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