The concept of the a “non-public lands” interconnect project is based upon the premise of connecting the seven central Wasatch ski resorts via lifts and ski runs on lands owned or otherwise controlled by the involved ski areas. Within this concept, the approach is to develop high quality skiing and minimize lift rides or long traverses.
The concept makes use of recent improvements in existing ski connections between Solitude Mountain Resort and Brighton Ski Resort, and the existing ski connections between Alta Ski Area and Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Cooperative lift tickets systems are in place to facilitate the business aspects of these connections.
New connections in the concept are: Canyons Resort/Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort/Park City Mountain Resort, Brighton Ski Resort/Park City Mountain Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort/Alta Ski Area. This report addresses the major land use approvals required to make the planned connections.
A simplified table of the land use requirements is shown below. Each agency has differing requirements for maps, plans studies and impact assessments under conditional use processes.
Each connection permit process requires public input.
|Canyons – PCMR||PCMR – Deer Valley||PCMR – Brighton||Solitude – Alta|
|Summit County – Low Impact Permit|
|Park City – Conditional Use Permit|
|Salt Lake County – Conditional Use Permit|
|Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities Watershed Approval|
|UDOT Encroachment Permit|
|Town of Alta – Conditional Use Permit|
|U.S. Forest Service NEPA Process|
Canyons – Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) and Canyons Resort share a common boundary along the Pinecone Ridge, White Pine Canyon ridgeline to the southeast of Canyons and northwest of PCMR. Canyons Resort is located entirely within Summit County and subject to the land use codes of Summit County. A Development Agreement is in place for the long-range approval of resort development.
PCMR is within the city limits of Park City and thereby is subject to the city’s land use regulations. A Development Agreement, including a ski area master plan is in place between PCMR and Park City Municipal Corporation.
Any connection between the two resorts would require a Conditional Use Permit from the Park City Municipal Corporation and possibly a Low Impact Permit from Summit County. The respective permits would address requirements of water quality, access, trails and snowmaking.
Deer Valley Resort – Park City Mountain Resort
Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) and Deer Valley also share a common boundary for several thousand feet. PCMR’s McConkeys lift and Deer Valley’s Lady Morgan lift share the common ridgeline and boundary. Both resorts are within the city limits of Park City and both are subject to their respective Development Agreements. A connection could occur between the resorts with no new ski run or lift construction. Unless the city chose to be involved, the connection could simply be a matter of a business arrangement between the two resorts. It could be expected, however, that the city would want to understand parking and transportation plans.
Brighton Ski Resort – Park City Mountain Resort
This connection would take place south of Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) on lands leased to the resort, and north of Brighton resort on lands owned by Brighton Ski Resort. The city of Park City, on the PCMR lands, would regulate the connection as a Conditional Use Permit as well as a likely a modification to the Development Agreement. Most of the property invoiced in the ski terrain is within Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City designated watershed. As such the connection would require a Conditional Use Permit from Salt Lake County and an approval from the Salt Lake City Division of Public Utilities, Watershed Management unit. Public hearings are part of this process. The lift and ski terrain on Brighton Ski Resort lands lies within the ski area boundary identified in the Forest Service EIS and Record of Decision for Brighton Ski Resort. It is likely that a similar Conditional Use process and Salt Lake City watershed approval would be required as identified for the PCMR process.
All approvals in this area would be subject to the Salt Lake County Foothills and Canyons Zoning Ordinance (FCOZ) and the County master plan for the area. Conditional uses may be placed for ski run construction techniques and placement of lifts to maintain visual quality.
The connection between PCMR and Brighton crosses Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) lands on Utah Highway 224 near Guardsman Summit. The crossing will require a UDOT Encroachment Permit. Similar permits have been issued by UDOT for bridges and crossings within Deer Valley Resort. Snowmobile and public ski access along the UDOT lands will need to be addressed as well.
The ski connections are adjacent to Wasatch County. Depending on final lift and run placements, a Conditional Use Permit may be required from Wasatch County. Property ownership along the ridgeline between PCMR and Brighton is not mapped precisely due to conflicting mine claims and surveys dating to the early 1900s. As currently imagined, the ski connections avoid National Forest Service lands.
Alta Ski Area – Solitude Resort
The connections and skiing may be on lands owned or leased by Alta Ski Area and Solitude Resort. The connections here may require a Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City watershed approval process very similar to the Brighton portion of the Park City Mountain Resort connection. Traffic and parking issues would be considered in the Salt Lake County Conditional Use Permit process. Public input and a conditional use permit from the Town of Alta would also be required.
All lift and ski run construction would require erosion control and water quality protection permits. Lift construction will require building permits from the respective agencies.