Letters, Sept. 11-14: Transit discussions should be held in public
Transparent transit discussions needed
Parkites, it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to the ski season and its great influx of tourists and seasonal employees. So, watch your email for the invitation to sit in on the meetings in which the resorts, the hotels and major retailers confab with Park City Transit and figure out the bus routes and schedules that will best get these folks to the right destination at the right time.
What? You’re telling me that in the 45-year history of Park City Transit you’ve never received such an invitation? You’ve never had input? You didn’t even know these negotiations were taking place? You’ve been satisfied that transit service for locals, for local trips, is more or less accidental? I’m shocked! Is it even legal for such important and expensive public business to be opaque?
It’s well past time for the resort/hospitality/transit relationship to be brought into the open to improve service to the whole community. And of course, there is a new player in the game this year that is doing exciting things with micro-transit and might appreciate a more open process. (Reminder to Deer Valley, PCMR and the Chamber/Bureau: put High Valley Transit on your speed dial now.)
Transit players, this is a challenge to you: Advertise some public work sessions and hearings on this subject. Whether or not public input changes the outcome, we will have learned something very important to our mass transit future.
Latest chapter a success for book sale
The board of the Friends of the Park City Library would like to thank our community for once again making our Labor Day weekend Used Book Sale a great success. We were so thankful to be able to hold this much-anticipated, much-loved community event this year! Each year the Friends of the Library raises funds that enrich library offerings and services. Our book sale is our major fundraiser, and we couldn’t do it without you!
We would particularly like to thank those Park City workers who hauled more than a year’s worth of donated books from the first to the third floor of the library building in record time, all the volunteers who answered our call to help with the sale, Park City Film for generously allowing us to use whatever we needed, Wasatch Bagel for breakfast goodies, Diamond Rentals for hand trucks, Lucky Ones Coffee for coffee, Summit County Health Department for masks, and to KPCW and The Park Record for all the publicity leading up to the sale.
Thank you all!
Jean Daly and Ann Whitworth
Friends of the Park City Library co-presidents
Betrayal of community values
One of the key requirements of the approval process for the development at the base of Park City Mountain Resort is that there is no net loss of community amenities. It’s under this requirement — spelled out as a “finding of fact” to be voted on by the Planning Commission in October, that the developer intends to replicate the existing 1,200 day skier parking spaces in underground parking garages. Another 521 spaces are needed to support the proposal of a hotel and private condominiums, making 1,721 in all.
So, how do you alleviate the harmful effects of nearly 50% more parking at this already jammed location? Simply put — you drum up a “transit first” initiative that speculates to force employees and day skiers onto buses; you willingly consent to no parking for housed employees, while you safeguard 24/7 valet parking for luxuriant hotel guests.
Actively pushing for, and subsidizing this scheme, is a municipality that also professes equity “to engage an inclusive community and address disparities” and foretells a future of sustainable tourism “to create a harmonious balance between resident and visitor quality of experience.”
Forging ahead, as the city intends to do, is a betrayal of these genuinely desired community values and objectives.
The truth of the matter
A few weeks ago, I heard a City Council candidate claim that “The City” had decreased the parking stalls at the PEG project by 450 spaces. A couple of weeks ago, a letter to the editor claimed that Mayor Beerman was making some sort of backroom parking deals with the PEG developers. Then a recent Park Record guest editorial claimed that “’Transit First” is the concept Park City is using to justify underparking the PCMR base development by 500 stalls all under the specific direction of Mayor Beerman.
None of this is true.
This is how the decision-making process actually works for a development project:
For a project like PEG’s, the planning staff reviews the proposed plans internally and then takes it to the Planning Commission, which approves or denies the plan.
If the project is denied, it might be appealed by the developer to the City Council. Or the City Council may call up any Planning Commission decision and request a full review of the project. The City Council and mayor are not involved until and unless the project is appealed to the City Council, or the council calls it up for review.
The PEG project is still being reviewed by the Planning Commission. The applicant has asked for parking reductions, but no decisions have been made yet. The City Council and certainly Mayor Beerman have not been involved with the project thus far. The notion that Mayor Beerman is the person responsible for the current PEG project parking decisions is absurd.
The truth is that Mayor Beerman, along with the staff, Planning Commission, City Council and the community are trying hard to find solutions to our traffic problems. In fact, the overall transportation “transit first” direction was created by the 1,700 Parkites who came together to produce the Park City Vision 2020 document.
Selling fictional stories and then villainizing individuals is not fair or productive. But perhaps Park City has fallen into the same laziness of today’s American politics. Tell a bogus story enough times that people will believe it.
Park Meadows resident, former Park City planning staffer
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“This town cannot risk destroying this historic treasure by allowing a development that not only does not fit the environment but egregiously out-scales the entire town,” writes Nancy Lazenby.