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Park City Council delays decision on Fox Tail Trail property

Foxtail Trail.jpeg
Park City Municipal Corporation
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A visual rendering of the lot proposed, looking east.

The Park City Council wants more time to analyze a land use proposal that would eliminate the Fox Tail Cut trail.

On Thursday the Park City Council voted to delay a decision on a 32-acre property at the edge of Fox Tail Trail.

The land is owned by Wells Fargo Bank. It foreclosed on the property in 2015 after it incurred significant losses on loans to Talisker-United Park City Mines.

Well’s Fargo development arm, REDUS, wants to build a 10,000 square-foot home on a 4-acre portion of the property. The remaining acreage would be donated to the city for recreational open space.

Under the proposed ordinance, the home would fall under a 12-month minimum rental restriction. Use as a timeshare or fractional ownership would also be prohibited.

Councilwoman Tana Toly requested a site visit of the property to better understand the application. Councilman Max Doilney called that a “waste of time” and said it establishes a bad precedent for land use applications.

Councilman Ryan Dickey told KPCW that a site visit is a good idea for such a large parcel.

“We had a question about whether a prescriptive easement had potentially been established on the cut-through trail on behalf of the public. I’m not an attorney but I know a lot of those factors exist that might have made that easement occur, so let’s get a legal opinion about that. So it’s just another round of due diligence, and I don’t view it as a waste of time. I understand Max’s concern – I think it’s a good concern about property rights," Dickey said. "But I think it’s okay to dig in a little bit more.”

A prescriptive easement recognizes long-standing usage, especially if the use was relied upon for the enjoyment of the property. Utah law says the use must be continuously utilized for at least 20 years.

Park City Trails and Open Space Manager Heinrich Deters said Thursday the Fox Tail Cut Trail has been used since the 1990s. However, he said that removing the unofficial shortcut is not a concern, given that the trails network can still be accessed by other routes.

A representative of the Hidden Meadows HOA, whose members are opposed to the home’s size, said the city should consider buying the 4-acre lot to preserve the entirety of the land as open space.

The item will return to the council on September 1.

Parker Malatesta covers Park City for KPCW. Before coming to NPR, he spent one year as a general assignment reporter for TownLift in Park City. He previously was the news editor at The News Record, the student paper at the University of Cincinnati. He loves running, reading, and urban planning.
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