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Bustling Trailhead Causes Disturbances For Nearby Homeowners

Robert Barnhart

The Summit County Council Wednesday talked about the problems that are occurring, as users flock to the popular Rob’s Trail, in the Sun Peak neighborhood.

During County Council comments, Roger Armstrong said that earlier this week, he met near Rob's Trail, along with HOA representatives from Sun Peak, sheriff deputies, and representatives from the Snyderville Rec District and Utah Olympic Park.

He talked about some of the issues he saw.

“Standing in one spot, right in front of the trail, you actually got to see in real time the impacts, and the number of people that were getting out of cars without dogs on leash. The complaint we get is, dogs are allowed to run free, dog waste is left behind in the yard. Somebody actually collected 38 bags of dog waste in their yard.”

Armstrong said the traffic he saw was remarkable.

“The speeds are pretty hard. Parking is difficult. While we were standing there, I heard from one of the residents, the constant car alarms going off while you’re trying to have some peace and quiet in your home.    And while we’re standing there, a car alarm went off. My favorite is the guy that got out of his car with his dog off-leash, saw the sheriff deputies, quickly put his dog on leash, was joined by another guy who had his dog on a leash. As they were taking their bikes off the truck, to get ready to bike Rob’s Trail. And they said, 'How you gonna do that with the short leashes?' They said they’re stretchy leashes.”

He said the group meeting near Rob's discussed possible solutions like use restrictions.

“We may want to consider restricting parking in that area generally. And y’know the notion is, not everybody can use the trail, the trails at the same time. Sometimes they just get overgrown. And if we perhaps put hour restrictions some of the parking, maybe from 7 to 2, 7 to 1 something like that, no parking, limiting the hours during those periods, and actually finding a way to enforce it, that would mitigate some of that.”

One issue, he noted, is that the users crowding the trails are often outside of the Park City area. He said some communities in Colorado have instituted an annual bike sticker. Non-locals would pay a fee, but they’re free to locals.

Armstrong said they also have to consider increasing the number of Animal Control officers to watch the trails.

“One of the residents actually said, “Well I’m not sure we need to enforce the leash laws. I mean, everybody—maybe we just enforce it, just a 100 yards up the trail, and then we just kinda forget about it. And the answer there is that’s kinda not what the ordinance says. I guess we could come up with a 100-yard ordinance if we wanted to, and let it be a free-for-all. But we are seeing impacts—bikes and dogs and hikers. And we probably don’t want to completely turn that loose.”

Armstrong said it’s not unusual for Animal Control officers to be verbally assaulted on the job. Assistant County Manager Janna Young said they’re a little short-staffed currently, with three officers.

Armstrong suggested they schedule a work session in the near future about the problems

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covered Summit County meetings and issues for 35 years on KPCW. He now heads the Friday Film Review team.
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