Letters, May 22-25: Park City has an opportunity but leaders must act swiftly
Park City Municipal’s governance that puts planning only at the end of the design of new projects could do with an urgent re-think.
With huge developments looming over Park City’s already strained infrastructure at PCMR, Deer Valley, Bonanza Park, and a school expansion, the absence of a town plan that knits all of these pieces together before they are individually designed and built is a potentially catastrophic failure that will cost Park City dearly.
The proficiency of urban planning requires much more effort than simply judging each proposal on its own merit. It demands cohesion between each one and their surroundings — as how well these developments plug into the existing infrastructure will have a dramatic effect on Park City’s future.
The city’s zoning ordinances, while explicit, fall short of delivering this type of vision. Rather, they deliver the bare minimum, and far from any vision Park City set for itself in the General Plan or the latest visioning process; they continue to uphold a process devoid of collaborative innovation on a scale these combined developments warrant to truly deliver on the vision this community has set for itself.
Look no further than the ongoing attempts by PEG and the city, who are in the weeds of their developments, each striving to deliver their own discriminate versions of utopia; independently attempting to resolve common problems and coming up short. If Park City leaders wish to reach for the affordable, transit-centric lifestyle they profess, alongside growth, sustainability and longevity, they need to act sooner and more collaboratively with these developers, and with an aptitude in innovative urban planning to improve their chances of success.
The magnitude, proximity and timing of these developments present an unprecedented opportunity here that Park City’s leadership could do well to take note.
Parking is a broad issue
The parking and traffic issues associated with the PEG development should not be put completely on PEG’s shoulders. This issue goes back many years and has not been properly addressed by past and current resort owners, (including Deer Valley), nor the city. Addressing this issue starts at S.R. 248 and S.R. 224 through a well-designed transit system which may include bus lanes, shuttle services, carpool lanes, reverse lanes and large, convenient parking areas. Unfortunately this appears to be years away. Yes, PEG does have some responsibility to help mitigate the issue, which they are attempting to do through a new transit center, as one example. There are plenty of examples of paid parking throughout Park City such as Main Street and Swede Alley. Paid parking is not new to Park City. The maintenance cost of garage structures is enormous. I support PEG and the city’s continued efforts to work together to finally address these issues.
Migration to retail
I had the opportunity to visit Sedona, Arizona, last week. After reading a letter to the editor that indicated Sedona had an art center with space designated for working artists along with retail shops, I wanted to see how this had been set up and how much room had been allocated.
I had to seek help from a tourist information center when I could not locate such structures. The manager of the information center indicated there used to be a couple buildings that included artist studios, along with retail. That has migrated into retail stores only. I guess the property became too valuable to not be used for income producing purposes.
I would suggest that Park City may experience the same migration to all retail, unless the city is not concerned about revenue producing real estate.
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