Colby Owners File Legal Challenge Over Denial Of Bed And Breakfast Application

Nov 18, 2020

Credit KPCW

The owners of the Colby School have filed action in Summit County’s Third District Court, appealing the county’s decision against their request to develop the property as a bed and breakfast inn.  

The company owning the property, Hoffvest LLC, filed their petition against the county on November 11th.
The parcel, of a little over 5 acres, has served in the past as a hotel and a school.    
Hoffvest had previously proposed a redevelopment of the property to include a hotel, restaurant, fitness studios and other items.   The County Council turned that down in 2018 after an appeal hearing.
Hoffvest’s new lawsuit said that under the property’s Rural Residential zoning, a Bed and Breakfast could be done as a Conditional Use Permit.
In December of 2019, they applied for a project with eight guest rooms, and a caretaker unit, since it is legally required to be a “owner-occupied residence.”
The Snyderville Planning Commission held four meetings earlier this year, and ultimately denied the project, finding that it would not be occupied by the owner, but by an employee.   
Hoffvest appealed to the County Council, which in October denied the project on similar grounds.
The litigation has alleged that the denial was arbitrary, capricious and inconsistent with county code.
Hoffvest argued that it is the owner, since it holds fee title to the land.    It offered to give an undivided property interest or a membership interest to the full-time caretaker who would live in the building.   They also contended  that county code says a “person” could be an individual, group of individuals or a corporation, general or limited partnership or joint venture.
They also said that for a similar project about 8 years ago, the Silver Moose Ranch, the Council decided that an “owner-occupied residence” could be an LLC that owns a deeded interest in the property.
KPCW contacted Summit County Attorney Margaret Olson for comment.   She wrote, “We have not yet been served, nor had a chance to analyze the Petition yet.”