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Local News

Petition Opposes Avalanche Fencing At Colony

An online petition is opposing the plan to create over 200 avalanche fences for two homes in the Colony development.   It’s asking Summit County to reconsider the Low Impact Permit given to the project nearly a year ago.

The petition currently has 892 signatures and organizers are hoping to get to 1000.   

The petition says the fencing is proposed for two house lots on a ridge that includes the top of the Dream Peak area.     The road accessing the two lots is located beneath four separate avalanche paths.

The petition protests that no public comment was invited for the project before it was approved last June 9.     A Low Impact Permit doesn’t require a public hearing.   But the petition says that under County Code, the Development Director or the staff can schedule a Planning Commission hearing for an item where potential issues may arise or additional comment is needed.

The protestors say the fences will be unsightly.     They say a viewshed analysis of one avalanche path, called “Main Mac”, shows that the fences at their planned height would be visible to most of the Basin and Round Valley.

They also say the fences will harm wildlife.    The petition says there have been cases of elk and other animals getting trapped and dying in avalanche fencing near the top of the Tombstone Lift.

The petition claims there are other options to mitigate avalanches.   It argues the fencing is commonly used for occupied buildings and major roadways—and not for what is basically a shared driveway for the two lots.

They say the Colony wants the fencing because it doesn’t want the road ever closed due to the Park City Ski Patrol’s avalanche mitigation work.

The website also includes a number of comments.    One citizen wrote, “Ok who do these people think they are?  These are our mountains all who have grown up here.  (not the transplants). Leave it undisturbed.   If they are stupid enough to build in an avalanche path so what.”

Another wrote “The ridge is the “face” of Park City.  Please protect and preserve what remains of Park City’s mountain wilderness.  It’s a sacred place, a teacher and home to far more than the two residences the Colony wishes to establish.”

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