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The New Whole Foods Will Be a Good Litmus Test

There’s buzz brewing on social media about the new Whole Foods on Landmark Drive, across from the Ruby Tuesdays. People started by asking “what’s that new development I see from I-80?” and it has become the common argument, “the traffic is going to be terrible on the frontage road once they build that Whole Foods.” While I often defend social media, this issue was decided months ago, and complaining now doesn’t do a lot of good now. The opportunity for the public to comment has passed, but please don’t take me wrong, I always feel horrible when someone first learns of an issue when the construction trucks arrive. I feel like I’ve failed, as should KPCW and the Park Record.

Yet, that doesn’t change the fact that a bigger and better Whole Foods is coming to Park City — but with more impact to traffic on Landmark Drive. The positive is that your experience shopping at Whole Foods will be much better. The potential negative is that driving there could be much worse.

When this came before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission, they vetted the idea fully. There were hours of discussion about traffic, and left turns versus right turns, and access roads, and well pretty much everything.

Yet, did they get it right? The Planning Commission didn’t have to give them the right to change the development plans from what was decided years before (i.e. small retail) to one that supported the new Whole Foods. If the Planning Commission had denied the changes it is more than likely the land would still be sitting vacant. There would definitely be less traffic on the road for the foreseeable future.

Sometimes I wonder if the forest is lost for the trees. A million i’s and t’s are crossed and eventually a development is approved; however, when looking at the big picture, many people would say that this specific location does not serve the community good. Traffic on Landmark Drive will surely be negatively impacted. People going to Ecker Hill School will likely be impacted. Does it also negatively impact tax revenues from the outlet mall and Walmart?

This is likely the most significant change, impacting the average joe, in the Snyderville Basin, since the Village at Kimball was completed a few years ago. While we will have to wait a few years for completion, it will likely provide a good litmus test to understand whether the powers that be are making good planning decisions.

I personally hope that we both get a fabulous, new Whole Foods and that any traffic issues are a non-issue… but I have a hard time seeing how both happen.

Update: Thanks to the citizen who pointed out I have confused Red Robin for Ruby Tuesdays. That has been updated.

Comments

2 Comments

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Steve Joyce

Not relevant to the traffic impacts, but I thought it was interesting that the Whole Foods will include affordable housing on the second story, mostly aimed at providing housing for its employees. That sure makes for a short, easy commute. And of course, they can all walk to the Red Robin, as long as they can cross the road.

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Parkrag

Steve

I completely agree. It seems so often companies pay a fee in lieu of building affordable housing. It’s pretty stand up of Whole Foods (and/or their developer) to actually be building something.

Perhaps given the trade offs that are part of any negotiation, maybe real affordable housing is worth some traffic impacts.


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