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Park City Council Hopes to Prevent Mistakes Like the Saddle View Ridgeline in the Future



Park City Council has been barraged with calls and emails about a home under construction on Saddleview Way that does not comport with the city’s ridgeline zoning ordinance.


In an update on the situation on Tuesday, Deputy City Manager David Everitt told Park City Council they are working with the architect and the builder to reconcile the ridgeline violation. He told the council it was a mistake to approve the construction and they’ve reached an agreement to remove the top floor of the home and allow a change in the footprint. 


Park City Councilor Steve Joyce said he doesn’t know how the building height plans slipped through the cracks.


“I mean, the city has owned up that there was a mistake in the planning approval process,” Joyce said. “I don't think that council has heard the details of how that happened. And so, to me, and to I think my fellow councilors, is really two steps to this. One is we've got this house up there that needs to be resolved and David Everitt has been working with them and I think when we get done with it, we will have a house that completely complies with the correct zoning and land management rules. And so, they are going to end up taking basically the top floor off of it and then there will be some additional requirements for some landscaping and things to make it even less visual.”


Councilor Nann Worel asked that they receive an explanation of how it happened and what is being done to prevent similar mistakes in the future. 


Joyce does not know how they’ll rectify the costs associated with the changes to the structure. 


“You don’t just lop off the top of a house,” he said. “There's quite a bit of architecture work and engineering work and stuff, that are involved in making sure that you have a healthy, safe house when you get done with all this. And so, that's all going on right now. It takes a while to get through that process and so we're waiting to hear how it's resolved.” 


He says it’s hard to know what the price will be for the changes until the final plans are available. 


“You think about how a normal process works; you architect it, then you engineer it,” he said. “Then you go out and get bids for it, and then you have a price. And we're still at that kind of architecture and engineering state for this change.” 


Park City resident Ed Parigian says he does not believe the agreement to remove the top floor will bring the structure into compliance with the land management code. He says it will still leave the building eight to ten feet above the ridgeline. He insists that just because the home is half-built, it cannot be allowed to go forward. 


“It doesn’t tell you what is going on; it’s actually pooh-poohing the rules,” Parigian said. “And defending the city’s mistake on this thing, in reference to other comments, no, it shouldn’t have gotten this far. I don’t know how it did. But it did. But that doesn't mean let's let it go because that's a slap in the face to all the other designers, homeowners, builders who had to conform to these rules, they didn't build the house of their dreams because it broke the LMC regulations. It’s not an agreement with the rest of us locals. We have got to look at this mistake forever.”


Park City Mayor Andy Beerman acknowledges the mistake was made by the city but he says the architect and the builder should have caught it. 


“The agreement we have with them now is the top floor is going to come off of that building and it will be in compliance,” the mayor said. “So, when you say that there are exceptions being made to accommodate the mistake, the mistake has been fixed. We’ve insisted it comes down to compliance and I think what David [Everitt} was trying to explain is when you have bare wood up there without any shingles or siding or paint or landscaping around it, it's going to stick out like a sore thumb. So, it's going to seem worse than it is.” 


The council asked staff to return for the Sept. 17 meeting with an agenda item that addresses accountability for the mistake and more details about how to prevent future problems with construction compliance.  

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