Guest editorial: Canyons golf course is not a good neighbor
I am a homeowner on Voelker Court who has been dramatically impacted be the re-engineering and landscaping of the 11th hole of Canyons golf course. As you know, our street backs up to this hole. I (and I believe after hearing my neighbors thoughts) can clearly say that we are flabbergasted and totally devastated by the manner and extent to which this wall has been built.
The course builders came out when they first raised my berm a few feet but just where the sand traps were. The initial berm just blocked the course and didn’t affect my beautiful view of the canyons to the north west. But a neighbor two houses down suddenly had a very high mound in front of her home and then it slowly lowered as it went down the corridor. Concern about this was expressed to the county and to the people constructing the golf course. They came to look and talk to neighbors. When a friend specifically asked about my mound — I was unable to make the meeting — she was told there would be no more impact and that they would work on lowering my neighbor’s mound to give her some view back (and mine, which was effected by hers). That did not happen.
I came back to town and found a solid wall of at least six feet all of the way down the corridor. That is when I started calling the county engineers, and unfortunately, I did not get a chance to talk to them until I came home one day and the wall had grown over 12 feet high and was extremely steep. A county engineer came out last week and tried to explain that they were doing this due to the new rules of flood control and water run off. I think that as he sat at my table and looked out at this mess, it hit him as to how much this affected us, even though the grading had been approved and I sensed he felt some sympathy towards our plight. Unfortunately he couldn’t help us.
While I appreciate the need for some change of slope to this hole, I just cannot understand why it is being done in such a manner as to totally block the views of the mountains behind our houses, all of which are effected by varying degrees. We had no warning, with no input and it seems to me that at least some consideration for the houses which are now behind this incredible wall of dirt could have been made and some compromise could have been made in order to make it somewhat of a win-win for all.
I am writing to implore on the good senses and good neighbor traits of the Canyon course builders to lower the wall and make some design changes by breaking up the berm in areas to open some views and change the slope of the sand traps in front of my home that could lower the pitch of the wall, so that we can all enjoy the view we have had for so many years, preserve the memories, and mitigate the financial impact this act has caused. Yes, one cannot discount the financial devastation of going from a magnificent view to nothing. As all of Park City knows, views are everything in this town and all of Summit County. This sets a precedent that could effect in future building a total disregard for our beautiful mountain community. I do not see this as “responsible” planning and just wonder what else will happen to this mountain as more development happens.
I beg everyone to come to our street and see the impact this has done to our neighborhood. I went from feeling so blessed to complete devastation.
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“Proponents should be honest about what they plan to put in a landfill,” writes Thomas Jacobson, “and everyone should understand the consequences if the geology and hydrology have not been properly studied.”