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Park City resident alleging property violations denied by appeal panel

The property near Meadows Drive under review by Park City's appeal panel Monday.
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The Park Meadows property under review by Park City's appeal panel May 6.

A Park Meadows resident suing the chair of the Park City Planning Commission over alleged land use violations lost a separate but related legal battle May 6.

Park City resident Bob Theobald accused his neighbors of deleting covenants, conditions and restrictions, or CC&Rs, that govern sensitive wetlands on their property during a planning commission appeal hearing May 6.

CC&Rs are private agreements among landowners, but in this case, Theobald says they are tied to the original conditions of approval for the neighborhood and therefore law.

Theobald has sued Park City Municipal and planning commission Chair Sarah Hall, claiming she violated land use rules while renovating her 7-acre property off Meadow Creek Drive. During the meeting at City Hall Monday, Theobald said Hall’s neighbor Paul Caraher conspired with her to remove restrictions on their land.

“This is not a typical cookie cutter subdivision that has typical CC&Rs,” Theobald said. “It’s recognized that it’s big, it’s wetlands… there has to be special considerations, and there are. Unfortunately, the applicant as well as the chair of the planning commission deleted the CC&Rs in their entirety.” 

Paul Caraher rejected Theobald’s accusations and said he’s always aimed to follow the rules outlined for his property.

“I understand the CC&Rs,” Caraher said. “I really don’t understand where Bob’s coming at. We’ve gone to great lengths to abide by the city’s SLO [sensitive land overlay] ordinance.”

Caraher’s attorney Charles Pearlman said Theobald only appealed his client’s plans because of the lawsuit with Hall.

“The real reason we’re here is because he wants you guys to issue a decision that says the city should have enforced the CC&Rs so that he can use that in his lawsuit against the city and Commissioner Hall,” Pearlman said.

Sarah Hall’s husband Gerry Hall said during a public hearing that the neighborhood’s CC&Rs were in need of modernization.

“The CC&Rs have not been deleted, they were amended,” Gerry Hall said. “An amendment of 30-year-old CC&Rs is not only normal but some would say past due. That was done a handful of years ago, and the fact that Mr. Theobald thinks that this is illegal or somehow does not allow any future amendments or building or any processes on a lot seems somewhat crazy to us.”

Park City’s three-member appeal panel determined the planning commission was right to allow Caraher to shift the building pads on his undeveloped property near McLeod Creek.

A building pad is the property’s area where structures can be built.

The commission found there was good cause to move the building pads farther away from wetlands in the area, after a contractor found the water saturation had shifted slightly. The Army Corps of Engineers will confirm that assessment later this year.

Caraher must return to the planning commission if the Army Corps disagrees.

The appeal panel said Theobald’s arguments were outside its jurisdiction and scope of review. Theobald said the planning commission’s decision not to enforce the CC&Rs allows Hall to get away with violations.

Gerry Hall, who has repeatedly rejected Theobald’s claims, didn’t respond to requests for comment in time for this report.

Theobald has requested an advisory opinion from the state property ombudsman about his allegations. So far, there’s no word on when that opinion could be released.

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