Water Concerns Put Snowbird Expansion Vote on Hold

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PROVO, Utah (ABC 4) – Utah County Board of Adjustment held off on a vote for a conditional use permit for Snowbird Resort. The permit would allow them to eventually build new ski lifts on their property. American Fork residents are concerned about their water shed being hurt by expansion.

It was standing room only at the board meeting and the majority of those in attendance were against the expansion. Lawyer for the county pointed out it’s only the boards job to vote whether they meet the requirements of the permit. Regardless of what the public feels about the project.

The proposal includes the construction of two new ski lifts, and the expansion of a third already in place. Along with a zip line that could be used during the summer.

Snowbird President Bob Boner said they’ve always been good swards of their property, and allow people to use it even in the summertime. He notes this is their private property and they should be able to use it.

“We sometimes feel that our long history and deep commitment to being good neighbors, has created confusion in the minds of some of the public as to the sanctity of our private property rights,” said Boner during the meeting.

He says the expansion is in anticipation of the millions who are expected to move to the area within the next 20 years.

American Fork residents worry old mine tailings in the area could be disturbed with more traffic. City Councilman Rob Shelton said

“As we allow more and more to happen on continuous grounds, It’s going to have a bigger and bigger impact upon our water quality,” said Shelton. “That’s something we will desperately take every measure to protect.”

Residents in favor of the project noted the current Snowbird resort had similar issues to deal with and water quality is still good.

Board members decided the water issue was enough to hold off on a vote until February. They want to allow more time to look into the issue before they decide.

If they do get approval, Snowbird would need other building permits for the project to move forward.

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