Summit County Council upholds permit for Woodward action camp
The Summit County Council unanimously agreed last week to uphold a permit that was granted for the Woodward Park City action sports camp slated for Gorgoza Park near Interstate 80.
Council members collectively denied the three applications on Wednesday that were filed with the Summit County Planning Department in January appealing the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission’s controversial decision to grant a permit for the project, adjacent to the current tubing hill.
County Council Chair Kim Carson said the Council ultimately determined the project was reviewed under the appropriate process and the structure that will house indoor training facilities is allowed in the area. Council members spent time going over the conditions of the approval with the appellants and representatives from Woodward before making the final decision. Some of the conditions included restrictions on snow making and height of the chair lift near the ridgeline.
“We sat down with the all the parties and went through all the conditions and made sure the appellants were comfortable that the conditions would help them,” she said.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the indoor/outdoor facility on Jan. 9 after spending more than a year reviewing the project’s design. Powdr Corp., the company that applied for the conditional-use permit, currently operates five Woodward camps throughout the United States.
Woodward Park City will serve athletes in several different sports, including skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, skateboarding and BMX freestyle bicycling. It will include a more than 52,000-square-foot action-sports center and several outdoor enhancements for riding and teaching terrain that will be serviced by a four-person chair lift.
Three residents in nearby neighborhoods appealed the planning panel’s decision to approve the project. Two of the appeals claimed the project was approved under the wrong process, while the third accused the commission of failing to impose reasonable conditions to reduce the impacts of sound and lighting.
Jill Story, who has lived on Sunridge Drive for more than 20 years, filed one of the appeals on behalf of herself and more than 20 homeowners in Pinebrook. Homes along Sunridge Drive are adjacent to the tubing hill and future expansion.
Story said the Council clarified the conditions Woodward will have to adhere to and added more restrictions.
“I’m happy that it is off the ridgeline now and they will have to put the snowmakers a little lower on the hill,” she said. “I wish they could have done more for Jeremy Ranch because they will see all of it, including the lights.”
Story said she is in “acceptance mode” at this point but is only “partially satisfied” with the Council’s conclusion.
“I would have liked the chair lift to be about 100 feet lower in elevation because that would have alleviated my concerns about light and snow,” she said. “The only other thing I am worried about is the noise. But, I suppose we do have some recourse if they don’t comply.”
Jody Churich, chief operating officer of Woodward, said in an email to The Park Record she is pleased with the Council’s decision.
“The Council’s decision reaffirms the value of the extensive, public and collaborative 16-plus month planning process, which resulted in a project that thoughtfully reflects public input and represents the best of what our region has to offer,” she stated. “Woodward Park City will be a phenomenal community asset that furthers Summit County’s general plan, pays homage to our region’s Olympic heritage, and benefits our youth because of its progression facilities and instruction delivered in a culture focused on inclusivity, fun and community.”
The Council’s decision will allow Woodward to break ground this summer, Churich said. She added, “We hope for an opening date in summer 2019.”
The County Council’s decision can be appealed to the 3rd District Court of Utah.
A former Summit County victim advocate who was facing a felony count of misusing public money pleaded guilty Tuesday to a lesser charge in a deal with prosecutors.