Summit County, Park City, local businesses, and even the Crandalls need to be aware of where this is heading
I’ve watched over the past few months as a series of events seem to be unfolding around us. A common theme is that development is happening and people feel powerless to stop it. Not only that, it seems like development is happening and the rules have changed in ways to support INCREASED development.
Case in point is the Woodward at Gorgoza approval. Twenty years ago, it was approved as an outdoor recreation facility. Now we have approvals from our County Council and Planning Commission to enable Disneyland at Park City… or at least a Whole Foods sized building that was never allowed in the first place. The developers used the law to somehow get approvals for a building that is much bigger and taller than allowed in the Snyderville Basin. There are three appeals to the development, but my guess is they will lose. The Planning Commission ruled for it. The Planning Department allowed it. The County Council won’t rule against it. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done.
The second example is a proposed development beside the RV Park outside of Kimball Junction. It is zoned as rural residential, which means 1 home per 20 acres. However, it has passed the Planning Commission with a recommendation to allow housing, affordable housing, and retail on the space. WAIT, the Snyderville Basin General Plan says that there can be no increase in entitlements. An increased entitlement would be, say, allowing a whole bunch of houses and retail space in a place where there should have been one or two homes. So, what’s going on? There is a loop-hole in the General Plan that allows the county approve increased entitlements if it provides something important to the County Council. So, in this case the developer dangled “affordable” housing and it appears that enables pretty much what ever the developer wants. It’s our Kryptonite. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done.
The latest example is what is happening with the Newpark Commons space. That is the area by Maxwells where the four story condos are going to be built that will block-in the Amphitheater area where people enjoy music on Thursday nights in the summer. A group called Preserve Newpark tried to fight the development. According to Preserve Newpark, “The Commons at Newpark consists of 8 residential townhomes that are four-stories in height and a row of private garages on a private road. The building footprint and height is more than 200 feet long; 75 feet wide; and 43 feet tall, eroding public connectivity, visibility and access to the plaza. The proposed structure is so tall that it will block sunlight and views across the Newpark Amphitheater during prime evening, community gathering hours.”
But everything you know about the outcome was provided in a quote from Mathew Crandall, one of the applicants for the development. He said, “It was no surprise to us that we received a unanimous vote and recommendation because we had the land rights to do so.” Those land rights had been provided 15 years ago when you probably didn’t live here. What is granted now, though, may not be exactly equal to what was contemplated then. And of course, Summit County is allowing it.
One of the interesting things about the Preserve Newpark group is that they started early trying to fight this. Unlike many groups, who start near the end, Preserve Newpark had the foresight to begin early. They hired a person good at her job to try and influence the community and the outcome. They got community backing. Many, if not most, people agreed with them. Yet, it made no difference. Unfortunately there is really nothing that can be done.
The common theme is that there is absolutely nothing that can be done if you’re a normal person.
But there is something that can be done, and we have an idea of where this may go.
Do you remember the Park City trademark protests from a couple of years ago? Vail tried (sort of) to trademark Park City and everyone came out of the woodwork. Through former Park City Mayor Dana Williams (and others) that got resolved, but not without substantial efforts.
We’d guess something similar is going to happen with these developments. People will realize they aren’t supported by their government, so they will go outside that.
So, if you hate the upcoming Newpark development, what do you do? You boycott it. You boycott everything Newpark. You hit the owners of Newpark in their pocketbook.
You don’t shop there. You don’t buy from the businesses there. You abandon the Thursday night concerts and go to Canyons concerts instead. You don’t got to Maxwells. You don’t go to About Time. You get your hair cut at some other place besides Great Clips. You go to the Best Buy on 2100 South instead of the Best Buy up here. You go to Heber Bowl instead of Jupiter Bowl. You make BBQ at home, instead of going to Dickey’s.
Oh, you tell your friends. You make a stink on Facebook. You express opinions on Next Door. This bleeds into Yelp. You make sure Sundance visitors know that Newpark is a pariah. All of a sudden you’ve impacted the tourism market at Newpark too.
Then we are back to 2011 and everyone wonders whether Newpark can survive. Well, they could have if their owners weren’t quite so self-focused. Who owns a lot of Newpark? Yes, the Crandalls.
If your government isn’t on your side, then you vote with your pocketbook. That may or may not be enough. However, that’s all you got.
I think that is where this is heading.
When you leave people no choice and no hope, they take matters into their own hands.
If I owned Woodward, was planning on leasing space at the area by the RV Park, or owned one of the countless businesses in Newpark, I would be a little bit worried. When people feel helpless, they lash out. They’ll drive Maxwells
(which I think is great, btw) into the ground to save their view. They may also stop buying cars in Summit County.
Things are likely going to get a lot uglier in the Snyderville Basin and it’s due to the actions of developers that are concerned with themselves above the people. They have the rights and legal teams that enable them to manipulate the outcomes.
That works for them until it doesn’t.
We think the jig is about up.
What choice do people have?
While maybe they can’t prevent the monstrosity at Newpark from being built and they can’t stop even a bigger building at Gorgoza, they can prevent the next one.
I’d hate to own property or a business at one of these places. Social media is a bitch.
The next 18 months should be informative.
Note, the Park Rag is not necessarily advocating this approach.I frankly haven’t done enough research to know whether it is effective strategy or not. That said, the point of this article is to say that this tactic is one of the next logical steps the populace will take when they have no other recourse.
What does Maxwell’s have to do with this? I’m sure they’d love to prevent the condos being built if they could. Punishing them (or most of the businesses in Kimball/on Rasmussen) seems a little silly – they had nothing to do with these decisions.
Now, electing different officials (or even recalling a few) would send a message. But that’s a lot harder than complaining on FB.
Nobody boycotted anyone with the trademark issue. People just complained until Vail backed down. Boycotting, say, Atticus would have had zero effect, and it would have hurt your own friends/neighbors.
I am struggling to understand the logic here. I agree that the planning commission and county council seem to be willing to bend over backward to allow developers carte blanche. That means (to me) that we need new elected officials in charge (assuming you are opposed to more development). It does NOT suggest to me that we should boycott businesses in the general area of said developments.
I am not advocating it… I just see it as the natural progression. If people can’t get “relief” through the government, I think they’ll go the only route left. They’ll “attack” the development. Again, not physically but hopefully through economic terms.
So, what do Maxwells, Dickey’s, Lunch Box, Jupiter Bowl, Best Buy, Great Clips, Co-working Park City, et. al have to do with it? They are the only ones who have power over their landlord. Basically they are the ones who can stand up and say “don’t eff with our business by doing something the people don’t want.”
Again, I frequent many of those businesses and know a few of the owners. I hope for their best, but I do think the actions of the overall development will impact them.
Do you have any examples of this happening, Josh? I’ve never heard of commercial tenants being boycotted because of a nearby development, nor have I ever heard of those businesses advocating against development (which will presumably bring them *more* custom).
This is much more of a political issue, in my mind, than an economic one. I have a hard time imagining anyone punishing Smith’s because the concert venue isn’t as pleasant anymore.
The bottom line for me is that our elected leaders have failed us (again, assuming you are opposed to unlimited development) and that means the solution is likewise political. Vote ’em out if they can’t enforce the existing codes/regulations.
I think what people would be boycotting is the development. In the case of the condos, they would be boycotting New Park — to show dissatisfaction with the condos being built by the developer of most of New Park. Places like Maxwells are a casualty and not a target. I see parallels in the boycotting of North Carolina by many groups after the Republican legislatures decisions on LGBT rights. When the NBA decided to pull the 2017 ALL-Star game from Charlotte they weren’t targeting businesses directly but it did impact them.
Similar things have happened in Indiana, Arizona, Mississippi. Now, this is not exactly the same thing, but I think people have shown that they will make choices to express their opinions over politics.
As for how people effect change, sure, people could vote out council people… they could push for ballot initiatives … they could launch legal challenges… but going to a different pizza place or making other shopping choices is a lot easier. I’m not sure whether it is less or more effective. But I believe some people will decide to vote with their pocketbook.
Maybe people aren’t really concerned with the condos. Maybe it’s only 5 or 6 people pissed off and they don’t care that much. This just seems like the logical next step to me — and if its 500 or 600 instead, that may have impact.
I would be *shocked* if this happens. LGBT rights vs some condos that you don’t like the look of? I doubt people will boycott anything. And if they do, I don’t think it’ll have any effect. But we shall see!
Here in 84060, you have an opportunity to remove about a million square feet of development from existence. Takes a lot of money though. Stay informed and decide whether you want to support the bond to buy the Treasure Hill project’s land and density. City Council approved the purchase agreement last week. No affordable housing. No lot sales. No density transfers. Just 105 acres of open space about Main Street,
Not many chances to see density and development disappear instead of multiply.
We will be providing a lot of additional details about the deal, the tax impacts to homeowners and businesses, etc.
Steve makes a good point – if people really care, they can get together and buy the development rights. If they’re organized enough, they can get such a purchase on the ballot and everyone can pay for it together.
I don’t see this being proposed in any serious way for Cline Dahl, the RV park development, or the Newpark condos, though.
I’m sick of hearing about the need for affordable housing and using that as an excuse for unlimited development. We have plenty of affordable housing. It’s just that they are all occupied by illegal immigrants. Get rid of the illegals and there would be plenty of affordable housing. Look at Elk Meadows. That’s where traditionally our young, just starting out families would live. But now they are pushed out by PC’s cheap, illegal labor.
Hi there Anonymous-
We do moderate comments at the Park Rag … but as always the comments made are your own and we do not alter them.
That said, we don’t want to squelch a point of view — no matter how controversial. You never know when a statement that is viewed as unpopular (or in this case downright racist) should be heard because of actual fact. We would hope there is actual fact behind your statement. Otherwise, at best, you are wasting our time. At worst … well you get the idea.
So to head off the thousands (Ok, tens) of comments about your comment, can you provide us some proof that the folks living in Elk Meadows aren’t legally allowed in the US?
If not, we’ll have to categorize your comment like many others that belong in the dump heap of AM talk radio. We’ll still leave your comment up, but it will stand as a counter to what we are trying to do here at the Park Rag.
Yet another tip reports on “secret orders” the council says have been given to officers in Utah to alert Park City before they attempt any arrests in the city. The officers say they have to wait as long as a week before attempting the arrests — and by the time they go after their targets, they appear to have been alerted and fled.
Not sure how it’s racist to point out that people who are here illegally are taking the affordable housing off the market. Do I know exactly who is legal and who is not? Of course not. Nobody does. But if there aren’t a high number who are illegal than we wouldn’t have had such a freak out when Donald Trump was elected and threatened to deport.
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