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Park City Council Considers Proposal To Lease Quinn's Junction Property

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The Park City Council will consider leasing city-owned property at Quinn’s Junction to Mountain Trails Foundation and Summit Land Conservancy, to house the two organizations’ office space. 

Summit Land Conservancy Executive Director Cheryl Fox and Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Charlie Sturgis presented their proposal to the city council in May. Now, council will consider the terms of the potential deal between the city and the two organizations, which interim City Manager Matt Dias says are pretty straightforward.

“The exchange is city council will offer the land for some type of a long-term lease—I think, right now, we have a 99 year lease," Dias said. "Then, these two entities would collaborate to build, own and operate their own facility, and the community benefit out of that is community spaces. We get to site these two beloved nonprofits in an area where there's a direct nexus for open space and trails preservation and trails management.”

Mountain Trails Foundation and Summit Land Conservancy’s proposal is that the organizations will jointly construct a building and would pay $1 in rent to the city per year. The organizations assert the facility would provide additional educational opportunities around open space, preservation and recreation, supporting the city’s environmental priorities. At May’s discussion of the proposal, some councilmembers worried about the appearance of favoring one nonprofit over others. Dias says it’s in the council’s purview to decide whether to support community nonprofits, but he says there’s an argument to be made for having these organizations based at this particular location.

“So far, the public has been very supportive," Dias said. "These are two nonprofits that align with our kind of core values of open space, sustainability, land preservation and recreation. We also work with both of them in terms of maintaining our trails and doing things that we wouldn't do otherwise: maintaining our open space, weeding programs, the Nordic program that we have, grooming trails.”

Dias says the area has some land-use restrictions related to recreation and education.

“This isn’t an area, for example, that could be repurposed into a commercial development or a subdivision or something like that," Dias said. "So the restrictions are pretty strong to begin with, and given that and the complementary nexus the city values, we think it's a worthy enterprise to consider.”

Summit Land Conservancy and Mountain Trails Foundation currently have offices in the Bonanza Park area. With the construction of the city’s future arts and culture district there, the organizations are looking for a permanent location for their offices.

The city council will discuss the proposal during a work session Thursday at 5:15 p.m. at the Marsac Building.

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.
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