PARK CITY, Utah — On Wednesday the Park City Planning Commission approved plans for an estate at 3805 Fox Tail Trail in lower Deer Valley, despite full condemnation by the neighboring Hidden Meadows subdivision.
The applicant, REDUS, which is an arm of Wells Fargo, is proposing to create a 3.8-acre lot for the estate and donate roughly 29 adjoining acres to the city for recreational open space.
“Wells Fargo is basically trying to recover from the very significant losses they’ve experienced on the Talisker-United Park City Mines loans,” Douglas Ogilvy, a representative of REDUS, previously told the commission. “So they foreclosed on this property in an effort to recover some of those losses.”
The project was first brought to the planning commission in July 2021. Many changes have been made, including reducing the once-proposed 800-foot driveway to 100 feet. Amid short-term rental concerns, the applicant agreed to institute a 12-month minimum rental restriction.
The proposed subdivision eliminates the Fox Tail Cut trail, which is not an official trail but a shortcut to the Fox Tail Trail. The city’s trails and open space manager has stated that he has no concerns with the removal of the shortcut since the trails network can still be reached from Fox Tail Trail.
“There are no neighbors that are in agreeance to this project — zero,” Hidden Meadows HOA President James Letchford told the commission Wednesday. Multiple residents later expressed passionate opposition to the proposal, particularly regarding trailhead access.
“Sure, let’s confide with the one-year rental. Well, one year of corporate retreat. Corporation signs a lease for a year and it’s a rotating door of parties and corporations and meetings,” Letchford said, noting that he saw it happen in his former home of southern California.
“There’s only two parties that benefit from this project — Mr. Ogilvy and the bank he represents.”
The city planner assigned to the project said they can set out in the conditions of approval that commercial uses are prohibited. The proposed lot would also be deed-restricted in favor of the Hidden Meadows HOA — “it basically prohibits transient occupancy with a fairly broad spectrum of definitions of what constitutes the transient occupancy because transient occupancy would deal with a corporation that rented it for a year and basically just populated it with different groups,” Ogilvy said. He said the HOA would have the ability to take legal action against a future property owner.
“Our intent there was to give the HOA an enforcement mechanism on the nightly rental issue,” Ogilvy added. “We’re not interested in joining the HOA and having them dictate the size of those architectural guidelines, given the hostile reception we’ve received from this HOA.”
“He wants to be able to be bigger and different than the rest of the community,” said commissioner John Kenworthy, who was the only vote against the application.
“Our job is to follow the land management code (LMC) and the laws that dictate how we are to make our decision,” commission chair John Phillips said. “So I don’t think we can deny it because of you know not joining an HOA or because it’s not popular.”
“We are listening to you, I sympathize with you. But just because I sympathize with you and I’m listening to you doesn’t mean that we can let personal preferences override the LMC,” commissioner Sarah Hall said.
“The general plan gives us the authority to protect primary residences,” Kenworthy said, explaining his vote.
The application will be in front of the city council on July 21.