Decision stalled on Sun Peak hotel |

Decision stalled on Sun Peak hotel

A decision was delayed this week on whether to build a controversial hotel in Sun Peak.

When the Summit County Commission wouldn’t approve plans for a building with 326 rooms last spring, the Chicago builder, Terrace Development Partners, sued the county, claiming the 275,000 square-foot project was previously approved in 2001.

Along with suing taxpayers, the developer appealed the decision from the County Commission to the county’s Board of Adjustment, which met Thursday in Coalville.

"We don’t have a quorum of the people who heard the appeal so it’s going to get tabled until January 25," Board of Adjustment member Tom Clyde said.

"Fierce and vocal" opposition from nearby homeowners to construction of the Sun Canyon Lodge at the intersection of Bear Hollow Dr. and Bear View Drive prompted the ‘nay’ vote, charged Bruce Baird, an attorney for Terrace Development Partners.

"Many of the opponents’ arguments were emotional, personal and often based on materially incorrect facts and assumptions," his lawsuit states.

A hotel was contemplated in Sun Peak when the community west of S.R. 224 was master planned in the 1990s, he says.

Developer Jim Haft disagrees with present and former commissioners who say the past approval limited the number of rooms in the hotel and condominium complex to 140.

Opponents argue the approval allowed for 140 hotel bedrooms, Clyde said, adding that developers claim "it was 140 doorknobs with locks on them and they could put whatever they want behind them."

"This seems just like a deadly location for a hotel It just seems like a formula for bankruptcy," Clyde said about the hotel lot that is tucked into a residential neighborhood. "It isn’t convenient for anything. It isn’t, ‘walk to,’ anything."

While hearing the recent appeal, members of the Board of Adjustment were concerned that instead of nightly rentals, condominium owners at the hotel would start leasing units to full-time renters, Clyde said, adding that the proposal includes some 6-bedroom luxury suites.

"I think we’re going to turn it down," Clyde said.

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