Last post about the old Peyton Park

A letter was sent out to all the residents in our neighborhood explaining what had happened to Peyton Park, and the problems with the hillside. We thought that it was only fair to post it here so that anyone who has followed what has been going on would have the opportunity to read it and understand why the decision needed to be made to pull out Peyton Park. Brandon finally got chance to talk with one of the Owners of the property yesterday when he went to the managers office. They acknowledge that there was a complete communication breakdown, but were never able to just simply say they were sorry for the way this was handled. They asked Brandon to not blog about the Park again because of the bad press it has given them. It is sad to me that they have never made an effort to ever talk to us face to face. It took an accidental meeting to even get some face time. It is only fair to them to share their letter so you can see their side of things.


Dear Tenants of Sunset Ridge Village:

We appreciate all of the concerns expressed by many of you regarding the park located on 1575

South. This park has been a great asset to the property and to the tenants of Sunset Ridge Village

over the past six years. It is very unfortunate that the hillside above the park has become

unstable and the area is no longer safe. The owners and management would like to share some

details about the current situation.


Following the time of construction there were two extra lots on the property located on 1575

South. The owners agreed to donate these two lots to the city (Cedar City) and the city agreed

that it would build a community park on those lots in the near future. These two lots were in fact

deeded over to the city with the understanding that the city would build a park and that the park

would be fully maintained by the city. Over the next several years, calls were made to city

asking when they were going to build the park. It was apparent that the city did not have the

funds to do so. In the summer of2005, the city and Sunset Ridge Village were approached by

the Three Wishes program about building a park on these lots. The city did not want the expense

of maintaining the park in the future so the city agreed to deed the lots back to Sunset Ridge



There was a huge rush to design and construct the park to accommodate the Three Wishes

program. The entire process from start to finish was completed within about two weeks. The

actual construction of the park was completed in about 5 days. The park was beautiful and was a

great asset to the property and all of the tenants of Sunset Ridge Village. However, in the haste

to construct the park in such a short period of time, proper engineering and tests were not

performed to ensure that the hillside would not slide into the park. During the first year the dirt

on the hillside started to slough towards the block retaining wall and dirt fell into the waterfall

feature. Sunset Ridge Village had some engineering studies done at that time and during the

summer of 2006 the property paid an independent contractor to perform work on a drainage ditch

above the hillside. The drainage ditch was re-dug and a liner was put in the ditch in an effort to

divert water from the hillside to the east and west. At this time the contractor also applied seed

to the hillside in an effort to grow vegetation that would help to keep the hill from sliding. The

costs of this work to the property was over $9,000.


Over the next several years the hill continued to slide, but with minor work it was managed.

However, the dirt above the waterfall continued to spill into the waterfall covering it with 10-12

inches of mud after each heavy rain storm. The property continued to attempt to dig out the

mud, however it was apparent that this would happen following every rain storm.


During the winter/spring of 2010 the hill slid more. Further engineering studies were done and

the property was instructed to install more of the liner in the ditch and to add two layers to the

diamond block wall. This work was performed by a different independent contractor in early

summer of 2010. The property paid over $11,000 for this work to be completed and the property

hoped that this would be sufficient to save the park.


As you all know, the winter and spring of2011 were extremely wet. Even though the liner was

in place in the ditch above the park, the amount of water on the hillside was extreme. The actual

drainage ditch above the park began to slide, as did much of the hillside. During a heavy spring

storm a large boulder on the hillside became dislodged and fell down onto the park area. This

large boulder landed on one of the park benches and destroyed the metal bench. The hill

continued to slide until it was flowing over the diamond block wall. ·


At this time the property had further engineering studies done and the engineers determined that

the hillside is unsafe and that it will continue to slide. They drew up plans which included

moving the wall approximately 15 feet out from its current location. However, even by doing so

this would not save the playground area, nor the gazebo area as those areas are too close to the

hill. Not only will the hill continue to slide, but there are also large boulders that will fall in the

future. It is simply not safe to have children playing on a playground where it was located.


There have. been some questions raised about who actually owns and maintains the park. Sunset

Ridge Village owns the park and has maintained the park since it was constructed. Sunset Ridge

Village has always paid for all water, power, landscape maintenance, engineering studies, and

repairs to the park as outline above. Sunset Ridge Village also pays the property tax associated

with the two lots. Furthermore, there is not a home owner's association at Sunset Ridge Village.

All tenants at Sunset Ridge Village are renters and nobody pays any type ofHOA fee to the



Saving the park as it was originally constructed is not only not feasible for the property, but more

importantly it is not safe for those who use it. In hind sight, the property would have insisted

that the park be built differently so that it would have been usable for a much longer period of



The property is going to pay for alterations to the park area in the near future. There will still be

grass, plants, and possibly some sitting areas. However, it is not feasible at this time to put in a

playground area. We appreciate your concerns and hope that you will understand the property's

decisions regarding this issue.



Sunset Ridge Village Management


It is not like me to vent like this, but this has just festered inside me and needs to come out. Brandon told the Owner yesterday that he would not blog about this anymore but I didn't. I have a few things to say to them.  I know they read my blog, and because they are unable to bring themselves to come see me face to face I will tell them how I feel here. I will then put this to bed once and for all.

First of all "the park located at 1575 south" has a name. The name of the Park is Peyton Park. It was given that name on August 25 2005 when Three Wishes dedicated it to the Rasmussen Family. It was my birthday. It was one of the happiest days of my life, and by far one of the greatest birthday gifts I can imagine. I always thought that that Park would be there forever. I had a Park that I could take my kids to anytime all by myself. It helped to give me some independence that losing my vision had taken away. It was very symbolic to me and to my family. So just to clarify "the park located at 1575 south"  has a name and I will use it when I speak about it. To call it anything besides Peyton Park in your letter just shows your total lack of respect to me, my family, and the Park. That lack of respect for Peyton Park and Me is what caused us to blog about what was going on.

I don't think that erosion on the hillside and a lot of rain destroyed the park. I think it was the erosion of what Peyton Park stood for and why it was there. I think that anyone who watches the video and reads the post Brandon wrote about it Three Wishes comes away with the understanding of what Peyton Park represents. It isn't just a park located at 1575 south it represents a wish that was sacred to Brandon, our family and the Sunset Ridge community. It is very hurtful to me how you have handled Peyton Park. It is very personal to me. Anyone who watches the Three Wishes Video will understand why. It represents my independence. It is more like a monument than a Park. It represented being able to give my child all the same things a mother with vision can. I can't see how bad the hill is, or how much mud came off the hill. What I can see is how the situation was handled, and how you treated us this summer.

Not one time did anyone even try to talk to me from the Company and that would have been easy to do. How hard would that have been for you to have made an effort to talk to me about what was going on and what you were planning to do? You all suffer from a lack of respect and moral courage. You could have at least delivered your letter in person to us. I know the only reason you wrote the letter was in response to my blog. I am just a blind mom, who had this amazing place built because of a wish from a husband that loves me. Don't you think you could at least call the Park by its name?

I just had to get that off my chest. So I am sorry if I ranted and rambled. This is the last time I will blog about the Old Peyton Park. I know the Park is gone, luckily the memories will always be there. If I can let it go I am sure that everyone else will be able to as well. I have so many other positive and exiting things going on in my life right now that I can't afford to waste any more thought or energy on the negativity that this situation has brought into our life.



Blind Mom Blogging

Who Owns Peyton Park

We have been getting a lot of questions about who owns the park and how could they do this. The easiest way to explain is to share with you an email from the Cedar City Attorney. It tells the history of who owns the land but also leaves us with a few questions.
Dear Ms. Rasmussen:
The Mayor sent me a copy of your email and asked me to research the issue and respond.  In your email you requested a copy of a contract between the City and Three Wishes.  Myself and the City Recorder looked for a copy of such a contract without success.  The City does have a contract with the production company to allow access to the fire station and the fire training center.  There is mention in the City Council minutes of an agreement to allow access to the area where the park was constructed, but this agreement is not on file.  The short answer to your inquiry is the City does not own the park.  Below is a report of the research conducted related to the park.
The park is constructed on lot #6 and lot #7 of the Sunset Ridge Subdivision, Phase II.  At some point these lots were deeded to the City.  This deed was prior to the construction of the park.  The City was not aware that it owned these lots until Three Wishes approached the City and discussed building the park.   When the City discovered it owned the lots it did allow the construction of the park, but it was not the City’s intent to own the park or to have the responsibility to maintain the park.  The City intended to give the lots and the park back to the developer and/or the homeowners association.  This  intent is reflected in the August 17, 2005, City Council minutes where the Council discussed deeding the park back to the developer.  Finally, on October 18, 2005, Mayor Sherratt signed a quit claim deed transferring title to lot #6 and lot #7 to the Sunset Ridge Home Owners Association.  This quit claim deed was recorded with the Iron County Recorder and effectively transferred ownership of the park and improvements to the home owners association.
I am sorry that the park has been removed, but as the owner the responsibility for the park belongs to the home owners association.
Cedar City Attorney
So the Park belongs to the Sunset Ridge Home Owners Association. To my knowledge there is no homeowners association because all residents of Sunset Ridge are Renting. If there is a HOA I want in and I am sure that the rest of the Sunset Ridge Residents would want in as well. I hope that answers some questions that some have had.
When Three Wises dedicated the Park to our Family they told us that the original plan was to have the Mayor be there and give Nicole the deed to the Park. They then realized that that would cause her to have to pay the property tax and be in charge of maintenance and up keep. They decided not to put that burden in Nicole's hands and made an agreement with the Owners of Sunset Ridge and the City to turn the land over to Sunset to keep and maintain.

Looking for 15,000 Angels to Like


We are looking for 15,000 Angels on Facebook. We are challenging all of our Friends, Family, and complete strangers to help us find 15,000 people to Like on Facebook and show they would have given $1 to save Peyton Park. This Park is no ordinary Park. It started with a wish that I made for my wife Nicole. It is much easier to tell the story from the beginning. So I will fill you in on how Peyton Park came to be and how our search for 15,000 Angels began.

This is a blog post from August 31, 2011

This blog entry is a little different. Usually you get to hear from a blind mom. Tonight you will hear form a sighted father. Nicole is my better half. She is literally the center of my world. Words in the English language cannot express the love that I have for her. When you see us out in public you will always see Nicole hanging onto my arm. When i am out without her i almost feel like a fish out of water. We are as close as I feel it is possible for two people to be. I need her and depend on her for strength and support as much as she depends on me to be her eyes. Some times I jokingly tell people that I am her guide dog, but in reality she is the one who is truly leading me.

This past week has been an emotional one for both of us. It has forced us to relive some really great memories that we have shared, and It has also forced us to say goodbye to a place that is very sacred and meaningful to our family. This week we have been forced to say goodbye to Peyton Park. Peyton Park is literally a little piece of heaven on earth to me. It is a symbol that has a lot of meaning. As I tell you our story and you watch the video I think you will see the symbolism that I see in the Park and will be able to more fully understand the emotions I am wrestling with as I write.

Just over six years ago I was setting at my desk at the Iron County School District Office. I was at the time working there as a network administrator. It was a sunny Friday Morning in June and I was swamped with the task of getting all the labs in the district updated and ready for the approaching new school year. As I sat at my desk I received an email. The email was informing Cedar City residents that a new TV show on NBC had picked Cedar as a place that they wanted to have an open casting call. The casting call was to be help the following day. They were looking for stories of people who had been faced with amazing challenges. They wanted residents to come tell the story of someone they know and make a wish for them. My thoughts quickly turned to my wife. No one I know had ever faced more hardship and challenges than her.

As I sat there at my desk I started to relive the nightmare that we had faced head on together. When I think of what we have lived through it starts to seem like a Lifetime Movie Network original movie. I would never have believed it if I had not lived through every terrible moment of it. We did live through it, and we were in fact still standing. The only real casualty of our ordeal was Nicole's vision. She was now left completely in the dark. I then snapped back to reality, and went about my work day. I thought about about a wish I could make for Nicole off and on throughout the day, but concluded that I just didn't want to go tell her story and be forced to relive it all over again. I liked to keep a lot of the pain locked away in a place that I didn't want to visit.

Just before five o'clock I returned to my office after a day off running around to various schools. The earlier thoughts of sharing Nicole's story to a TV show had been replaced with plans of trying to make sure I was going to be able to get all of the new computers and  lab software ready for teachers and student to return. I had determine that I would keep Nicole's story to myself. I sat down and realized I had an unbelievable amount of email in my inbox. I had had over 30 people forward the email about the casting call and  pleaded with me to go and tell her story. Then our secretary started in on me and told me I was crazy not to go. I thought I would hurry and get out of the office before I was jumped by anyone else. I didn't make it to my car. The ladies in the office downstairs caught me and started in on me. It seamed that everyone that received the email thought of my wife.

Nicole and our little daughter Peyton were in Fairview staying with Nicole's mom for a few days and I was going up that night to stay in Fairview for the weekend and then bring them home. I thought about it for a few hours trying to decide what I should do. I knew that it would seem a little strange to tell Nicole that I was staying in Cedar Friday night and would not come up until later on Saturday afternoon. I decided to pray about it and see if that would help me decide if I should stay in Cedar and share Nicole's story. I felt very strongly that this was an opportunity to share with people how amazing Nicole is and how her attitude and our families faith had helped her to overcome so many obstacles. We truly had seen amazing miracles and I felt it was wrong to keep them all to ourselves.

I decided to stay in Cedar that night and go to the casting call. I arrived at the Heritage Center downtown about a half hour before the casting call was to begin. I wanted to get it over with as quick as I could so I could get out of town and go see Nicole and Peyton. I had never been away from ether of them this long before and I was really missing them badly. My bags were packed and I was planning on leaving as soon as I was through telling them about Nicole. When I arrived I was amazed to find hundreds and hundreds of people in line to get in. I literally saw the line and went back to my car and started to leave. I started to pull out of the parking lot and it was almost like a voice inside of me said, "This is your one opportunity to share your miracle with the World". I turned off the car and went to get in line.

We were all taken to a large conference room where we were asked to fill out a mountain of legal documents and to tell them about the wish we wanted to make. This was honestly the first time I had thought about a wish. I had been thinking about telling everyone about what an amazing woman my wife was but the thought of making a wish for her had not even entertained my thoughts. I started to talk to some of the people around me. Most had a very specific wish. Some were really amazing. Some were incredibly selfish. I had no wish, not one that would come to mind. I am here auditioning for a TV show called Three Wishes and I literally could not think of a wish. You know wishing for Nicole to see again is an obvious wish that we all share but I know that it would take another miracle not a TV show to grant that wish. Suddenly I was called up to go into a room and tell one of the Producers about my wish. I had all of the paperwork filled out but the question about a specific wish was blank. I am sure that day that I am the only person in the room that didn't have a wish.

I sat down and began to tell the one of the producers why I was there. I told them about how Nicole and met each other. How for me it was love at first sight. I had not been in the same room with Nicole for more than ten minuets and I knew that she was the one I would spend eternity with. I told them that nine months later we were married in the Manti Temple on September 17, 1999. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that when you are married in the Temple that it is not just until death do you part like other marriage vows. In our Temples we are Sealed together for Time and all Eternity. This belief is one of the most important doctrines of our faith. It is also one of the only things that would help to get me through the trials that would lay ahead.

I finished telling her our story with tears pouring down my cheeks. I then looked up and she was crying as well. She then told me to wait in that room for a second and that she would be back. I then told our story a second time to three other producers. We all cried together as well. One of them said, "there is only one thing left for us to do, we need to meet Nicole". Two months later the adventure that we had with Three Wishes would begin.

This is a blog post from September 2, 2011

When I was talking to the owners of Sunset Ridge they told me that it would take at least $15,000 to save the park by building a wall to keep the hill from sliding any further. I understand as a business owner this is a hard cost to swallow. I told them I would be willing to raise the money and do what ever I could do to help. It was very apperent to me that they didnt want the help and had no intent on keeping the Park on the property.

I told two different people in the organization that I knew I cold find 15,000 people that would donate at least a dollor to save the park. Both scoffed and mocked the idea. This is where all of our Facebook friends and family come in. I want you to all share this challenge with all of your friends. I want to see how long it will take for 15,000 people to care. All I ask you to do is share the Facebook page with everyone you know and have them hear the story and show support by liking the page. I know that there are thousands of good people that have a heart. I want to see how fast we can find them.

I put both of the posts together to make it much easier to share the story and share the challenge with your Friends. The Park is now completely gone. We were able to take out the play ground equipment on Saturday. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. I never thought 6 years ago that I would see this day. I really want to show them that I could find people who care and would help to preserve the park. In fact I will find one person for every dollar they told me it was going to cost them to fix it. Then we will find a way to rebuild Peyton Park in a place where it will be cared for and preserved. Thank you so much for your help.

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