2009 visioning also predates upheaval in the resort industry. In the years since, Vail Resorts acquired Park City Mountain Resort and merged PCMR and Canyons Resort into a single property while Alterra Mountain Company acquired Deer Valley Resort.
The recession, the changes in resort ownership as well as continued worries about the related topics of growth and traffic, coupled with rising costs, have seemed to leave many Parkites concerned about the future, perhaps even more so than at other points of growth during the skiing era.
The visioning efforts will likely at some level focus on City Hall priorities such as housing, transportation, energy and social equity, but the Parkites who participate could eventually help determine the direction as opinions are gathered. The 2009 visioning broached numerous issues that remain crucial to Park City today, such as the idea of Park City as a small town, the arts and cultural scene and the skiing and other recreational opportunities.
City Hall is seeking proposals from firms interested in leading the community visioning. The proposals are due on Friday. Up to $60,000 is available for the visioning. The Park City Council is expected to select a firm shortly.
“Through community engagement and dialogue. Park City wishes to define what makes Park City the place we choose to call home — how do individual aspects of people and neighborhoods intersect to create the place we live, work, visit, and recreate?” the City Hall posting seeking proposals says.
The posting says the process will influence planning and zoning decisions as well as policies related to City Hall’s economic, social and environmental programs.
“A key goal of this process is to help the community articulate tangible and intangible elements that, if lost, would fundamentally change the character of Park City,” the posting also says.
The efforts are expected to include:
- the crafting and presentation of the plans for the visioning, slated for December and January.
- implementation through talks with stakeholders like Parkites, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. The Park City School District, the Park City Planning Commission and the Park City Historic Preservation Board will be included. The implementation is scheduled from February until August.
- analysis of the results from September until November.
- presentations to the Park City Council as well as the community in January of 2020.
There are expected to be public events and other opportunities for public input throughout the process as the firm gathers the opinions of rank-and-file Parkites to complement those culled from community leaders.
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Representatives from the American Institute of Architects came to town Thursday, held a community visioning session and dinner Friday, worked all weekend and presented a 75-page report to the community Monday.