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Sun Peak hotel checks in

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

Homeowners in Sun Peak were dealt a key defeat Thursday by the Summit County Board of Adjustment that could clear the way for a hotel to be built about a mile west of State Road 224.

Developers contemplated the hotel near the intersection of Bear View and Bear Hollow drives when the neighborhood was planned in the 1990s and a thoroughfare in Sun Peak then served Utah Olympic Park. The area, however, is now more residential and a separate street near Kimball Junction serves the park.

After debating the size of the project, the Summit County Commission rejected the proposal from Chicago-based Terrace Development Partners to construct a 275,000 square-foot hotel with 326 rooms.

"It’s very clear what the [County Commission] said They said 140 rooms and that’s what they intended," said attorney Bruce Shapiro arguing for the Sun Peak Homeowners Association.

The decision when appealed by the builder was upheld last month by the Summit County Board of Adjustment, which also declared in the ruling that a preliminary plan commissioners approved for the hotel in 2001 contained 280 bedrooms.

However, according to Board of Adjustment chairman Tom Clyde, the "application was denied for wrong reasons. The County Commission took a preliminary plan approval and cut the density by half."

"Further, we believe the [County Commission’s] effort to define ‘room’ and ‘unit’ in the manner it did, would require us to ignore the clear schematics and public discussions on the matter," the 7-page decision filed by the Board of Adjustment Jan. 25 states.

By denying the project the Summit County Commission attempted to limit the building to 140 ‘Motel 6’-style rooms, attorney Bruce Baird said for Terrace Development Partners.

Baird now expects the builder to apply for permits to construct a hotel in Sun Peak with fewer than 300 rooms.

"The new application is likely to be submitted very shortly in full compliance with the Board of Adjustment’s very intelligent directives," Baird said. "There won’t be permanent residency and it will be a hotel-amenity project."

The Board of Adjustment on Thursday denied a request from the Sun Peak Homeowners Association that last month’s decision be reconsidered.

"The action of the County Commission was such that it really would be a denial of the due process of the applicant," Clyde said. "You’re probably all off to Third District Court anyway."

Homeowners wanted the developer barred for several months from submitting a new application, Baird said, adding, "that argument is as absurd as it could possibly be."

Terrace Development now has almost two years to reapply in accordance with a preliminary approval the project received in 2001, Baird explained.

"The Board of Adjustment now has twice determined that the [County Commission] decision was fundamentally flawed and wrong," he added.

Sun Peak Homeowners Association officials who are against a large hotel moving into their neighborhood weren’t immediately available Friday for comment.


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