Trailside Park is set for a major expansion |

Trailside Park is set for a major expansion

2 fields, 2 pavilions and 127 parking spots highlight plan

The Snyderville Basin Recreation District purchased these 68.5 acres of land in 2019 intending to expand Trailside Park. Trailside Elementary School is visible on the left. Officials received a permit to convert 10 acres into an expansion of Trailside Park, including two new ballfields, pavilions and 127 parking spots.
Courtesy of the Snyderville Basin Recreation District

A major expansion to Trailside Park got the go-ahead from county officials this week, with work expected to start later this year to create two new ballfields, two pavilions, a large new parking lot and other amenities in the popular and often-crowded Snyderville Basin park complex.

The Snyderville Basin Recreation District in 2019 purchased the nearly 70-acre parcel of land across Trailside Drive from the existing park and adjacent to Trailside Elementary School. The land undulates downward as it moves east until it rises in a steep hill that forms a natural boundary with the surrounding neighborhood. It’s populated with sagebrush and a few well-used but unofficial trails.

Officials purchased the land intending to use it for a park expansion, and held a community open house last year to hone in on programming. The plan is to develop a 10-acre chunk in the southwest corner, closest to the existing park amenities, and to leave the remaining 58 acres for open space and possible future trails.

Snyderville Basin planning commissioners vetted the plan on Tuesday, focusing on the layout of the fields, the location of the paved trail that is often used by schoolchildren and whether the amenities would be enough to satisfy the area’s growth.

Comments from the public focused on the parking problem that plagues the area, with cars lining both sides of both streets on days of heavy usage.

Commissioners were asked to evaluate a conditional use permit application, which they granted, with one of the conditions of approval being that Basin Rec work with Summit County to post “No Parking” signs along the roadway.

Commissioner Crystal Simons questioned the field layout, noting the retaining walls and levelling work that would be necessary. She also expressed concern that the plan would impact the park’s use as a wintertime sledding hill and asked the consultant hired to engineer the site to consider that use in the plans.

“It’s a really, really heavily used part of the community, and so many people are going to be here,” Simons said.

The consultant said they had worked through many iterations of the plan and that moving the field to the east, as Simons suggested, could require more filling work to level the site.

In an interview Thursday, Basin Rec Director Dana Jones acknowledged the difficulty of the site as a location for ballfields — “It probably wasn’t the ideal place to put big flat things,” she said — but said the expansion would be a good addition for the community.

“We’re really excited about it,” Jones said.

Multipurpose fields were ranked as No. 1 in a 2019 community recreation needs assessment, while pavilions were ranked seventh, according to Basin Rec.

The plan calls for restrooms, a transit stop, a space for an e-bike station and 127 parking spots in lots positioned between Trailside Drive and the ballfields. The two entrances to the lots would cut into and cross a paved trail that runs parallel to Trailside Drive and is often used by children heading to the elementary school. The plan called for creating a new paved path behind the fields, to the east, that would loop back across toward the school.

It would require the district to secure an easement from the Park City School District, which commissioners imposed as a condition of approval for the permit. The other condition was a requirement that the fields not have lighting.

After the meeting, Jones said officials had hit upon a compromise that would allow them to loop the trail between the two fields, avoiding the parking lot entrances before rejoining the original path as it heads toward the school.

Commissioner Joel Fine focused his comments on whether the facilities would be substantial enough to accommodate the growth planned in the area. The nearby Silver Creek Village development is slated for almost 1,300 homes.

“I don’t want to see it back here in two years,” Fine said, asking whether Basin Rec officials had considered doubling the amount of planned amenities.

Jones said the plan corresponded to the district’s strategic plan and needs assessment, and that the district had plans to program acreage it owns in Silver Creek within the next few years.

She said the district hopes to solicit bids for the Trailside expansion in coming weeks, with construction to begin later this year and to be completed next spring.

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