Construction at Canyons Golf not up to par with neighbors
For the last three weeks, Wendy Cryan has watched heavy machinery move dirt around one of the holes at Canyons Golf at Park City Mountain Resort, creating a more than 10-foot berm behind her home in Sun Peak.
Cryan’s home on Voelker Court is adjacent to the eleventh hole. She said the berm appeared nearly three weeks ago without any warning. She is now left wondering what exactly is taking place.
“We would like to know what is being done,” Cryan said. “We don’t want a 12-foot berm. It will dramatically affect how I enjoy my home and I have lived here for a long time. I feel like I usually know what has been going on here, but we have had no communication from the developer. I had no idea.”
Hole No. 11, currently a Par 4, was always intended to be a Par 5. However, a ski maintenance facility on Frostwood Drive restricted the fairway. Last year, the Summit County Council approved a new location for the facility. Former County Manager Bob Jasper ordered that the hole be completed by October 2016.
The work that is underway was approved under a grading permit through the Summit County Engineering Department on Aug. 26. The grading permit applies to the construction at Hole No. 11 and at another site. Cryan and other homeowners claim the work is beyond the scope of the original approval.
“There is a disconnect between what the 2010 plans show,” Cryan said. “This is not what they have built. This fairway has been here for two years and that is what they should be going off of.
“I want to know if what is happening will require me to have flood insurance with this pond right over there,” she said. “If they are building a spillway, this is no longer a fairway. This is a new project.”
According to Mike Kendell, a Summit County engineer, he granted the grading permit based on the county’s ordinances. He said the developer requested the permit to utilize material from another project.
“They are moving that material down under the grading permit and part of it is in coordination with a state permit that requires developers to retain additional storm water on site,” Kendell said. “As far as changing the use, that is still a golf course.”
Peter Barnes, Summit County planning and zoning administrator, said most understood Hole No. 11 to be a temporary hole. He said the golf course was originally approved in September of 2010 as an amendment to the Canyons Development Agreement.
“The hole you were looking at up until recently when work started was temporary and not the hole that was originally proposed,” Barnes said. “Right now the hole is being completed as far as the approved plans, but we have neighbors who see work and have had a mix of opinions as to what is actually going on.”
Barnes claims the plans for Hole No. 11 have always shown a detention basin included as part of normal storm water practices. He said if there was change of use or a substantial change according to the Canyons Development Agreement, the Planning Department would be involved.
“One thing to bear in mind is that everyone is allowed to regrade your property. From a planning perspective, the use has not changed although the details may have,” Barnes said. “There is truth in that the view is going to change, the same way that development changes anyone’s view, but that is not the controlling factor.”
Barnes said the Planning Department has been contacted by lawyers who are representing Cryan and other homeowners. He said Pat Putt, the county’s community development director, responded to their inquiry.
“He told them that if they wish to appeal something they could appeal the technical aspects of the permit, but it won’t stop the work,” Barnes said. “The homeowner will see a taller amount of earth than what they have been looking at. But whether the developer can do something to mitigate the impacts of it is something that has yet to be decided and addressed.”
An appeal hearing has been scheduled with the Summit County Council on Sept. 28.
As of Thursday, heavy machinery was seen throughout the site. A berm surrounded the perimeter near the homes, while across the fairway there was evidence of excavation work on what appeared to be a pond. Cryan said the Sun Peak Homeowner’s Association is aware of the situation, adding that she has also hired an attorney and land consultant.
“This is a dirt-dumping project. This is no longer a golf fairway,” Cryan said. “You aren’t permitted to destroy someone’s viewshed and there are a lot of issues with what is going on. One of the clear ones is that they are not doing what they said they would be doing. This is something that should have gone through planning.”
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.