Letters: Leave City Hall-owned open space undeveloped
Re: Park City presses ahead with another Old Town housing project (Park Record, May 30, 2019)
As the city looks under the seat cushions for scarce funds this budgeting season, it’s unsettling to see that it has ignored the previous conclusions of its own Historic Preservation Board, while at the same time committing public funds towards this opposed and then abandoned project.
Understanding why the HPB motioned to reject the original application, prompting the withdrawal of the submission in 2013, is central to grasp the location’s many problematic and unresolved issues. The land in question at 100 Marsac Avenue is unsuitable for any type of habitable development, affordable or not.
This site presents many impossible obstacles, while also challenging the city’s objectives to preserve our historic character and avoid urban sprawl: destruction of historic mining walls; dependent on highly visible retaining walls, with a mass and scale not seen elsewhere in Old Town; an extremely hazardous location on the outskirts of Old Town; replacement of a natural footpath with a private road and hefty contaminated soils liabilities, to name a few.
Targeting this encumbered, city-owned and historically significant open space for development, that is outside the existing urban bounds of Old Town, with no transit or pedestrian links, that is only accessible from the most heavily trafficked and dangerously steep arterial street in Old Town will surely backfire on the city as it did for United Park City Mines Company, the previous applicant.
Adopting staff’s common sense alternative that retains 100 Marsac as open space under PCMC control is the obvious choice to avoid these costly inescapable facts that prompted the previous abandonment.
Clive and Betty Bush, Delphine Campes and Richard Eyre, David and Patricia Constable, Kathryn Deckert, Carole Fontana, Kim Marks, Peter Marth, Dennis L. Peterson
Pay Congress to do its job
So, it seems like our Congress feels that it deserves a long overdue pay raise to make up for several years of uncompensated rising cost of living. And I say let’s give it to them … with one provision: that it becomes a “pay for performance” system. The fundamental responsibility of the Congress, according to that pesky old document called the Constitution, is to raise money (i.e. taxes) and fund the operations of the government. Therefore, if the Congress fails to fund government operations, then their pay, and the pay of all congressional staffers, will be halted until the relevant budgetary appropriations are passed into law. There will be NO REIMBURSEMENT for lost wages, as all prior activity in that congressional session will have been fraudulent. And “continuing resolutions” DO NOT COUNT. Every working person in this country is expected to actually do the job that they are paid to do. Wonder how our elected representatives would like having their personal staffs and everyone else on Capitol Hill in their face every day that they don’t do the job they are paid to do?
Save our culture and lifestyle
As a 40-year resident of Park City, I have seen this city change and evolve. In 1979 when Stein and I moved to Park City, we were surrounded by open spaces, vast landscapes and scenery. Over these 40 years, some of these spaces have been filled in — filled in with roads, filled in with homes and filled in with development. While I am proud of the evolution and culture of this town, it is now time that we remember why we moved to Park City. We need to save Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures.
The preservation of the Pastures will mean the preservation of an open landscape, community serenity and clean air. It will remain a home to sandhill cranes, fawns and elk. It will host the open fields where hawks will continue to circle.
We can’t afford to lose any more open space to development in this community. Park City residents: I urge you to contribute to save Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures. The sheer number of vehicle trips that would create congestion on our already-clogged entry corridor would further add to the traffic problems we currently have from Kimball Junction all the way to Main Street. The increased traffic congestion, increased population and neighborhood disruption caused by years of construction have the potential to eliminate all of the reasons why we live in this unique and amazing community. Join me in donating to save these pastures, and save the culture and lifestyle that we have worked so hard to build here in Park City. We won’t realize how important this is until it is gone. Please visit UtahOpenLands.org to join me in donating.
Preserve a bit of our heaven
Yesterday I was asked why the community should support the effort to save the Armstrong Snow Ranch Pastures instead of allowing a developer to purchase the property. Below is my response. Each of us has our reasons to support (or otherwise) this effort to save the Pastures. We have less than 20 days to make up the required $1M.
I am promoting this effort because the Pastures are part of the Park City I embraced when I first moved here in 1990. Park City has changed considerably since that time and particularly Old Town as a result of development. The demographic of that neighborhood has also been altered with few full time residents living there anymore, relatively speaking. We all moved here and wanted to. Well 99% of us. We did not move here to be in a subdivision surrounded by concentric circles of more subdivisions. The land afforded by the golf course and the barn acreage allows us to enjoy looking at open space often populated with deer, moose, coyote, birds of wonderful breeding and even a bear, on one occasion at least.
The Pastures are not on a main thoroughfare and this makes the land even more special. Locals know the secret and so do our guests who come across this nugget inadvertently when golfing, hiking or going to Silver Star and instantly fall in love. This land helps create memories and draw our visitors back, some full time.
Development has its place, here in Park City and the surrounding hinterland. Most of it depends on the health and wellbeing of the community at the heart of that development. The Pastures really are at the heart. By conserving the land we are showing our respect and love for our Park City community. To me, the landscape has historic, spiritual, environmental and future relevance. We will provide a place we might hang with our children’s children.
Not everything lasts forever but maybe we can preserve a little bit of our heaven for the time being.
Fruits of old age deprived
The ownership of Deer Valley has apparently decided that elderly skiers are to be discouraged from skiing. This coming year the “super senior” category of season passes has been abolished. Thus, a season pass for an elderly senior 73-plus skier will now cost $1100 versus $925 for 2018/19. This is an increase of almost 20 percent for super seniors. On top of this, seniors will no longer receive an Ikon Pass with their senior pass. Every other type of season pass — Adult, Military, College, Young Adult, Child and Tot — will all receive an Ikon pass.
What have seniors done to deserve such discriminatory treatment. Did we not eat enough? Do we ski too slow? Don’t buy enough lessons? Perhaps the new management will raise seasonal locker rental rates for elderly skiers.
I worked hard to get old. It wasn’t easy: knee surgeries, spine surgeries, chemotherapy. Now that I have achieved a noble age and look forward to the benefits, I don’t get them, along with many other Deer Valley elderly.
I am afraid this step to raise prices and cut benefits for seniors is the first sign that Deer Valley is no longer owned and run by skiers but by a private equity firm that seems to want to deprive we the elderly of the fruits of old age.
After years of searching it seems John Bolton, U.S. genius extraordinaire, has finally discovered the elusive WMDs responsible for 18 years of war in the Middle East. Now he just needs to frighten us enough with his “ironclad proof” of origin and harmful intent of a claimed attack on the oil tanker Front Altair so we can guilelessly invade Iran and continue making the world a safer place.
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