SNOWBIRD SKI & SUMMER RESORT – proposed Land Use Ordinance Text Amendment to Section 3-47, Accessory Ski Lifts and Associated Facilities in the CE-1 Zone. Continued from July 19, 2011, meeting; public hearing was held and closed
Jeff Mendenhall indicated that items of concern from the Planning Commission have been considered in the changes to the text amendment. In the Standards Section 3-47-H it states that the development must be located in the CE-1 zone on a zoning lot which either abuts a recorded recreation resort plat in unincorporated Utah County containing a ski resort or abuts an existing ski resort in an adjoining county. If the zone were changed to CE-2, then frontage and access would be needed from the Alpine Loop Road for any development. The proposed amendments Planning Commission
September 20, 2011 Page 2 of 5 will allow for some expansion, but not a complete recreational or mountain resort. There would be a slight increase in property taxes collected depending on the new facilities that could be added to the resort; point of sales and sales taxes would remain on the Salt Lake County side. Over time there could be additional lifts, and other mountain resort facilities that would accommodate an increase of people but minimum increase of density for land uses. Building inhabited structures on a slope of 30% or greater is not allowed, however at a ski resort it is the elevation change that allows you to go down the hill. Wording has been included so that permitted activities are integrated into the mountain features and are not stand alone amusement park type rides or facilities. This type of development must be on land privately owned by a resort. These are conditional uses, and any change would require approval from the Board of Adjustment and a public hearing.
Mike Stansfield inquired about fire requirements.
Dave Shawcroft replied that when a specific application is received by the Board of Adjustment, it would be addressed by the Fire Marshal at that time.
Helina Carter-Thomas was concerned that all-terrain-vehicles often tear up the land. She wondered if it might be more of a problem in another area in the zone.
Jeff Mendenhall replied that those vehicles should be driving on existing service roads or trails.
Marty Banks, legal counsel for Snowbird, commented that the ATV opportunity would be by guided tour, and patrons would not be allowed to just ride anywhere.
Dave Shawcroft suggested new wording to be included in Section 3-47-C-7 for all-terrain vehicles.
Jan Anderson asked for clarification on Section 3-47-H-1, concerning zoning lots.
Jeff Mendenhall replied that this would mean a legal lot. Many of the lots in the Snowbird area are old mining claims and they are legal lots.
Mike Stansfield wondered if there was a way for the county to collect any sales tax.
Bob Bonar, General Manager for Snowbird, said they pay property taxes on the improvements on the back side of the mountain and might explore the possibility for sales tax.
Jan Anderson asked Mr. Bonar if there was a final overall plan for improvements at Snowbird and how many people might use those improvements. He also wondered if helicopter pads were used.
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Helina Carter-Thomas inquired about snowmobile use.
Bob Bonar responded that additional projects are envisioned, however, there is not a final plan at this time. He said that they are considering additional lifts in the mineral basin because deep powder snow is popular; several thousand people might be in mineral basin on an average day of good powder snow. There are several hundred people that snowmobile each year and connect to other trails, one of which goes to Midway. A zipline would parallel an existing lift in mineral basin; and expanded hiking and mountain biking trails are desired. Snowbird has continually tried to preserve the water quality and be respectful of the mountain area. Wasatch Powder Snow Birds, a separate company with a special use permit from the US Forest Service, does fly in skiers by helicopter and they ski on federal lands and forest lands, but occasionally land and take off from private property points as allowed. There are guided tours for snowmobiles, but they are allowed on private property area trails without a guide.
Francine Bennion commented that although Snowbird is a well-managed organization, she is concerned that the code is being changed for one (1) applicant, rather than making the applicant fit the code. Changing the code impacts every property and canyon and critical environment in the CE-1 Zone and has implications for other future development. She feels the Planning Commission should concentrate on facilities that focus on preserving the intent of the code and not on specific activities.
Jeff Mendenhall remarked that for these proposed changes, a property in Utah County must to be adjacent to an existing ski resort.
Helina Carter-Thomas commented that she didn’t want to change codes for just one applicant, but this ordinance seems to be specific enough that it will not adversely affect other properties.
Jan Anderson commented that because of Snowbird’s work with respect to environmental sensitivity and positive input from public comments, and staff comments, this ordinance has become better and reflects the cooperation between applicant and staff.
Motion: Mike Stansfield Second: John Glen Stevens
Motion that the Utah County Planning Commission recommend to the Utah County Commission approval of the land use ordinance text amendment to Section 3-47, Accessory Ski Lifts and Associated Facilities, based on staff findings and with the following change to 3-47-C-7: 7. Snowmobile, all terrain vehicle, and horseback riding concessions; provided that all terrain vehicle use shall be restricted to designated roads and designated all terrain vehicle trails.
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The motion passed by the following vote: “Aye”, Jan Anderson, Mike Stansfield, Helina CarterThomas, John Glen Stevens; “Nay”, none.