New Construction's Ridgeline Violation in Park City Chalked Up to Clerical Error

Jul 31, 2020


A clerical error led to the construction of a new house in Park City being in violation of city ridgeline ordinances. The project overlooks the Snow Creek shopping center.
Credit KPCW

A new home construction on Saddle View Way on the ridge above the Snow Creek shopping area has caused a public outcry of concern about the height of the home, and both the developers and Park City municipal are working to rectify it. 


A Park City building permit was issued for the private residence located at 955 Saddle View Way more than a year ago. Park City chief building official David Thacker says the owners had received an elevation certificate when the foundation was laid.


“During the construction process the community development department requires that when footings and foundations are placed, a certificate of elevation provided by a licensed surveyor, is submitted to the building and planning department, so that we can review that the placement is in line with the approved set of plans,” he said. “We were able to find that upon that certificate of elevation being submitted, that it was in line with the approved set of plans and therefore construction continued to proceed.” 


Thacker says the plans met the overall height requirement, but the city failed to consider the ridgeline height ordinance.


“The ridgeline (ordinance) is one that is looked at from various vantage points throughout the city to determine whether or not the structure exceeds the ridgeline,” he said.” And in this case, it does exceed the ridgeline. The plans were built as permitted. So, it was an error that was made during the review process. The city is working closely with the architects, the contractor and the owner of the property to rectify as quickly as we can.” 


Thacker says as the construction project progressed and become more visible, he received many public comments. The City has had extensive conversations with the property owner, the builder and the architect. They are very close to an agreed-upon mitigation plan. 


“The top level will be removed effectively and the footprint will be increased slightly,” he said. “So that top-level room will be then put down to a lower level and move to the west side of the structure, southwest side of the structure and will not be encroaching that ridgeline. The ridgeline will then come into compliance once the wafer board or the plywood is no longer exposed and the shingles go on the roof, it will blend much more naturally with the environment around it as opposed to what it is now. I mean it really does stick out like a sore thumb.”


Thacker says the city expects to see a new plan approved soon. Remediation will begin early next month and the parties have not determined who will pay for the mistake. 


We will be working with the contractor and architect in order to have those discussions as we move forward,” he said. “But as of right now the contractor and the owner will be continuing to move forward as those negotiations take place.”