Tom and Kevin's Blog

Interconnect Gondola allowed under restrictions on PCMR land

By Tom Peek
Mar 09, 2015

City Hall staffers have determined that the proposed Park City Mountain Resort improvements planned by resort owner Vail Resorts are allowed under broad restrictions on the acreage that otherwise greatly limit the development potential of the land.

The restrictions date to 2007 and were principally negotiated by City Hall, United Park City Mines and Talisker Land Holdings, LLC. Park City leaders at the time essentially allowed development rights attached to the land at PCMR to be transferred to the Empire Pass site where the Montage Deer Valley was eventually built. In doing so, Talisker Land Holdings, LLC agreed to set aside from development nearly all the land it owns at PCMR.

Vail Resorts has started discussions with the Park City Planning Commission about a set of improvements planned at PCMR prior to the next ski season, most notably the Interconnect Gondola that will link PCMR and Canyons Resort into one property. The Colorado firm also wants to expand the Snow Hut restaurant and make other upgrades.

The determination by City Hall staffers was made public in a memo to Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council. It was written by City Attorney Mark Harrington and Heinrich Deters, who is the trails and open space program manager.

The memo provides a brief background of the 2007 agreement, which granted City Hall what is known as a conservation deed restriction. Park City officials enforce the restriction.

The land was also annexed into the Park City limits under a zoning classification that allows open space and recreational uses, the memo says.

"At a high level, the purpose of the Deed Restriction is to prevent residential development, hotels and or lodging on the property and preserve the Conservation Values as open and generally undeveloped property in perpetuity, while preserving the lease rights of the operator of PCMR," the memo says.

The conservation deed restriction, though, allows rights "associated with the continuation of the existing land use associated with the general development and operation of a ski resort and related amenities," according to the memo. The memo says the proposed improvements "are consistent" with development allowed by the restrictions.

The memo was released shortly after the Planning Commission's first meeting about the Interconnect Gondola and the other improvements. The panel was not scheduled to vote and is anticipated to continue the discussions at a meeting on March 25.

The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission in February approved the gondola section that will be located outside the municipal boundaries.



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