Salt Lake growth documents say little about Park City area |

Salt Lake growth documents say little about Park City area


Salt Lake County officials make scattered references alluding to Summit County in documents that will eventually guide growth in three canyons that either abut the line between the two counties or are within a few miles of the boundary.

The officials in Salt Lake County are crafting documents known as General Plans for Parleys Canyon, Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. The plans will be broadly worded documents that offer ideas about growth. Leaders in Summit County and Park City could have an interest in the discussions in Salt Lake County since topics include high-profile issues like transportation.

Salt Lake County on Wednesday held an open house at the government center building, drawing a crowd that seemed to be almost exclusively from the Salt Lake Valley. One Park City official, senior transportation planner Brooks Robinson, was in attendance. Nathan Rafferty, the president and CEO of Ski Utah, was also at the open house.

Some of the references to Park City or Summit County in the drafts of the General Plans, or statements that might be of local interest, include:

  • a statement about summertime improvements to Guardsman Pass, the high-altitude seasonal route between Park City and Big Cottonwood Canyon. The draft General Plan for Big Cottonwood Canyon indicates the area of a trailhead and nearby parking along Guardsman Pass could be improved. It says, though, that the site might need to be acquired from Vail Resorts-Canyons for the improvements to proceed. It recommends that an acquisition should be a goal.
  • an objective in the Parleys Canyon General Plan draft to recognize a long-range idea of state transportation officials to expand Interstate 80 and otherwise improve the highway that links Summit County and Salt Lake County.
  • an objective in the Parleys Canyon General Plan to increase the awareness of bus service on Interstate 80. A public bus runs between Park City, the Snyderville Basin and Salt Lake City on the interstate. The document indicates Salt Lake County should "work with transportation authorities to improve Canyon transit service."
  • a goal in the Little Cottonwood Canyon General Plan that Salt Lake County should recognize the long-range plans of the mountain resorts of Alta and Snowbird. It says Salt Lake County should recognize projects on United States Forest Service lands approved by the Forest Service.

    Rafferty, the Ski Utah official, said in an interview there is an "invisible line" between Summit County and Salt Lake County. He talked about the "availability to move between resorts" either through on-the-snow connections or a mode of transit.

    "It’s all incremental changes and improvements. Every little box here is an improvement to Big or Little Cottonwood Canyon," he said, referring to the displays at the open house.

    Robinson, the Park City official in attendance, said he was especially interested in the General Plan drafts for Parleys Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon, saying he would like Summit County and, possibly, Park City to be involved in the discussions as stakeholders eventually.

    "I wouldn’t express any concerns from what I saw here tonight," he said.

    Some in the crowd, meanwhile, asked the Salt Lake County officials about the idea to connect Solitude Mountain Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon with Canyons Resort in the Snyderville Basin via the SkiLink gondola. The presenters indicated there has not been a formal proposal to Salt Lake County for SkiLink and they declined to speculate about a gondola connection.

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