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Many Opportunities For Participating In Park City's Vision For Future

KPCW Radio

Ten years after its last visioning process, Park City Municipal is undertaking one for 2020, to determine what the community wants to look like in the future—and how to get there. 

Six Park City community members met at Lucky Ones Coffee Thursday morning to discuss their vision for the future over coffee and pastries. They talked about what the community has done right: 

“Unquestionably, the open space acquisitions." 

Where it’s gone wrong:

“We’re victims of our success, frankly.”

And what they want Park City to look like in the year 2030:

“In 10 years I would like to see our community be more integrated...in Park City, we've got almost 20% Latino population, and that is not representative in most areas in Park City—in leadership positions and sessions like these.”

The meeting was one of a series of community engagement sessions within the six-month visioning process. Consulting firm Future iQ is facilitating the Vision 2020 project, which began with a survey that opened in June. Future iQ’s David Beurle presented the data gathered from more than 500 survey responses to the Park City Council at its mid-year retreat Wednesday. From the results, Beurle noted something interesting—Park City’s challenges in the next 10 years look just like its opportunities.

“So, it's two sides of the same coin," Beurle said. "It's traffic and transportation; managing growth; attainable housing; affordability; loss of Park City charm. Those five issues are the same ones that represent the opportunities and the threats, so they're the ones we want to get right.”

The start of the visioning process also included two think tank sessions, featuring 35 Park City community members who applied to participate. The think tank group developed possible scenarios for Park City’s future, based on how the city handles growth and community evolution. Participants indicated they expected the city to turn, in their words, into “amusement Park City,” but in their preferred future, they wanted to embrace radical change.

Park City Councilmember Becca Gerber views that as a big shift in community sentiment.

“If you think about the last time we did visioning, the messaging was, 'keep Park City Park City,' and it was kind of this fear of all these changes that were coming in on us," Gerber said. "Like, 'we just don't want to change, we want to hold on to this Park City,' and it meant something different to everyone—it was really kind of vague. Now, our community is saying, 'we want to embrace radical change,' and being smart and going someplace different, and I think that message coming to us right now is huge.”

The next step in the process will be to validate and add to the data from the community survey and think tank workshops. The Vision 2020 project team will organize more community engagement sessions, including specifically reaching out to the Spanish-speaking community, high school students and seniors. When the sessions wrap, the think tank group will reconvene in December, before the final Vision 2020 report is presented to the city council in January. To participate in community engagement sessions, host a session, or take the survey, which is also available in Spanish, visit parkcity.org or contact Park City Community Engagement Manager Linda Jager for more information.

Emily Means hadn’t intended to be a journalist, but after two years of studying chemistry at the University of Utah, she found her fit in the school’s communication program. Diving headfirst into student media opportunities, Means worked as a host, producer and programming director for K-UTE Radio as well as a news writer and copy editor at The Daily Utah Chronicle.