Peoa sled dog operation to expand
Fernando Ramirez has been training and sled racing Alaskan Huskies around the Park City area for most of his life.
Ramirez and his wife, Dana, own and operate Luna Lobos Dog Sledding on a 55-acre property located at 4733 West Brown’s Canyon Road, in Peoa. The ranch is home to approximately 30 dogs that are available year-round for off-site tours.
Ramirez recently filed an application for a conditional use permit with the Summit County Planning Department to expand the business’s operations to include on-site tours and a few smaller cottages to accommodate other dogs overnight.
"What we want to do is open up the opportunity for our guest to come to our kennels and visit our dogs," Ramirez said. "We want to gear it more toward an educational type of presentation/ summer tours.
"We want to do have more visuals and be able to sit down and answer questions, while also opening up a small boarding venue where we will have three to four cottages that will be opened up for dogs that want to come by and stay with us," he said.
The project was scheduled for a public hearing with the possibility of approval before the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission last Thursday. However, the item was removed from the agenda the day of the meeting.
Amir Caus, a Summit County planner, said the engineering department "needed more details" in the site plan about where specifically the cottages would be located.
"They are just working on site planning with engineering so the applicant volunteered to take it off the agenda," Caus said." Planning has not received any negative comments from service providers that would lead us to believe there are issues. Obviously if anything comes out of the engineering conversations, we would note it. Right now, it appears to be site planning-related only."
Ramirez said he is hoping to get the necessary approvals in place as soon as possible to begin expanding services, adding that he doesn’t anticipate any major issues with his proposal.
"We already have a commercial permit, but the county is requiring me to get a permit to have people come by and visit the dogs," Ramirez said. "It’s not like we want to bring huge crowds of people. To be honest we are only able to handle about 10 people on our property. We just want to open up some more options."
Thursday, a surveyor with the planning department visited Ranch Luna Lobos to examine the site. The item has not yet been rescheduled.
"I grew up in Park City and have been running and racing since I was in elementary school," Ramirez said. "We want to stay and we just want to share our passion with everyone. We spend hours upon hours training all of our dogs. We want to show them what mushers go through on a day-to-day basis and the training and work that goes behind it."
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The Summit County Board of Health has selected Phil Bondurant to be the Health Department’s next director, opting for continuity rather than a broad candidate search while the department continues to navigate the pandemic and its aftereffects.