Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Salt Lake County planners OK Snowbird’s coaster
Recreation » New realigned route near chairlift is contingent on SLC’s approval.
First Published May 17 2012 04:46 pm • Last Updated May 17 2012 10:54 pm

For a second time, the Salt Lake County Planning Commission has approved Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort’s application to build a mountain coaster on its land in Little Cottonwood Canyon.

This time, the coaster’s approved alignment is close to the existing Peruvian Express chairlift, a much more appealing location to opponents than the initially proposed route down the lower face of Mount Superior and over the canyon road to Snowbird’s base.

At a glance

What’s next

Before Salt Lake County issues a building permit for Snowbird’s mountain coaster, the Salt Lake Valley Health Department will have to sign off on the project, based on its compliance with Salt Lake City’s watershed-protection standards.

Ordinance panel

On Tuesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon is expected to seek County Council consent on a list of 15 people to serve on a blue-ribbon commission to oversee a revision of the Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone ordinance. About 50 people applied.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We are excited to provide another form of summer recreation for our guests and Utah’s growing population," said Snowbird President Bob Bonar. "We feel [Wednesday’s] approval is a result of listening to various stakeholders, community groups and neighbors as well as working with Salt Lake County and City to create a workable solution for all parties."

Even so, Save Our Canyons is considering whether to appeal the Planning Commission’s unanimous decision to the county’s Board of Adjustment.

The last time the conservation group did that, the board overturned the commission’s approval of the initial route, Snowbird agreed to move the coaster over the road to its already-developed terrain, and county officials were compelled to launch a still-unfolding campaign to modernize the Foothills and Canyons Overlay Zone (FCOZ) ordinance.

"We credit ourselves for that," Save Our Canyons Executive Director Carl Fisher said Thursday. "That’s the purpose of these public processes — to find better alternatives for these types of uses."

While he likes the new alignment much better than the first, Fisher remains convinced the Planning Commission is wrong in deciding a coaster is consistent with the Wasatch Canyons Master Plan.

He criticized the Planning Commission for endorsing Snowbird’s requests for FCOZ waivers that would allow the coaster to be built on 30- to 50-degree slopes and to come within 100 feet of Little Cottonwood Creek.

The Planning Commission had accepted Snowbird’s explanations that installation of the mountain coaster’s support structure would be done by hand, minimizing the amount of disturbance to the land and sediment deposition into the stream.

Planners also made their approval contingent upon the engineering and design standards passing muster with the watershed-protection requirements of Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities.


story continues below
story continues below

Laura Briefer, Salt Lake City’s water resources manager, said her agency would do a technical review of Snowbird’s final designs to ensure they avoid watershed damage. That process usually takes a couple of weeks, which still would allow the resort to build the coaster this summer.

She praised Snowbird for moving the coaster off Mount Superior and "into the footprint of the resort, rather than expanding that footprint."

But "we continue to be concerned about incremental and cumulative impacts to our watershed from piecemeal development," Briefer added, "and what that does to the natural function of the watershed."

mikeg@sltrib.comTwitter: @sltribmikeg



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.