Judge Rules in Favor of Colby School Owners' Request to Establish Bed and Breakfast

Apr 9, 2021

A ruling from Third District Court Friday came down in favor of the owners of the Colby School and their proposal for a bed and breakfast inn.


The decision from Judge Teresa Welch overruled Summit County’s decision to deny a conditional use permit to Hoffvest, the owner of the Colby property. 


The ruling sends the application back to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission.

 

Judge Welch declared that the county’s denial was arbitrary, capricious and illegal.


Hoffvest applied in late 2019 for a bed and breakfast inn with eight rooms and a caretaker unit.


Later on, the planning commission denied the CUP, and the Summit County Council, hearing an appeal in October of 2020, upheld its decision. Both bodies ruled that the inn would not qualify as a “owner-occupied residence” because the caretaker unit would be occupied by an employee.


Hoffvest filed a petition against the county in November.


The judge ruled that Hoffvest’s proposal qualified as a bed and breakfast inn, under the plain language of the county’s planning code. She said that the county code didn’t have a definition of the phrase “owner-occupied residence”. But the bed and breakfast was consistent with the county code’s definition of the terms “person”, “occupant” and “owner.”


The judge also said Hoffvest had proven that they had fee title in the property, and it had represented that the occupant of the caretaker unit would be someone who had an interest in the property or the company.


Also, the judge noted that Utah planning code provides it must be liberally interpreted in favor of a landowner.


Responding to a question from Deputy Summit County Attorney Jami Brackin, the judge said her decision is not granting a permit to Hoffvest right now.


The inn will be remanded to the Snyderville Planning Commission to take action in accordance with the judge’s decision. Brackin said the county will still have to impose conditions on the bed and breakfast to mitigate its impacts.