A proposed ski maintenance building at The Canyons Resort faced heavy opposition on Tuesday, with nearby residents claiming the facility would create too much noise and would be a visual nuisance on Canyon Resort Drive.
The proposed Red Hawk Ski Maintenance Facility would be a relocation of the current building on Frostwood Drive. That facility needs to be removed by June 2014 to comply with the County Manager's order in completing Canyons' new golf course.
The new facility would be located just east of the Grand Summit Hotel and west of the Hidden Creek Condos on Canyon Resort Drive. The first phase of the project would encompass 18,360 square feet, with the second phase later utilizing the remaining 146,941 square feet.
The owner of the property, Talisker Canyons Propco, LLC, has contracted with TCFC Finance Co., LLC, to construct the facility.
The project came under fire at Tuesday's Snyderville Basin Planning Commission meeting at the Richins Building. Donna Van Buren, a nearby resident and a former Basin planning commissioner who was on the board when the Canyons Specially Planned Area (SPA) was approved, expressed concern that the previous facility should be moved because it was a noise nuisance.
"We erased property lines as part of the SPA. There's a thing called global principles as part of the SPA. [One is to] establish appropriate buffers between resort and existing residential areas," Van Buren said, adding that the proposed facility would not be a buffer.
Van Buren added the planning commission should "put density where density should be," stating, "Since we've waited this long, let's do it right."
Spencer White, representing TCFC Finance, said the facility must be close to the mountain to provide snow access but must also have paved vehicle access. He said Canyons Resort has a lot of density, but very little land, and that the proposed location is "the best location for us at this time."
"This is not the end-all, be-all building. It's not going to contain everything with regard to on-mountain operations," White said. The building would, among other functions, be used to maintain snow cats and snowmobiles, not for lift maintenance.
To mitigate lighting effects on the nearby Hidden Creek Condos, White said they had proposed installing a four-foot concrete wall in front of the parking stalls. Heavy vegetation would also be planted to ensure that headlight glare would not be noticeable.
The site would also not contain enough parking stalls for employees, and White said Canyons Resort would provide parking in a development area across the street until space is created.
Another potential concern is the shift change that would occur at the maintenance building at midnight, where a Canyons Resort employee stated that no more than 10 snow cats would enter the facility from the golf course to the north.
Cynthia Callaway, a Hidden Creek resident, said the current maintenance shed is roughly 150 yards from her residence. She cited past employee noise and misconduct as reasons to deny the proposed facility relocation.
"This [parcel] was always discussed as a buffer to future development. This is not a buffer," Callaway said.
Rob White from the nearby Silverado Lodge stressed that a maintenance facility that close to the resort entrance would be a visual eyesore.
"It's going to be a very imposing mass driving up the street every day," White said. "Every visitor from The Canyons is going to be looking down [at the building], as well as people at the Grand Summit Hotel."
The planning commission will continue to work on addressing issues with the current proposed facility, but consideration of other possible sites will not be included in those discussions. Summit County Planner Tiffanie Northrup-Robinson said the developers have been asked to provide more detailed information on the project and will come back for a work session for the Dec. 10 planning commission meeting.