As we reported, the Snyderville Planning Commission on August 25th, by a narrow 4-3 vote, approved a Conditional Use Permit to revamp the Spring Creek trailhead, and to create new parking spaces.
One of the dissenters was Planning Commisisoner Thomas Cooke, who says that more parking isn’t the solution to the problem of visitors thronging to the trailheads.
Cooke told KPCW that trailheads are development.
“We have trailheads. It’s a way that locals and visitors alike can enjoy our trail system, which is one of the best in the world. But when you build more parking, you’re right, I did oppose it vehemently. I just think that no neighborhood anywhere was ever made better by adding parking. I think adding parking induces visitation, and we have some real problems right now with the pressures on our trail system. I don’t think this is a solution.”
A large proportion of the users are from the Salt Lake Valley. And Cooke said it’s not a crazy idea for out-of-county visitors to pay some kind of fee.
“It’s not uncommon in other places that, with the people who actually helped pay for the trail development through property taxes, or voting for open space and recreation bonds, get a parking pass to use the trails because they’ve already paid for that. And others pay a small fee. I asked a friend from Salt Lake, who comes up here all the time. And he said, “If I had to pay a small fee to be able to park at Round Valley or any of the trailheads anytime I wanted for a year, heck yeah, I would pay for that.” So it’s not really a crazy idea.”
Snyderville Planning Vice-Chair Thomas Cooke.