New Kimball committee call pull together an unwieldy area
The Park Record editorial, March 18-21, 2017
The Summit County Council is poised to appoint citizens to a new Blue Ribbon Committee to help devise a cohesive vision for the neighborhoods surrounding Kimball Junction. It is a great idea.
The Junction, with its increasingly entangled shopping centers and interwoven residential complexes, is hard to characterize. The once sleepy intersection of Interstate 80 and State Road 224 is now a churning sea of commerce, an essential hub of economic activity for the entire county.
It has also become, increasingly, an important source of affordable housing for both seasonal workers and young professionals seeking to get a foothold in an otherwise unattainable community.
During the summer, Kimball Junction residents convene outdoors at the weekly outdoor concerts on the plaza and on the trails that thread through the new developments. However, on busy afternoons, especially during ski season, the area is bisected by a constant stream of vehicles and only a handful of pedestrians are brave enough to cross the roadways.
The new committee members that councilors hope to pick next week will have an opportunity to envision a future for Kimball Junction as more than an interstate on-ramp, to help enhance existing amenities, and to advocate for more.
The areas under their purview will include Redstone, Fox Pointe, Newpark, the Village at Kimball Junction, Park City Tech Center, High Bluffs (which includes Walmart), Canyon Corners, Tanger Outlets, Utah Olympic Park and just about everything in between.
Once established, the committee needs to look no farther than Park City as a role model of a community that is working hard to ensure residents’ quality of life is the top priority.
Last Wednesday, Park City residents gathered at an open house to look at plans for new municipal projects including plazas, sidewalks, affordable, new transit routes, parking management, special events, public art, recreation facilities and environmental initiatives.
Imagine a committee dedicated to bringing the same sort of imaginative thinking to Kimball Junction!
The Summit County Council is to be commended for taking a proactive approach to an unwieldy, unincorporated area. Now it is up to the residents there to participate. The council is hoping to enlist a cross section of business and property owners along with residents to dream up a bright and sustainable future for this vital area of the county.
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You may not have noticed it if you’ve been too busy soaking up summer, but the Park City Council race is underway. Now is the time to start paying attention.