‘Aspen’ ski town request rejected
A request from 35 landowners to incorporate a new ski town called ‘Aspen’ has been rejected by Wasatch County.
So the developer says he may sue.
Wasatch County "declined to consider potentially fatal flaws in a competing last-minute petition filed by an opposition group seeking to be annexed into the Town of Daniel," developer Dean Sellers stated in a press release Wednesday.
The county’s decision handed Heber Valley property owners living south of U.S. 40 a victory after they fought tooth and nail to stop Sellers from incorporating their property into his new town.
"I am just so incredibly proud," Daniel resident Lynne Seus said in a telephone interview Friday.
She called Sellers a "bully."
"He is just a very, very wealthy person used to shoving his weight around," she said.
Sellers threatened to sue homeowners who have spoken out against the proposed project, Seus said.
Litigation "might be necessary," Sellers stated.
His high-end recreation community would feature alpine skiing "equivalent to Deer Valley" and a world class golf course on 8,366 acres in the Heber Valley, Sellers said in a prepared statement.
Sellers, 60, said he spent more than 30 years in Arizona brokering large residential and commercial developments and has the wherewithal to build a ski resort from scratch.
A new law makes incorporation of a town possible without county approval. As the developer and major landowner, Sellers would have the power to nominate candidates for mayor and town council when Aspen incorporates.
Critics included in the annexation area are concerned Sellers would condemn their land forcing them off their property if he takes control of the town, Seus said.
"With his track record I think their fears are well founded," she added.
Land for the ski resort rises from about 7,600 feet in elevation to 9,000 feet. The terrain is dotted with mature aspen trees, justifying the town name, Sellers said.
Meanwhile, the Daniel Town Council could decide Dec. 3 whether homeowners against the Aspen development are allowed to annex into the municipality. As Daniel residents, almost 100 landowners in unincorporated Wasatch County would avoid being forced to live in the town of Aspen, explained Wasatch County resident Kasey Bateman, who filed the petition for annexation into Daniel last week.
Sellers did not include enough people in Aspen to justify forming the town, Bateman said, explaining that at least 100 people must live in an incorporated area.
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