Silver Moose Ranch Bed and Breakfast appeal tabled
Ryan Summerlin March 29, 2013
The fate of the Silver Moose Ranch Bed and Breakfast hangs in the balance as the Summit County Council tables a decision to issue a conditional use permit.
"Instruction was given to the applicant to bring back the title of ownership clarification that will include that they are partial title owners of the property," said Summit County Planner Amir Caus. "The second big issue they wanted resolved was the water rights. They want a letter from the State Engineer’s Office stating whether there is sufficient water. And if there isn’t, what they would require to be done."
When reviewing a request to issue a bed and breakfast license in November 2011, the Summit County Planning Department staff determined the business needed a conditional use permit approval.
"Conditional uses are allowed uses with conditions," Deputy County Attorney Jami Brackin said. "We try to grant conditional use permits with conditions to mitigate whatever impacts there are going to be. It’s only when you cannot do that, or for some legal reason is does not qualify, you say no."
Because the bed and breakfast business had already been operated by Brian and Tamara Mooring, who are leasing the property, under a county business license for nightly lodging, the Planning Department determined that as long as the conditional use permit application was moving forward, the business may continue to operate.
However, in November of last year, the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission voted 5-1 to deny the conditional use permit.
"The Planning Commission felt very strongly that they could not impose a condition to improve the road, because of the easement," she said.
According to Tamara, a neighbor sold Snow’s Lane to Park City under a conservation easement, even though the property’s owner, Bill Kelly, has rights to the easement.
"As part of that conservation easement, they put restrictions on the right-of-way," she said. "But Mr. Kelley was not involved in this process, was not paid for losing the right-of-way. You can’t sell someone else’s right of way. That matter is now in court."
Brackin said that because of the commercial nature of the business, certain road standards have to be met.
"Our code requires you have adequate access to access the business," she said. "And if the road is restricted from ever being improved from what it is right now, then it can’t ever be improved to the standards necessary for a commercial use or commercial business."
Another concern raised by Brackin was Kelley’s status as a registered sex offender, which she said poses a public safety issue. In addition, the owner is required to occupy the home if it can be considered a bed and breakfast.
"I have an owner who does not occupy the home, and if he does occupy, he’s a sex offender. And I have an occupant who is not an owner," she said. "If they don’t qualify to be a bed and breakfast because of the owner occupancy issue, we can’t issue a permit because they are not a bed and breakfast."
Tamara pointed out that if they were not at the house running the business, Kelley, who primarily resides in Massachusetts, would live at the house.
"Then the neighbors would have a registered sex offender in their neighborhood," she said.
The county also requires the business owners show they have adequate water and sewer, which is currently under dispute.
"We hired an independent water engineer to evaluate the water rights and our usage," Tamara said. "And he produced a report that said, yes we have plenty of water for the use of a bed and breakfast. However, the neighbors hired a different water engineer that came up with a different conclusion."
Brackin said they need a report from the State Engineer’s Office that says whether the property has enough water to operate a bed and breakfast.
Finally, Brackin said that under state law, while an owner does not need a food license, since the Moorings are not owners, they do need a food license, which they do not currently have.
The council is currently waiting for additional information from the applicant and has not yet determined a date to continue discussing the item.