Dear Editor:

I am writing concerning the use of Swanny City Park for special events and the current permitting process used to approve these events.

I have been a resident of the Kerby subdivision, aka the “Park” neighborhood, for over 28 years, and there are many other residents who have lived here for a long time. It is a quiet and unique neighborhood, one where we know each other and have a strong investment in our homes and our lives here.

While the Kerby family donated the land for the park many years ago, park use in the past was for things like family or group gatherings, picnics and relaxation.

I don’t think they, or anyone else, could have foreseen the impacts of our current tourist economy and the changes that are rapidly happening to our way of life here.

We need to consider where we are headed and what we want to create for ourselves.

Whether it is an encroachment of overnight rentals or the high impacts of endless special events, a top priority should be preserving the safety, quiet and residential character of our neighborhoods.

Under the “City of Moab Park Use Policies for Swanny City Park,” it states that it is not a “reservation park” and that special events are to be limited. This is not happening.

There are constant special events taking place there, and the impacts continue to increase with every permit issued. The majority of these concern high levels of noise and amplified music that can be heard blocks away, huge crowds of people and vehicles, congestion, limited parking and closure of area roads. The neighborhood becomes just one more noisy place in town, instead of a quiet place if one chooses to be away from all the activity. Swanny Park is just too small anymore to handle these big events, and there are other venues that could be used, like Lion’s Park and the Old Spanish Trail Arena.

There needs to be a review and revision of criteria for the permitting process for special events that looks at the frequency, duration and type of event that is under consideration.

Ideally, this process would be one that also includes a review of consequent neighborhood impacts, and considers local input.