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Home proposed on ridge

Roger Goldman and Rana Tahtinen are attempting to construct a 32-foot high 10,000 square-foot home on the ridgeline at Mountain Top Drive that will be visible from Park City, S.R. 224 and the Old Ranch Road neighborhood.

If built, the home will project into the horizon, which the Snyderville General Plan prohibits, according to the Summit County Planning staff report.

Both the Park City and Summit County Planning Department staff have recommended the home be placed instead at a lower location where it would be clustered with other already developed homes and won’t have such a strong visual impact.

"We can approve it lower down on the hill," Assistant County Planner Molly Orgill said. "Both the General Plan and the Development Code say homes should be clustered."

Staff is also recommending the height be restricted to 26 feet from ground level to the roofline. "If they had built it when they were previously approved, they would have been able to build it at 32 feet high," Orgill said.

A building permit for the lower area was originally issued in 2007 and they had 180 days to start building.

"They never did build so they had to reapply," Orgill said.

When the original permit was submitted, the building code did not have the 26-foot high building restrictions, so the permit was able to go through.

When reapplying for a new low impact permit last year, Goldman and Tahtinen requested a building permit to build higher on the property.

They would also like to relocate the road to align with their proposed driveway, which if built is likely to cause scarring on the land, according to the staff report. If the new road is built, re-vegetation of the existing road could reduce the scarring.

The property includes 30 percent and higher grade slopes, which is prohibited by the Development Code. The higher site does, however, have slopes within the accepted 10 to 20 percent slope grade. But because it is located higher on the hill, it is not clustered with the existing development and is more visible than the previously approved site.

"Development on parcels that include steep slopes, ridgelines and hilltops are prohibited," the staff report said. "However, when it is not possible to locate a structure on a parcel out of the sensitive areas, every effort shall be made to place the structure on the least steep, less visible and most accessible portion of the parcel."

Having been denied the permit because the location and height weren’t in line with the General Plan, the couple is appealing the decision.

"We can approve it if it’s at the lower location," Orgill said. "But we’ve been back and forth a lot with them on the location."

On Wednesday afternoon, the Summit County Council is visiting and evaluating both locations on the property. A 32-foot pole will be used at both sites to give the council an idea of how much the home will project into the horizon. The council will also view the poles from S.R. 224 and Payday Drive to see the visual impact from those locations.

Following the location evaluation, the county plans to make a decision on the appeal at the Summit County Council meeting at 1885 West Ute Boulevard at 2:45 p.m.

Staff is recommending the council deny the appeal.


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