Residents working to prevent trail paving at Dimple Dell Park
Mar 27, 2017 04:29PM ● Published by Kelly Cannon
Monica Zoltanski of the Dimple Dell Preservation Community addresses the Sandy City Council, asking them to remove their support of paving a trail in Dimple Dell Park. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
A group of county and city residents are working to stop the paving of the north-rim trail in Dimple Dell Park. The Dimple Dell Preservation Community has been addressing both Salt Lake County officials and Sandy City Council to try and stop the paving. The group addressed the Sandy City Council during its Feb. 28 meeting.
Before the group began, Councilman Stephen Smith reminded the group the paving of the trail is a county project.
“It’s essentially a county project. We don’t have jurisdiction or control over what is happening. Just be aware of that,” Smith said. “The county council and the county parks and recreation are really the decision-making authority.”
The paving of the trail was part of the ZAP bond that was passed in November 2016. According to Monica Zoltanski, the chair of the Dimple Dell Preservation Community, the group opposes the trail because they feel the voters were uninformed or under-informed about the details of the bond.
“Many like me voted for it believing the money would be spent on buildings and improvements. That’s how it was presented on the advertising of the bond,” Zoltanski said. “Most people had no idea it would mean building an asphalt trail on one of the biggest artery on the wilderness preserve.”
The trail currently works through the park and has woodchips as a hard surface. The trail is used by dog walkers, hikers, mountain bikers, joggers and horse riders.
Zoltanski said paving the trail would invite high-speed downhill traffic that is “abhorrent to the people who come from all over the valley to seek out the tranquility and refuge of Dimple Dell.”
Zoltanski said Dimple Dell is one of the few areas that has the status of “open space” and the city is fortunate to have such a park.
“As open space, it has education and preservation as its primary purposes. I was really surprised to learn there was an asphalt trail coming in and that Sandy City has supported it for a long time and has been behind the project as well,” Zoltanski said. “Open space of Dimple Dell is the most valuable type of park asset. If there is a proposal for development or improvement, that must be weighed against the top priority of conservation.”
Members of the Dimple Dell Preservation Community feel the project, though well intentioned, is a bad idea for the city and county. The group is asking Sandy City to withdraw its support of the county project.
Lisa Caddy, a resident of Sandy, said paving the trail would attract a different type of user than the ones currently using the trail.
“If the county moves forward with the construction of an asphalt to replace the current wood-chip trail, they will replace one group with another. The hard-surface trail will attract skateboarders, roller skates and street bikes,” Caddy said. “Dimiple Dell offers a recreational park that has low-impact activities that blends well with the natural setting and wildlife population. This fast-pace activity comes in direct contradiction to the attention of the land.”
The Dimple Dell Preservation Community met with county officials prior to the Sandy City Council. Zoltanski said they were encouraged by their meeting.
“They were a little bit surprised to hear the public’s opposition and the amount of public opposition. They thought it was a good idea and from what they’ve told us, they thought the voters were behind it because it was approved on the ZAP bond,” Zoltanski said. “So to hear so much opposition this late stage in the project is coming as quite a surprise.”
The group has a petition on change.org under “Keep Dimple Dell Wild.” The group’s goal is to reach 5,000 signatures to present to the county so a public hearing can take place.
To learn more about the Dimple Dell Preservation Community and its efforts, visit dimpledellwild.com.