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Jeremy Ranch Citizens Demonstrate That You Can Make a Difference

During Tuesday’s Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meeting, regarding the next phase of the General Plan, 200 people filled the Ecker Hill Middle School Auditorium. It is likely 150 to 175 of those people were from Jeremy Ranch. In general, Jeremy Residents were concerned about their neighborhood receiving more development as part of a new concept called “receiving areas.” Receiving areas enable certain land owners to “send” development from their land to other places across the Snyderville Basin. While nothing has been set in stone, one of the proposed areas for sending development was a hill across from the Jeremy Store at the entrance to Jeremy Ranch.

To say that Jeremy residents were not enthusiastic about this idea would be an understatement. The evening began with the President of the Jeremy Ranch Home Owners Association reading a statement that criticized the plan for fundamentally altering the characteristics of a neighborhood that is well established. She said that “people live there for specific reasons” and a receiving area was not what they bought into. At one point she asked all residents from Jeremy Ranch who agreed with her statements to stand up. Gazing out into the crowd, we were hard pressed to find many people still in their seats.

Many of these Jeremy Ranch residents also chose to speak on their own behalf — so much so that Planning Commission head Colin DeFord said on multiple accounts “Jeremy Ranch, we hear your concerns.” The response shouted from the crowd, multiple times, was “yeah… but what are you going to do about it.” To his credit, Mr DeFord did a commendable job of managing a meeting that was tense at moments. He successfully balanced making sure public opinion was heard while trying to capture actionable items. On many occasions he would ask the speaker specifically how the speaker’s ideas could be incorporated into the General Plan. He was doing his best to focus the conversation on making the General Plan better.

However, Tuesday night belonged to Jeremy Ranch. The incorporation of a Jeremy Ranch receiving area into the General Plan struck a nerve. That nerve caused somewhere between 5-10% of the Jeremy Ranch’s 2000 residents to show up in solidarity. The official stance was that the Planning Commission would have to deeply consider what they heard from residents. However, perhaps Planning Commissioner Mike Franklin said it best when he said he felt the Planning Commission needed to take a hard look at whether they really wanted to make any area, that isn’t already heavily commercial-based, a receiving area.

From our view, we couldn’t be more thrilled. People became engaged in a topic that will impact them one way or another. Now they own part of the process … and that ownership has the potential to help us make a better Park City.

It was truly one of those nights that gets us excited about Park City’s future. Our community has a number of challenges ahead of us but this gave us hope that we can all work together to solve them. It also should give people the knowledge that they can individually make difference. Because of each of those persons that showed up on a random Tuesday in January, it is likely their hill will remain open space for the foreseeable future. That’s all they really wanted, and because they chose to get involved, they will likely get it.


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