Appeal decision on Woodward Park City action camp delayed
After listening to nearly three hours’ worth of testimony from the appellants who are urging the Summit County Council to reject the Woodward Park City action camp project, Council members ultimately decided to delay their decision.
The County Council met for a second time on Wednesday to review three appeals that have been filed in response to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission’s decision to grant a conditional-use permit for the project, slated for Gorgoza Park near Interstate 80. More than 75 people attended the discussion. No public input was taken.
The appellants — Scott Nichols, Tom Farkas and Jill Story — claim the project was misrepresented to the commission when it was approved, was not properly mitigated and should not have gone through the conditional-use permit process, among other assertions.
County Council Chair Kim Carson said the Council determined before the meeting that it was not going to make a decision Wednesday because of the amount of information it has to sift through. She said the Council continued to receive information the day of the meeting.
“It is difficult for us to thoroughly digest and read all of that and evaluate it as part of the overall materials,” she said. “When we have three appellants addressing different issues, there is a lot of research that we need to do. We have done that in the past with cases that are this complex and, especially, when it involves multiple appellants.”
The Basin Planning Commission unanimously approved the project on Jan. 9 following a nearly four-hour discussion before more than 80 people. The planning panel reviewed the project for more than a year, making recommendations to mitigate the project’s impact on issues such as traffic and noise and light from snowmaking.
The project’s proximity to homes in the surrounding neighborhoods has been the main point of contention from those in opposition of the project. The appellants suggested lowering some of the camp’s infrastructure further below the ridgeline to reduce the impacts of the noise and snowmaking.
“Adequate conditions were not imposed to protect the 85 homeowners of Pinebrook and several codes were violated,” Story said during the meeting.
Woodward Park City would serve athletes in several different sports, including skiing, snowboarding, gymnastics, skateboarding and BMX freestyle bicycling. It would include a more than 52,000-square-foot indoor action-sports center, equipped with indoor trampolines, ramps, foam pits, pump tracks, concrete skate park and a digital media studio. Other amenities would include a food court, lounge and coffee house, and a party room.
A ski lift, expanded snowmaking, outdoor skate park, expanded mountain biking trail system and freestyle-mountain biking terrain are also planned.
Wade Budge, representing Powdr Corp., the company that would own and operate the sports camp, said the County Council should uphold the conditional-use permit because the approval was the result of “very careful consideration by staff and the individual planning commissioners.”
“The Planning Commission arrived at its decision after taking into account public comment and reviewing many reports, plans, and details,” he stated in a letter to the county. “The CUP now has 17 carefully crafted conditions, which are designed to mitigate any detrimental effects associated with the use.”
The County Council agreed to meet in closed session to review the appeals with the county’s legal department. Carson said additional research may need to be conducted, but added “it’s hard to determine that until we have that meeting.”
“We have given them a deadline to send out all the documents and information to make sure everyone agrees this is the record and will try and get it on the agenda as soon as we can,” she said. “We really want to do right by our constituents and want to make sure this a very fair process, and that includes having the time to adequately address each appellant’s case and apply that to the overall decision.”
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Sen. Allen Christensen, one of the two men to represent Summit County in the State Senate, announced he will not seek another term after 16 years in office.