Letters: Proposed Kimball Junction development would help solve 3 problems
It simply makes sense
Lack of quality affordable housing — for lower-income workers, as well as medium- and higher-income earners — is making three of Summit County’s biggest issues even worse:
• Clogs traffic. Too little housing means that half or more of those who work in Summit County commute from surrounding counties. Most drive alone; few carpool or take the bus. These are the folks streaming into Kimball Junction during morning rush hour when many Parkites are headed the other way. Plentiful housing choices close to transit hubs boosts ridership and reduces vehicle use.
• Prevents authentic community-building. Summit County’s high percentage of commuters means half of those who work here don’t live in our community, even though many would choose to if housing was available. With such a high Area Median Income ($114,000/family of four), Summit County would benefit from greater income diversity and the influx of community-building energy from new residents.
• Deters high-quality jobs. High-tech companies with lots of high-paying jobs don’t locate in Summit County because their employees can’t find nearby housing they can afford, even those earning $70,000-$90,000 a year. This is an issue that even the lure of financial incentives can’t fully overcome, and it’s rapidly narrowing the county’s long-term economic opportunities.
The fact is we need more housing in a big way and we need it now.
Focusing relatively dense housing at transportation/transit hubs, like Dakota Pacific Real Estate’s proposal at Kimball Junction, is a solution that simply makes sense. This appropriately scaled mixed-use development will dramatically increase today’s negligible property tax revenue and bring a large, stable source of sales tax revenue from former commuters/new residents who will spend more of their disposable income locally, and not down-canyon. That will boost local businesses and provide more transit funding.
Seems like a good thing for Kimball Junction and Summit County.
Legislature must right a wrong
I have been a developer in Utah for almost 30 years and have built large real estate projects in and around the Park City and Jordanelle area that include Empire Pass, Silver Star, 820 Park Avenue, King’s Crown, Deer Crest, Star Harbour and others. For 10 years, I was the vice president of real estate for United Park City Mines Company (UPCMC), an extractive-mining-turned-real-estate company that was over 120 years old. I am also a disabled American veteran, ex-U.S. Army paratrooper who served as an infantryman with the 82nd Airborne Division. I strongly believe in property rights. I also strongly believe in the common set of rules, public process and land management codes that govern the right to develop property. Often the process is painfully incremental, emotional, frustrating and exhausting. However, I have always believed in fundamental fairness, honesty and that a deal is a deal.
When I was with UPCMC, we negotiated a very complex and painstaking deal that including preserving the property commonly known as Richardson Flat, the property that Hideout and the developer, Josh Romney, are attempting to annex to develop a massive commercial project. My understanding is that the passage of H.B. 359 was misleading to the state Legislature. It goes against the grain of fairness and decency that politically powerful men can circumvent the process to such a staggering degree to allow for virtually all Utah land-use law to be obliterated in one act of legislation, particularly if the legislation was not thoroughly debated over and vetted. The thought that the property can be annexed over county lines and does not even border the town of Hideout is mind-boggling.
The project is fiercely opposed by the jurisdictional authorities in Wasatch County, Summit County and Park City. I believe that there is not a city, town or county in the state of Utah that would not vigorously object to such an action taking place within their boundaries. If the Legislature was misled, that is a violation of public trust and ethics. Politically powerful men may have always enjoyed special privilege, but this action goes well beyond the pale. My father is not a U.S. senator and I have had to play strictly by the rulebook my whole life. Leadership takes courage and I respectfully urge the Legislature to repeal H.B. 359.
Rockin’ in Park Meadows
Hello Park Meadows neighbor that hosted the wonderful concert Friday night. Oh golly it felt good to hear live music. The band was awesome, and I savored every second of their epic 15-minute rendition of “Scarlet Begonias.” I’m super thankful to you and to them for rockin’ Park Meadows.
I’m also proud of our town that nobody called the police just because somebody had a band loudly playing amplified music from 7-8 p.m. or so. I’m sure that the entire Park Meadows neighborhood could hear it, and enjoy it. We had a houseguest and he was really impressed with all of us. Yay Park City!
Be kind, Park City
To say we’re living in strange times is approaching cliche status and, unfortunately, likely here to stay for longer than anyone would like. Tension is running high, distance is being kept (for good reason!) and the only thing certain seems to be uncertainty. Among the subdued chaos, members of Leadership Park City’s Class 26 are focusing on growing kindness in our community and we’d like to invite our amazing co-citizens to join us! Whether you commit to carry out an act of kindness, recognize someone else’s act of kindness, pay it forward, or even just take a few minutes to visit our site (parkcityofkindness.org) to learn about the benefits of kindness, you can initiate a ripple that makes a difference! We strongly believe kindness and how we treat each other is of utmost priority and are committed to spreading kindness and leading with kindness.
Currently, our Kindness Team has partnered with local businesses, Atticus and Hugo Coffee, to recognize the first responders in our community. Now through the end of August, please take your business to a participating coffee shop and donate a Cup of Kindness (free cup of coffee) to pay it forward to our local first responders who work so hard to show up in our times of need and work to keep us safe.
You’ll likely hear from us again soon, but you don’t have to wait, we’d also love to hear from you! To learn more about our kindness campaigns, share a kindness story or see how you can get involved, email us at email@example.com or visit our website noted above.
The ’90s slogan “Be Kind, Please Rewind” was on to something, and we’re bringing it back 2020 style. We can’t wait for you to join us!
Leadership Park City, Class 26
Support Kimball Junction proposal
I’ve owned a small business serving Park City and Summit County for over 20 years. I’ve also lived in eastern Summit County together with my wife and four kids for over five years. I am in Kimball Junction multiple times every day for work. And, my family and I frequently shop in the Kimball Junction area. I’m writing to offer my support for plans to replace the Tech Center office park site with a more balanced and sustainable mix of uses like housing, shops, restaurants, some offices and lots of open space, as called for in the Kimball Junction Neighborhood Master Plan.
Summit County will continue to grow, regardless (and perhaps, in spite) of efforts to slow it. It simply makes sense to concentrate growth in places that are best equipped to handle it, such as Kimball Junction, with easy freeway access, transit center and planned bus rapid transit service on S.R. 224.
Yes, Kimball Junction is already congested, especially during rush hours, but consider two things:
Changing from an office park, where most employees drive their cars in at 9 a.m. and out at 5 p.m., to a neighborhood with housing and other uses will distribute traffic more broadly throughout the day.
Adding more housing at Kimball Junction will increase demand for transit and use of trails for human-powered commuting because people (hopefully, some of my employees) will live closer to where they work, reducing their need to drive.
The reality is that the unmet demands in our community are growing, not slowing. We need bold action, innovative solutions and a greater sense of urgency if we expect to make positive, lasting impacts at Kimball Junction and elsewhere. I encourage local residents and businesses, members of the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission and the Summit County Council to support Dakota Pacific’s proposal to create a vibrant neighborhood at Kimball Junction and, more importantly, to help meet this county’s biggest needs.
And, from my point of view Dakota Pacific is attempting to gain approvals in all the right ways, rather than what we are currently seeing in the Hideout area.
Who wants closures to continue?
Want to see how fast schools and businesses can “safely” open back up? Institute an immediate 50% pay cut for all teachers, educational staff, government elected officials and salaried employees, and news media people (including editors, writers and talking heads). Watch how fast they develop effective mitigation techniques! The majority of “concerns” come from people with secure paychecks!
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Skier, mountaineer, environmental activist and Park City resident Caroline Gleich writes that Andy Beerman’s commitment to the climate is vital to Park City’s future.