Canyons Resort maintenance building relocation denied
April 26, 2014
Summit County Manager Bob Jasper denied a proposed relocation of the Canyons Resort ski maintenance building on Friday, meaning it is unclear where the facility, now on Frostwood Drive, will be rebuilt. Jasper reached the decision after a pair of April 10 public hearings about the proposed relocation to Canyons Resort Drive.
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission earlier had recommended against the relocation, but it was within Jasper’s power to hear the matter. If built at the Canyons Resort Drive location, the maintenance building would have been situated between the Grand Summit Hotel and the Hidden Creek Condominiums.
"I feel very comfortable that I’ve made the right decision and that it’s backed up by law," Jasper said during an announcement to reporters Friday at the Sheldon Richins Building.
Jasper outlined several reasons for the denial. He said the Specially Planned Area ordinance governing the area stated that ski area services shall be built "on the mountain."
Jasper said the facility was requested by developers to be built inside a development parcel identified as RC15, even though the site is located almost wholly on Village Open Space land.
To develop the project in the proposed location, meanwhile, a "substantial amendment to the Canyons SPA (Specially Planned Agreement) must first be approved," according to a release from Jasper.
Attorney Joe Tesch, who represents hundreds of condominium owners with properties close to the denied relocation site, gave his thoughts on Jasper’s decision.
"Obviously, this was the correct decision by the county manager. It is our hope that Vail Resorts acts with the class that we expect and that has been a past hallmark of their brand," Tesch said, adding that there are "any number" of appropriate locations for the facility other than in the Resort Core.
Todd Burnette, a spokesperson for TCFC Finance Co., LLC, the firm that filed the application on behalf of Canyons Resort, issued a statement afterward.
"We are extremely disappointed in the County Manager’s decision regarding the proposed Ski Maintenance Facility located at Canyons Resort. The Manager’s motion to deny the approval of a ski maintenance facility within a ski resort based on zoning compliance came as a surprise given the productive meetings on this project with all levels of County staff for over seven months. We continue to believe the plans for the facility meet the size and usage standards as outlined in the Snyderville Basin Development Code as well as the Canyons SPA Development Agreement.
"We will be exploring all available options including possibly appealing this decision, and we will continue to work toward finding a permanent and suitable resolution as quickly as possible which will support the golf and ski operations. Unfortunately, the County Manager’s decision may have a negative impact on the golf course design and completion schedule, which TCFC has consistently maintained with the latest deadlines set by the County under the Development Agreement."
Jasper added that the county has "more than once" extended the timetable for the Canyons golf course but said that concerns over it did not impact his decision against the proposed relocation of the facility. He added that TCFC Finance Co., LLC has made "a lot of progress" on the golf course, stockpiling dirt and arranging for sufficient water supply.
"As I understand, there is a legally binding agreement that they will finish the golf course by this September," Jasper said, even though the current facility is located where Hole 11 is slated to be constructed.
Summit County Attorney David Brickey said the parties have 10 days from last Friday to file intent to appeal. Brickey, along with Jasper, Summit County Community Development Director Patrick Putt and Planning and Zoning Administrator Peter Barnes, crafted the details of the denial.
Jasper said he is willing to work with TCFC Finance Co., LLC to find another location for the maintenance facility.
"We want to work with them because, obviously, a ski resort needs a place to maintain their equipment," Jasper said. "We understand that, we just don’t think this is the right place."