Park City votes to acquire Thaynes Canyon land, part of wider conservation effort
The Park City Council recently voted to acquire a 5-acre piece of land within Snow Ranch Pasture, part of the overall efforts to protect the Thaynes Canyon open space from development.
The City Council voted to approve a purchase agreement with a firm called Armstrong Holdings, LLC. The 5 acres were priced at $3.55 million and represent approximately one-quarter of the 20.44-acre Snow Ranch Pasture.
The rest of the land will remain with the owner, but the firm has agreed to set aside that acreage from development through an agreement with the not-for-profit Utah Open Lands.
That organization reached a $6 million agreement in 2018 with two sides of the Armstrong family to protect the land from development. Park City contributed the $3.55 million to the overall price tag, raising the necessary funds through a ballot measure that provided the bulk of the funding for the unrelated City Hall acquisition of the Treasure acreage on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift for $64 million.
City Hall and Utah Open Lands have crafted an instrument known as a conservation easement that will outline the open space protections on the land. Utah Open Lands will eventually hold and enforce the conservation easement on the entire acreage.
The conservation easement covers topics like the preservation of wildlife habitat, a right to build a cross-country skiing trail and a snowshoeing trail and the right to control noxious weeds. The conservation easement will also prohibit hunting and harassing wildlife as well as prohibiting roads and dumping.
Utah Open Lands anticipates the conservation easement will be filed, or recorded, next week at the Summit County Recorder’s Office.
Armstrong Holdings, LLC and Utah Open Lands are expected to draft a similar conservation easement to attach to the land that will remain with the firm.
Utah Open Lands and City Hall wanted Snow Ranch Pasture protected for the scenic views toward Park City Mountain Resort and the wildlife habitat. Utah Open Lands previously calculated as many as 48 houses were possible on the land had a conservation deal not been reached.
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It was an important decision since the rest of the talks will be heavily influenced by the processing option selected by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.