Height amendment in proposed Canyons Master Plan raises concerns
More than three dozen village residents send emails to the county
April 28, 2017
Thomas Sedwick has lived at Vintage on the Strand in the Canyons Village at Park City Mountain Resort for nearly four years and, he says, he has no intentions of moving.
When Sedwick recently learned that the master developer of the Canyons Village wanted to create a new master plan for the village, he supported the overall proposal to reconfigure and, eventually, complete the development.
As part of the proposal, TCFC, the company that owns the land on which Vail Resorts operates its ski area, and Replay Resorts, have asked to amend the existing land-use and zoning chart specifying the maximum height of the buildings allowed under the development agreement, approved in 1999.
"I think they have a lot of good ideas and I want them to finish the village. I am not anti-development," Sedwick said. "But they are changing the methods for determining the heights of the buildings. A lot of people when they brought their property they paid a premium for the view they have."
Sedwick, along with more than three dozen Westgate and Sundial Lodge homeowners, sent emails to the county and Snyderville Basin Planning Commission expressing significant concerns about the height amendment. Residents are particularly interested in the development of two parcels their homes overlook, known as RC 17 and RC 18, along High Mountain Road.
"A lot of people look out over that lot. For me, the value is a secondary thing, it's more about aesthetics," Sedwick said. "But for some, it is an investment and that is a big difference from having the views of the mountains to nothing."
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In many of the emails, residents urged commissioners to enforce the current standards for determining height to preserve their views.
Under the current height language, height is not clearly defined or limited, a problem the master plan intends to fix, according to a county staff report. The current code implies that a story would be considered 10 feet in height, but "it does not clearly define if that is from floor to floor or floor to plate and also excludes the roof," the report states.
The proposal requests to modify the height restrictions from maximum stories to maximum elevation.
Last week, the planning commission held an open house and public hearing regarding the proposed master plan. Commission Chair Bea Peck said height was the central issue during the hearing.
"We did receive a number of emails and this was of particular interest to the Westgate homeowners," Peck said. "We will have another work session on height. We, basically as a commission, are sending in all of our questions to staff they are compiling all of that.
"I understand that the code is from finished grade, but it seems as a measure of standard or base it can be manipulated where the grade has been raised," she said. "We will just keep fleshing this out until we really understand it."
Peck said the height issue will likely be listed as a work session item for the commission's next meeting on May 9. She said several more public hearings will be held before a recommendation is made about the plan.
Sedwick said he hopes the commission upholds the wishes of the surrounding homeowners. He added, "We are not against the SPA amendments, we just don't want the height changed."
"You already have all these buildings built around where this lot was and these people bought with expectations about what the height limits were," Sedwick said. "Right now everyone is kind of entrenched and we are just hoping we can get enough pressure from the commissioners to get them to move the heights down."
To view the Canyons Village Master Plan, go to http://canyonsvillageplan.com/vision/. To view the county staff reports, go to http://summitcounty.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_04182017-1159?html=true.
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