Company claims Summit County gave them the shaft
October 7, 2016
Representatives of Mine Shaft Brewery, located in the Snyderville Basin, are accusing Summit County staffers of acting "arbitrarily and capriciously" toward their request to build a new brewery at the Park City Tech Center at Kimball Junction.
Dallis Nordstrom, a Salt Lake attorney who represents Mine Shaft Brewery, claims the county has kept the company in limbo for more than two years over an application requesting the county determine what types of companies are approved for the business park on State Road 224. Mine Shaft Brewery is interested in using the site for a brewery and restaurant with nearly 100 employees.
In 2014, the county determined the allowed uses for the site do not include breweries. Officials based the determination on the original agreement with The Boyer Company, which is the lease holder and property owner. In June, Mine Shaft Brewery submitted another application asking for a determination of uses. Nordstrom claims when the application was resubmitted, the county treated it as an appeal, rather than a new application, leaving them in "this weird and strange continuation."
"This will most likely end up in court and, really, for absolutely no reason," Nordstrom said. "This shouldn't be wasting taxpayers' money. This is straight up an executive decision and we should have had an answer no later than June. We are just in this weird limbo because this is not an appeal, it's a new application."
Nordstrom said the Mine Shaft Brewery project should be approved under the same considerations that allowed the Park City Brewery and the Blue Sky Ranch High West Distillery to be built.
"They were approved with no hurdles at all and we meet every single requirement in the code, unlike them, and we can't even get a decision," Nordstrom said. "What we have to do next is continue to do what we have been doing, which is push forward with what we believe is a vested right.
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"A 'No' decision is an appealable decision, but we don't even have that," she said. "If it gets that far, I honestly don't see the court saying anything other than 'county, do your job.'"
According to Summit County Manager Tom Fisher, The Boyer Company is the only entity authorized to request a determination of uses. Fisher said The Boyer Company applied for a new use to allow a brewery associated with High West Distillery, not Mine Shaft Brewery, but was denied that request. An appeal of that decision was eventually withdrew, Fisher said.
"Mine Shaft Brewery tried to reapply for the use on their own, but we had already denied that use," Fisher said. "But there was still an appeal out there hanging in limbo with The Boyer Company and that was the only thing that could be heard. The appeal was, at one point, on the agenda within the last four weeks, but The Boyer Company contacted the county and said Mine Shaft did not have the authority to move forward with the appeal."
Fisher said the county's contention is that "we are back to the state that it was in when Boyer stayed their appeal in 2014." He said "there is nothing for us to act on."
"It's really only Boyer that can appeal the decision of the manager in 2014. Whatever they think they applied for has been withdrawn by Boyer," Fisher said. "Only Boyer can make an appeal or authorize them to make an appeal."
An email dated Sept. 28 from Jake Boyer, president and CEO of The Boyer Company, made available to The Park Record by Nordstrom reads in part: "we want to clearly state that we are currently not supportive of this use being considered on our land and don't support an interpretation being made on our land by others."
In 2015, a project manager for The Boyer Company told The Park Record the company was considering proposing a major amendment that would change the focus of the entire property. However, no formal conversations with the county ever took place. At the time, Dave Allen, who is a project manager with The Boyer Company, said "the approved uses and the county's view on what that entails has limited the number of businesses that could go into the tech center." Allen did not return messages seeking comment.
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