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Deer Valley residents file lawsuit against Park City over Snow Park decision

Skiers line up to board the Carpenter Express and Silver Lake Express lifts at Deer Valley Resort, Feb. 10, 2024.
Parker Malatesta
Skiers line up to board the Carpenter Express and Silver Lake Express lifts at Deer Valley Resort, Feb. 10, 2024.

Three HOAs are suing Park City over its decision to give up public right-of-way on a portion of Deer Valley Drive.

In December the Park City Council unanimously approved Deer Valley’s request to vacate the right-of-way on about two acres of private land adjacent to the Snow Park base. The resort plans to use the land to build a new village with hotels and commercial space on the Snow Park parking lot.

Three Deer Valley area HOAs (American Flag, Pinnacle and Morning Star Estates) are now challenging that decision in Third District Court.

State law requires the council to find “good cause” to vacate a road. A letter of intent outlines a deal the city struck with Deer Valley to find that good cause.

Elements of the deal include a parking reduction, $15 million from the resort to build a transportation facility and a gondola that will connect Snow Park to Deer Valley’s new East Village base in Wasatch County.

The lawsuit claims the council’s finding of good cause was “arbitrary, capricious, and illegal.”

For months Park City Mayor Nann Worel and two liaisons from the city council negotiated privately with Deer Valley officials to find a fair exchange for giving up the road.

The lawsuit alleges those liaisons, Ryan Dickey and Max Doilney, prejudged the partnership agreement in a way that disqualified themselves from voting.

Attorney Eric Lee made that accusation on behalf of the HOAs during the last meeting on the project in December. The two councilmembers dismissed the claim.

“The idea that either of the liaisons had a predetermined outcome prior to starting this is unfathomable; we would not go into any negotiation with that in mind,” Doilney said at the December meeting. “Frankly, it’s a little bit offensive.”

Even if Dickey and Doilney would have abstained from voting, the other three councilmembers approved the deal.

Park City Municipal has yet to respond to the legal complaint in court. A city spokesperson said the process and vote “met all applicable legal standards.”

A spokesperson for Deer Valley said the resort is in talks with the city and HOAs, and “hope that any outstanding matters can be resolved amicably and to the satisfaction of all parties involved.”

The Snow Park project still has to go through the city’s planning commission for final approval.

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