Changes possible at McPolin Farm
March 3, 2015
Park City is open to changing its policies with respect to the McPolin Farm, which was purchased by the City in 1990. The changes would be the first since 1994 and the City Council wants to know how its residents feel about the 135-acre Farm and whether changes are wanted.
That information gathering is taking place via a 13-question online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7J96LBZ.
Denise Carey manages the farm for Park City Municipal and is curious whether the public mood has shifted in the 20 years since the Farm’s policy was set. In 1994, "that’s when [the City Council and Planning Commission] agreed to 12 events per year and they just wanted to preserve, preserve, preserve and keep it as open space and not do much of anything."
Public input, Carey said, is going to drive the City Council’s decisions.
"They’re completely open to see what the public would like," she said. "They didn’t want to start anything until we’ve found out what the public does want to see out there. And I’ll be taking all that information to City Council on March 26. The survey will close March 15."
The McPolin Farm, since 1994, is restricted to hosting 12 community events per year. As part of its information gathering, the City is asking whether people would like there to be more events at the Farm, including private functions such as weddings. Carey says early voting on this issue was split, but that there were not many "absolute no’s."
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The iconic barn at the McPolin Farm is in dire need of structural upgrades, and Carey said people overwhelming seem to be in favor of touring the barn.
"It’s considered a dangerous building," Carey said. Members of the public may not go inside and "if the wind’s blowing more than 40 miles per hour, no one’s allowed in the building."
City staffers have presented City Council with a Preservation Plan that would allow for barn tours in either the spring, summer and fall or year-round, depending on the level of structural upgrades.
"We put cabling in there and some supports when we first purchased it in 1990, and that’s the last time we’ve done anything to it," Carey said.
The City is also open to allowing the "pole barn," the white structure located across S.R. 224 from the Farm, to fall into disrepair.
Carey said that the structure is in poor condition due to frequent water damage.
"In July when we were out there it was just saturated behind that pole barn. So we’ve got to do something, or pretty soon that whole thing is just going to fall over. And we want to know — is it important to you to have it there?"
The pole barn was not built by the McPolins but by the Osguthorpe family, Carey said.
Early survey feedback bodes well for the barn. "People want it saved. And I think it’s just because they’re so used to seeing it, they don’t want it to go away," Carey said.
Much of the focus on structural upgrades is thanks to the Friends of the Farm, "a volunteer group formed to foster community use" of the Farm. Carey acts as a "liaison" between the Friends and the City.
"The Friends of the Farm are actually the ones that are the manpower behind the events. Because I couldn’t do any of the events without their help. There’s just no way," Carey said.
The City and the Friends have been collaborating on a Historic Preservation Plan for the Farm and the public input will be taken into account.
"The Preservation Plan right now is to help us save that whole complex," Carey said. "It’s listed on the National Historic Register and if anything happened to it, I really think the community would be pretty upset. So the Preservation Plan is to preserve it and save it for the future. "
Care about the McPolin Farm one way or the other? Make your voice heard by voting in Park City’s public-input online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7J96LBZ/