Letters, Sept. 2-4: Park City should welcome diversity
Diversity should be valued
When my family moved to town two years ago, my wife and I wondered how our children would gain experience with diversity while living in Park City. I want our kids to be citizens of the USA, the whole USA, not the United Suburbs of America.
The Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street has been a valuable experience for our children. The mural has helped them to reflect on the fact that many Americans live under circumstances vastly unlike ours in Park City. We can’t ignore those people, we all live in America together. While we are busy skiing and mountain biking, we need to be aware that we have people and issues that need our attention.
I am hopeful that our children will grow up to have the skills and experiences needed to thrive in America’s cities. I want my children to value diversity. I want our town to welcome diversity, and hopefully the mural helps to demonstrate that it does.
Another good lesson will come from the comments on this article. Folks have vigorous opinions on the mural. My children will come to their own conclusions.
Karl Aull’s smiling face will be missed here in Park City, where he spent his winters working at Stag Lodge. He will also be sorely missed in Glacier National Park, where he spent summers as the “jamming tour bus driver” for Red Bus Tours. He was especially concerned with the well-being of international, seasonal resort and park employees. Recently, we were thrilled to receive an anonymous donation of $10,000 in his honor to the Christian Center of Park City. We hope this donation will inspire others to also help those that Karl cared so much about.
Christian Center of Park City executive director
Change Tech Center zoning
Snyderville Basin planning commissioners, I hope you will make a recommendation to the County Council of a change to mixed-use zoning on the Tech Center site. This will allow Dakota Pacific (DPRE) to continue with its project’s journey through the approval process before the County Council.
I request that fewer than 1,100 residential units be approved. I also request this be a solar-designed community. The site is perfect for solar with a flat, open, south-facing exposure. It is also a particularly windy site. It is a wonderful way to showcase our commitment to sustainable living at the base of mountains we hope will continue to be covered with snow.
I live in Fox Point, which is one of several east side Kimball Junction neighborhoods in Redstone/Newpark along the Swaner Trail. I love the look and vibe of this mixed-use area. I tell people all of us who call Kimball Junction home live in the eye of a storm — the storm being traffic going to, from and through the Junction; the eye being the quiet streets of its residential neighborhoods. For us, the DPRE project would be a major addition.
I like that the DPRE community would make use of the S.R. 224 pedestrian/cycling underpass which connects the east and west sides of 224. With that, and on sidewalks, trails and streets you can travel most anywhere by foot and bicycle. The circulator and Park City buses are other great ways for us to travel without a car. We have easy access to dozens of places, from shopping to dining to the Summit County Library and anything in between. If the DPRE project is built, there’d be more places to go like a cultural events center, a farmers’ market, maybe a hardware store and senior housing. I’ve heard DPRE would include an extended-stay hotel, which could accommodate families of athletes and multi-week visitors.
I would never want to see an office park on the DPRE site, with a backdrop of the UOP and Wasatch Back. I’m aware it would likely never be built. After studying the DPRE plans, I can (sorta) see their proposed community.
Mr. Mayor, we the taxpaying citizens of Park City have had it! You elected to allow your “personal political message” to be painted in the form a “Black Lives Matter” mural on the pavement of our beautiful Main Street. It now looks like the streets of Detroit! According to a freedom of information request I made to Park City Municipal Corporation, the City Council met on June 25 and again on July 9. No votes were taken between July 1 and July 5, which is the time this act was taken.
I only have to assume you made the decision to spend at least $15,000 of taxpayer money to promote your own “left” politics. Park City has always tried to be nonpartisan. You have single-handedly changed that tradition. You blindsided our Police Department, which should have been on alert.
You blindsided the merchants of Main street, who took the brunt of your action.
We did not see a 300-foot mural of the American flag, honoring the most celebrated holiday in Park City on Main Street. We did not see a mural thanking our police and fire departments for their work. We did not see a mural thanking our hospital workers for the work they are doing during the COVID period. We did not see a mural saying Hispanic, white or all lives matter.
There are two things that must happen. You need to reimburse the Park City taxpayers the $15,000 spent on your political message and clean up the mess. Number two, Mr. Mayor, it’s time you resign! We need real leadership running our city! When Jack Thomas or Dana Williams were mayor, we didn’t have all these controversies to deal with. They were as non-partisan as possible. Park City needs to get back to those days.
Grateful for contributions
In 2018 Ari Ioannides and Ember Conley donated a conservation easement on 263 acres to the Summit Land Conservancy, creating the Rocky Point Preserve between Tollgate Canyon and Silver Creek. They granted public access across their private property and recently they worked with the Conservancy and other volunteers to improve a small trailhead on Tollgate Canyon Road. The new trailhead is accessible without having to open a gate and it will also be maintained so that people aren’t parking on dry grass. These trailhead improvements are an incredible, additional contribution to the community. Landowners Ari and Ember felt that the Rocky Point Preserve’s public trail system should be more widely shared. Their generosity means that we all have access to the magnificent aspen stands for hiking, biking and horseback riding through open hillsides of bugling bulls and bedded bucks enjoying this ecologically pristine area of Tollgate Canyon. The landowners’ contribution to ongoing stewardship of the property brings us together to appreciate this area that otherwise would have no public access.
We’re grateful to landowners like Ari and Ember for sharing their open spaces with the community.
On behalf of the Summit Land Conservancy team
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