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For Park City, Embracing Bold Change Looks Like Supporting Affordable Housing, Regional Partnerships


The Park City Vision 2020 process kicked off this year. As the city looks ahead to making the Park City community’s vision a reality, city leaders look at what they have accomplished and plan to do to implement “bold change.”

Based on data from hundreds of surveys and dozens of engagement sessions, Park City community members seem to want “bold change” for the future, where Park City adapts and evolves into an inclusive and diverse community while maintaining its success as a mountain town. Acting Park City Manager Matt Dias says the current and last councils have demonstrated bold change by investing $40 million in affordable housing.

“These last two groups, this council and the previous one, are the first two councils that have gotten in the game and put taxpayer dollars directly into the affordable housing program," Dias said. "Put men and women and children into deed-restricted housing in our community, so they can be part of our community—go to the schools, be in our recreation programs and be residents of Summit County.”

One change the Park City Council made this year that surprised the public was the termination of former City Manager Diane Foster’s employment. Park City Mayor Andy Beerman says the separation was fairly amicable, and after watching Dias for seven years in his role as assistant city manager, the council decided it was appropriate.

“It was bold, yes, in that it was a significant change, but we were fairly confident it was the right change and it was the right time,” Beerman said.

In the next year, Dias says the city’s move toward implementing bold change has two parts, starting with the way Park City Municipal spends money on infrastructure.

“We're not going to be investing in parking lots and parking garages," Dias said. "We're going to be investing in transit-first methodologies, technologies, things like micro transit, maybe aerial transit connections, so we’re really going to have to rethink the way that we're spending taxpayer money and how it will impact, on a day-to-day basis, residents and businesses and tourists.”

Additionally, Dias says the city will work more closely with regional partners.

“I think the next frontier, given the growth around us, you're really going to see us double down as staff, on behalf of the mayor and council, working with Wasatch County, Midway, Heber, Mountain Land Association of Governments, the [Park City] School District.”

Dias says Park City’s community visioning process will end around the middle of February, with a presentation of the results to the public.

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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