Guest editorial: With growth running rampant, it’s a stretch to call Park City a mountain town
Welcome to Park City, Utah. Come for the traffic jams, orange pylons, detours and road construction signs which abound throughout. If you planned for a 20 minute commute, your timing could be a little off. Better add another 20-30 minutes depending on the time of day. Consider yourself fortunate to make it to your destination in a reasonable time. And trails? Enjoy them while they are still available. They may not be around much longer.
Yes folks, the city and county elected leaders and politicians have done all they can to congest and see to it that all that was once open space is now lined with heavy machinery digging up the terrain to erect buildings, homes, and maybe even our very own Space Needle and high-rise apartments at this rate. Heck, even the moose we used to see quite frequently around this time of year have been displaced from strolling the Jeremy Ranch neighborhood. We can partially attribute this to the destruction of hillside where the eyesore Woodward sports camp will be put up. Great job Summit County and Park City for depleting natural beauty and grazing rights in favor of buildings. Give yourselves a pat on the back. Were there any kickbacks to you guys involved in any of these transactions?
When is our community going to let their voices be heard and vote these people at the top out of office? Many Parkites claim how wonderful Park City is, but I’m not sure if they are wearing blinders or simply drinking the kool aid passed down from the planning and development board. Of course, it may also be these same Parkites don’t use the declining open space for fear of getting a little dirt on themselves.
It’s time our voice as a community is heard to stop this out of control growth. Perhaps Park City might want to advertise itself as a cousin to Los Angeles, California. Maybe a sister to New York City or Dallas, Texas, might do as well.
When I hear the words “mountain town,” I can’t help but chuckle at how out of touch people are. A mountain town is one made of open space, restrictions on growth, and free of cars lining up to make a left turn into Kimball Junction at 4 to 5 p.m. A mountain town doesn’t disturb the natural habitat of animals grazing the land, nor does it have squabbles over growth on a daily basis. A true mountain town calculates the overall impact of growth and its effects long-term. The present city and county leaders can barely see what’s in front of them. A mountain town has restrictions aimed at preserving the land and measures in place preventing the erection of structures requiring massive swaths of landscape. So, to call Park City a mountain town is a stretch not even silly putty can handle.
What is the motto of Summit County and Park City? Build, build, build until we no longer have mountain biking, hiking, and walking trails? Or is it, use every available land space so we can be a major metropolis that only Superman can save?
It’s time, people, to throw out the old, along with their out of date thinking and bring in the new. If we really care about our community, we need in place leaders and heads with a vision of land conservancy, trail preservation, thoughts of allowing animal open space, and restriction of doling out building permits at a warp speed rate to anyone submitting an application. Just like our country as a whole needs a changing of the guard, so does Summit County and Park City.
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I must admit that, although I have felt much love wherever I hung my hat during this life, I never felt more at home in a new cultural environment than on my first trip down that coastline.