Letters, March 24-26: Proposed affordable housing development offers a solution to a major problem
A significant solution
I support the proposed Highland Flats affordable housing project. Transforming a currently unusable plot of land into critically needed housing using private funds and executed by conscientious and engaged owners is a project we should all support. Here’s why:
• The neighborhood so far: I remember walking and hunting the Highland Estates area 40 years ago and it looked nothing like it does now. A few dirt roads, a handful of buildings and deer, elk and other critters were everywhere. It was a wild and mostly unspoiled near-wilderness. Since then hundreds of homes have been built along with churches, schools, parks, paved roads, fences and signs. I presume changes in zoning were required in order to develop the Trailside and Highland neighborhoods, and the nature of the neighborhoods has certainly changed over 40 years. Highland Flats would not change the residential character of this neighborhood since no commercial aspect is included.
• Traffic: Most homes in this area support multiple cars and contribute to the traffic congestion at Kimball Junction and elsewhere in the county where residents access services provided by the very people most likely to live in the Highland Flats project. Although there’s bus service from Highland/Trailside neighborhoods to Kimball Junction and Park City, the vast majority of residents choose to drive themselves. More cars on a 30 mph two-lane road won’t turn it into a highway — just a busier street.
• Stakeholders: The good people of Highland Estates are not the primary, and are far from the only, stakeholders in this conversation and their opinions should not be weighted as more important than others. Everyone living in Summit County, and even those whose job requires a regular commute up and down Parleys Canyon, have substantial, long-term interests in seeing private solutions to the housing shortage implemented. We all suffer the negative effects of the current situation.
This is a serious problem and this project provides a significant solution. I support it, even if details need to be negotiated and modified, and I ask the people of Summit County and their representatives to support it, too.
Make our voices heard
As this pandemic comes to an end, I am hoping that our “return to normal” does not include a return to terrible air quality and climate-upending activities. It is far past time that we address the air pollution not only in Salt Lake City, but the inevitable degradation of air quality in Park City, Heber and the other rapidly developing surrounding towns.
I encourage anyone interested in this subject to attend a March 29 “Virtual Town Hall” on clean air and climate. Hosted by our local chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, it will feature Utah state Reps. Kera Birkeland and Mike Kohler, Heber Mayor Kelleen Potter, Midway Mayor Celeste Johnson and BYU ecology professor Ben Abbott. To register go to tinyurl.com/376xkcef at least 10 minutes before the call.
We have a window of opportunity to tell our representatives how important clean air is to the community. Join us in making our voices heard!
Patrollers are priceless
What is a fair wage for a ski patroller? Is there a mountain resort in the country that pays them what they are worth? I think not. Bill Silliman made some excellent comments in his letter to the editor about this subject (“Ski patrollers are dedicated,” March 20-23), and it sparked some memories from my past that are decades old and crystal clear to this day.
In the 1978-79 ski season, a friend and I were in a serious accident that left me with a badly broken leg and my friend had a life threatening internal bleed. The ski patrol on the scene performed first aid and took a horrible situation and did his job flawlessly, like he did in the past and would do in the future. We were taken inside after my leg was stabilized. My friend didn’t appear to be injured and was consoling me. The ski patroller (ironically a long-time friend) recognized something wasn’t right with my friend, and not knowing how badly injured my friend was, the patroller ordered a medical helicopter. In a surreal flight down the canyon that night, all medical attention was being given to my friend because my scene wasn’t life threatening and his was. At the hospital a ruptured spleen was diagnosed and we were told that if the patroller’s actions hadn’t been quick and correct, my friend likely would have died.
This is not an unusual event. If a patroller isn’t doing life-and-death work, they are engaged in very dangerous work (avalanche control, to name one task) or physically demanding work in sometimes insane conditions. Those of us that chose to create a life working at a mountain resort did so for love of the mountains, skiing/riding and other reasons that don’t include getting rich. In the incredibly unlikely case that Rob Katz reads this, I would ask him to put himself in an injured skiers boots … your life is at risk and some patroller who works for your company saves your life — what is that patroller worth? Medical judgment is, well, priceless!
Deer Valley diss
Once again Deer Valley is demonstrating how they feel, or don’t feel, about their senior guests. Newly announced senior season pass prices are being increased significantly. The previous diss was when they gave all season pass holders an Ikon Pass except for seniors.
No other guest category is dissed as badly as seniors. What’s up with that, Deer Valley? Maybe Deer Valley needs to be reminded there is another ski resort in town.
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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.