Silver Moose Ranch Bed and Breakfast owners appeal permit denial
The owners of a bed and breakfast inn located in a residential area of Thaynes Canyon are in a battle with their neighbors who say the business is disrupting their peace and quiet.
Silver Moose Ranch Bed and Breakfast owners Brian and Tamara Mooring filed an appeal on Wednesday against the Nov. 13 Snyderville Basin Planning Commission denial of their conditional use permit to operate the bed and breakfast.
"Staff forwarded a positive recommendation to the Planning Commission," Summit County Planner Amir Cause said. "However, the Planning Commission felt different and denied it. One of the main reasons is that the road is not completely paved."
Brian argued that Snows Lane, where the property is located, is paved. "The unpaved part is private property," he said.
Cause said the stipulation is typically applied to new developments, but the Planning Commission chose to deny the bed and breakfast’s permit based on the criteria not being met.
Though staff forwarded a positive recommendation to the Planning Commission, it was with one condition: that a conflict between two documents be resolved.
"They are both credible documents, so one of the conditions staff made was to have this resolved before the operation can continue," Cause said.
The earlier document said there is no restricted access to the property’s easement. But later on, when part of the property was sold to Utah Open Lands, the easement was noted as residential only.
"We couldn’t make a determination because they are both credible documents and we didn’t want to get into the middle of it," Amir said.
The Moorings received a business license from the county last fall when they first opened the bed and breakfast.
"They sent us a renewal form, so we filled it out and sent it back with a check, and they sent it back unprocessed," Brian said. "Staff wanted to process it, but they were told by their legal department not to process it. We resubmitted it three times, and three times it was rejected."
Brian said they were accused of trying to fly under the radar, not filing the proper paperwork and not paying for the proper licenses. "But it was the legal department that who told staff not to process our application," he said.
Neighbors came to the meeting in opposition of the bed and breakfast, saying they want to keep their neighborhood quiet and peaceful, arguing the neighborhood is not meant to have a bed and breakfast, Cause said.
"How much traffic do you think is generated?" Brian asked. "We average two rooms a night. About a quarter of our guests don’t even have cars. They use the bus stop at the end of our driveway."
Tamara added that their guests come for the quiet atmosphere. "We get comments that that’s what they are looking for. Our guests are between 35 and 65 years old. They aren’t rowdy. Ninety-eight percent of our guests are Mormon. They aren’t skiers coming with their beer. It just isn’t that crowd."
Guests park only at the bed and breakfast itself, and not on Snows Lane, she said. "The driveway is longer than two football fields. So all of the parking is entirely on this piece of private property. No one would have any reason to park on Snows Lane."
Brian said the only legal issue was the road, but it was the overwhelming public clamor that drove the Planning Commission to reject it.
For now, the bed and breakfast remains open. "A judge issued a temporary restraining order against the county so we could stay in business," Tamara said.
The appeal will go before the Summit County Council for review.
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