Suggestion: keep the Gap and Trader Joe’s off Main Street
February 4, 2014
Park City leaders are continuing their discussions about a redo of City Hall’s General Plan and officials recently received an unequivocal suggestion about the future of the business mix on Main Street.
"No chain stores on Main Street — e.g. Gap, Trader Joe’s."
Park City included the comment in a report released in anticipation of a meeting on Wednesday centered on the General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth in the city. The Park City Council and the Park City Planning Commission are scheduled to meet jointly on Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. in the City Council chambers at the Marsac Building.
The suggestion was offered as a written comment during a recent meeting meant to gather public opinions, the report said. The report did not identify the person who made the comment.
The comment, though, illustrates the broad nature of the discussions about the General Plan, which have stretched longer than leaders had anticipated but could come to a close in early March.
There has long been an ideal that Main Street should not become a strip of national brands, even as some of the stores along the street now are a part of smaller, less recognizable chains. Without the national brands, Main Street offers Parkites and visitors a unique shopping, dining and entertainment experience, the street’s supporters say.
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A late-January draft of the General Plan available on City Hall’s website this week includes a section that addresses Main Street. The section’s contents are not as bluntly worded as the written comment about chain stores, but the theory is broached.
"If Main Street is to remain the heart of Park City, it is important that public facilities and local-oriented businesses remain in the Main Street historic district," the Main Street section says. "This is important to maintain the local pride in the District, continue reinvestment in the historic resources, as well as to enhance the long term economic viability of the area."
The section also says Main Street should appeal to Parkites since "tourists want to be locals!"
The report, meanwhile, includes several other recent comments gathered about the General Plan, also printed without the identity of the person who provided the input. The comments touch on topics like construction, traffic and air quality. Each of the issues has been debated in recent months.
"Where in the plan does it mention construction mitigation? The recent construction projects on Main Street have created impacts that conflict with the Goals in the Historic Character section of the General Plan. There should be a specific strategy in the plan to address these impacts," one of the comments says.
The person who left a comment about air quality wants a transit link to the airport in Salt Lake City explored.
"I am very concerned about the air quality issues that we face. It seems we could greatly reduce the automobile traffic coming into Park City with a frequent, reliable light rail system that would connect to the SLC airport. I would like to see this as a longer term goal," the comment says.
Another comment addressed parking on Main Street.
"The parking resources for Main Street do not meet today’s needs and with pending completion of several rehabilitation projects of commercial buildings, we foresee an immediate need for additional parking for Main Street. Essentially, we are at a period of time that if people are unable to park to visit Main Street over the next few years, we will then create a pattern in people’s minds to not visit Main Street. Once that pattern is set, it will be difficult to change," the comment says.
Upcoming meetings about the General Plan include a City Council hearing on Feb. 13, a public outreach session on Feb. 25, a City Council hearing on Feb. 27 and another City Council hearing on March 6. A vote is expected on March 6.
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