Statehouse not focused on Park City
City Hall is tracking a list of bills in the state Legislature, but one of the officials monitoring the proceedings for Park City said there had been no pieces of legislation introduced by late in the week that appeared to be written exclusively to address an issue in the city.
Diane Foster, the interim Park City manager, told Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council on Thursday evening no bills thus far targeted Park City. Foster and a City Hall lobbyist briefed the elected officials. City Hall also released the first list of "bills to watch" of the legislative session.
In an interview, Foster said it is nice that there had not been any Park City-centric bills introduced yet. She credited the work City Hall has accomplished over the years strengthening ties between the municipal government and legislators.
"It feels good. Park City’s mayor, Council have been working a long time on our legislative relationship," Foster said.
Park City leaders for years have been wary of legislative moves that they saw as impacting the city more than many other places in the state.
City Hall has, as an example, been leery of occasional efforts to tinker with property-tax laws, particularly those impacting vacation homes. There have been worries that the Legislature could remove a critical revenue stream if tax laws are altered.
The local government, meanwhile, has been concerned over the years with moves by the Legislature dealing with planning and zoning issues. They have included a controversy about the development of a movie-studio complex at Quinn’s Junction.
"Historically, Park City has played defense legislatively," Foster said. "I’m not making that up."
The ‘bills to watch’ list released by City Hall includes 13 pieces of legislation. Park City had not taken a position on any of the bills by the time the list was distributed. Foster said she expects positions will be taken within a few weeks, however.
Some of the topics of the bills put on the City Hall list include voting recounts, fireworks, building codes and property taxes. The list also notes that Park City will watch for bills filed dealing with issues like immigration, public safety and schools. It mentions that City Hall will also be interested in topics like sales taxes charged on food and legislation addressing liquor laws.
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A Summit County Councilor said recently that it will become necessary to require people to hold permits to use trails in the Snyderville Basin. There is concern that people from the Salt Lake Valley are contributing to overcrowding issues on the trails.