Guest opinion: Article about PCMR development opposition group overlooked the real issues
In the March 20-23 edition of the Park Record, Jay Hamburger wrote an article titled, “PCMR development opposition presses case using Treasure image, a misleading juxtaposition.” Specifically, the author called out two photos RRAD has used on its website. The first photo was a stock photo of Guardsman’s Pass bordering Park City; this photo was recently updated to a photo taken by one of RRAD’s officers this ski season. The other photo, which seems to be most controversial to Mr. Hamburger, is a photo of Old Town, including Main Street, Deer Valley, a portion of Treasure Hill and the Town Lift runs.
Admittedly, while this photo does include Treasure Hill, it never occurred to RRAD as we were developing the website that it could be perceived as misleading. To the contrary, we chose it as it represents all of Park City and would be familiar or recognizable to anyone who resides in Old Town, Deer Valley, Park Meadows, Thaynes, Bear Hollow, Kimball Junction and so on. And, regardless of which neighborhood in Park City one lives, the impact of this proposed development will be felt by all. One of our primary goals with this website is to help increase awareness about this project and the potential impact it has on our entire community, not just those who live near the base of PCMR or visit it. The photo used does nothing to detract from that message and is not misleading in any way.
More importantly, despite a very in-depth interview with Mr. Hamburger on Jan. 11, the article failed to address in any meaningful way what are the true issues for the project. The primary issues are clearly outlined on the RRAD website. The developer is requesting building heights over 90 feet for an area zoned for 35 feet. In addition, they are requesting set back exceptions below 25 feet as required by the Land Management Code. The plan includes a hotel with 249 hotel rooms in addition to approximately 150 condos eligible for nightly rental. The day-skier parking is not being increased. What could be considered a new main hub for the resort will be located at the north end where a new plaza is to be built; access to the Payday and Crescent lifts will be quite a journey as the First Time, Three Kings and Eagle lifts clearly are not designed to handle any additional capacity. And, access to mountain trails for non-ski season will be negatively impacted as well. Then, there is the additional traffic congestion that will ensue and we already have serious issues surrounding traffic. Overall pedestrian and cyclist connectivity and safety are also areas of concern needing improvement. Tag on sustainability issues including water and power and it’s pretty clear the magnitude of the impact the proposed development, if approved, will have on our entire community for generations to come.
As a nonprofit organization, working to raise community awareness and help ensure any approved project has long-term benefits to all of Park City, we ask you to please continue to support us on this journey. While we are disappointed in the negativity expressed toward RRAD in the article, we are pleased it has generated traffic to our website, our Facebook page and email. We also appreciate the positive feedback we have received from new website visitors and additional contributions. We remain steadfast to the cause; all contributions received will go towards legal expenses.
The next Planning Commission meeting on PCMR is currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 21, at 5:30 p.m., and the agenda is set to include architecture for parcels C, D and E as well as construction phasing and mitigation. A revisit of this month’s topic, transportation and parking, is possible as well based on the current staff report. Join the meeting virtually or if you have any concerns, please write a letter to the Planning Commission. You can see our website at rradpc.org and three different form letters we’ve placed under “Ways to Help.”
We sincerely appreciate the community’s support and attention to this most important proposed development.
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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.