Summit County Council delays decision on berm appeal
October 14, 2016
The landscape behind several homes in the Sun Peak neighborhood along the Canyons Golf Course at Park City Mountain Resort will continue to be impacted by a berm, at least for now.
Construction and grading work on the eleventh hole at Canyons Golf Course has created a berm measuring nearly 20 feet high behind nine homes on Voelker Court. The developer, TCFC and Replay Resorts, was issued a grading permit to complete the hole on Aug. 26 through the Summit County Engineering Department.
The Sun Peak Homeowners Association filed an appeal with Summit County claiming the grading permit does not comply with the low-impact permit that was issued in 2010. Wendy Cryan, a Sun Peak homeowner, is also represented in the appeal. More than 50 people attended the hearing on Wednesday.
Doug Clyde, a private land consultant representing Cryan, said the grading work done by the developers has created a new use that violates the original permit. He said construction crews have imported dirt from a nearby project to create the berm that measures 250 percent higher than what is allowed under the Snyderville Basin Development Code.
"It creates a pond or dam and now the entire fairway is being used as a detention structure," Clyde testified. "It does not comply with the purpose of the low-impact law. The welfare of the public on Voelker Court is significantly harmed by this project and it could never be approved under low-impact permit code and further does not comply with the development code.
"I maintain this was a convenient place to spoil 20,000 cubic yards of soil to create a 600-foot berm or Berlin Wall. Actually, it looks taller," he said.
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The homeowners claim there was no communication with the developers before the work began. Many said the project did not account for homeowners and has significantly affected their quality of life and, in some cases, their privacy.
The Summit County Engineering Department contends the grading permit was granted based on the county ordinances. Staffers have said the developer also requested the permit to utilize material from another project.
The additional work that has led to the berm was necessary to comply with a master storm-water plan as required by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. As previously reported in The Park Record, "the detention facilities will be modified and expanded in accordance with the storm water master plan."
After nearly an hour discussion with Sun Peak homeowners and their representatives, County Council members on Wednesday decided to continue the appeal until later this month. Former County Manager Bob Jasper had ordered that the hole be completed by October 2016. However, County Manager Tom Fisher said that date could be extended.
Councilors essentially refrained from commenting on the issue while the hearing is ongoing. However, County Council Chair Roger Armstrong said the construction work and berm do appear to have created a "really significant impact on the neighborhood."
"I hope that the people in charge of this golf course will take into consideration what they heard today and take into consideration some of the impacts," Armstrong said.
Spencer White, the vice president of development for Replay Resorts who was in attendance at the meeting, stressed that they have reached out to the homeowners in person and on the phone. His comment resulted in several shouting "You never contacted me" or "No they didn't."
"I don't want anyone, the public included, to think that we have not tried to be good neighbors. I
want to make that clear," White said.
County Council members are scheduled to visit to the Sun Peak neighborhood at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 17.