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Summit County Development Director Discusses Opportunities In Easter Part Of County

Rail Trail State Park Website

Summit County Development Director Patt Putt says he was excited to hear that there was discussion at last week’s budget hearing, on how to enhance the Park City Rail Trail through the Eastern County.

But he says the Rail Trail, while unique, is only part of a vision he’s advancing for a scenic/historic/commercial corridor.

The 2019 budget plan includes a possible $100,000 in Transient Room tax funding to plan enhancements for the Rail Trail. As we reported last week, representatives of the Mountain Trails Foundation suggested some other ways to devote money to the trail.

Behind this, Putt told KPCW, is a project from a couple of years ago, when county manager Tom Fisher asked each department to come up with a special idea.

Putt said that his department proposed what they call a “Summit Heritage Scenic Byway.”

“What it is, is something much bigger than how we potentially improve or manage or pave or not pave the rail trail. Do we pound more interpretive signs out there? This idea is bigger than that. I’ve always described it as a 30-mile tourism recreation arts and enterprise corridor. Predicated on the fact that oftentimes when we look at problem solving, we—pardon the bad agricultural pun—but we tend to look at things in silos. What this idea is really about is a more holistic kind of stake-holder approach to looking at things that affect each other.”

He said it’s the chance to pursue some new opportunities with the East County.

“It’s recreating some communities out there that have been asking for help for a number of years. It’s about outdoor tourism, its recreation, it’s ag. preservation, it’s open space, it’s connecting some of these communities. It’s an opportunity, in my mind, to potentially cultivate a new relationship between the Eastside and the Westside on issues that are really, really important to them.”

Putt said the plan includes 10 action items.

“I would hope that as we begin to communicate and talk about this idea with the stakeholders the communities along that Lincoln Highway Rail Trail corridor. They might see the opportunity and the potential as well. I mean a classic example of an implementation strategy that we identified two years ago was this idea of a village overlay. That’s one thing that we’ve gotten done. Another piece of this is looking to develop an East side infrastructure master plan. If you want to direct growth and the right quality of growth in the right location. One of the key ways of doing that is where you direct the pipes. We’ve begun to work towards that.”

On another item related to the norther county, the proposed Hoytsville Town was voted down in November, meaning that area is still in the county’s planning jurisdiction.

Putt said he’s heard the reports that owners of several hundred acres there are interested in selling. He’s talked to the owners, and some potential buyers, and they’re still discussing their options.

“There’s a number of potential avenues that we might see in the form of an application. Someone might come in and move forward with some sort of development or subdivision project based on the existing density. They may be coming through and talking about some rezoning using the new masterplan. There may be a very likely potential that the property owners themselves, or property owners with the assistance of some planning and development interests come in and do a village overlay. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were presented with something in 2019. But nothing official yet.”

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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