Open space reconfigured at Promontory
Without reducing the amount of property protected by conservation easements at Promontory the Summit County Commission has cleared the way for developers to reconfigure dedicated open space at the gated community to make room for a golf course.
"I view this not as a major amendment, but as an administrative amendment," Summit County deputy attorney David Thomas said before commissioners unanimously approved the request.
The change could allow for construction of a 60-par "short course" in the golf community, Summit County planner Don Sargent said.
The easements are intended to prevent houses from being constructed on hundreds of acres of land, he added.
Because the county holds the easements as a party to Promontory’s development agreement, County Commissioner Sally Elliott questioned whether the land is adequately protected without an independent party, like Utah Open Lands, enforcing the restrictions.
"What assurances do we have?" she asked.
Thomas responded, "it would be a very expensive conservation easement to hold (for a third party.)"
Rules of the easements restrict land on Promontory’s west slope near U.S. 40 from housing development while providing "limited recreational opportunities," like golf, Sargent said.
The change would place the course "in better proximity to development," but does not affect where homes will be built, planners say.
"The reason we have the easements is to preserve the recreational value of that hillside," Promontory spokesman Mike Nielson said. "All that was going on here was reconfiguring where golf could and could not go, but the net acreage remains the same."
But would construction of another course impact "sage-colored views" at Promontory, Elliott asked.
"Is it going to be completely invisible?" Summit County Planning Director Michael Barille responded. "No, I don’t think it is."
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