Guest opinion: Park City as we know it is on the verge of disappearing
What if you woke up one morning and your town as you know it was gone? Would it matter to you?
Most of the people I have spoken with think it would, but curiously, some of our residents don’t realize that the Park City we call home, our community, is on the verge of disappearing. And it’s happening quickly.
Park City is a town that exists between two eras, where modern-chic meets historic-rugged with the comfort and ease of two old friends. It has an unlikely, but incredibly alluring vibe and charm that draws a large number of visitors to the area every year.
Naturally, it was only a matter of time before developers would attempt to harness the charm of our old mining town to try and strike silver again. The problem is Park City’s ambiance, history and appeal isn’t replicable or scalable. It’s not something you can carbon copy, or duplicate, or develop. It’s a unique town with an authentic vibe that was created organically and over time. And just like anything that is worth having — it’s finite. There’s only so much Park City to go around.
If you follow the news about the Park City Mountain Resort base area development, you’re aware that Vail Resorts has a contract to sell its development rights for the four surface parking lots (a total of 10 acres) to PEG, a Provo developer (contingent upon approval of the plans by the Park City Planning Commission). PEG has proposed a new development that consists of: 1) three enormous condo complexes, 2) a 500-foot-wide and 87-foot-tall parking garage/condo building, and 3) a hotel that is over 100 feet tall. These four buildings will occupy every inch of the existing parking lots.
The city’s Land Management Code requires there be a dedicated open space within the area being developed when there is new construction in order to offset the new structures; however, this developer (PEG) has been granted the use of 11 acres of the Park City existing ski runs and mountain to meet their open space requirement. In other words, PEG is using 11 acres of the mountains ski runs to count towards the open space it is required to have for this parking lot development! How is that allowed?
One of the unfortunate side effects of the COVID pandemic was that it transformed our once-crowded and energetic public town meetings into veiled Zoom conference calls. Information that used to flow freely during these public events now rarely finds its way into the greater community. When asked, most of the locals, visitors and business owners are unaware of the massive buildings and density being proposed for our town’s signature Park City Mountain Resort.
This is only one of many enormous developments being proposed and planned for Park City, Kimball Junction, Deer Valley and the surrounding areas. These developments will bring thousands of new cars and traffic to the Park City area. The Jordanelle area alone has approval for 20,000 new homes.
If preserving Park City matters to you, please act, make a phone call (435-615-5060) or send a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to the planning commissioners today. Let them know that you care and how you feel about Park City being developed into something we won’t recognize.
Again, please ask yourself: What if I woke up one morning and my town as I know it was gone? Would it matter? And if so, why was I silent?
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