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Cherry Peak ski area permit upheld by Board of Adjustments

March 31st, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Josh Ruggles

LOGAN — Cherry Peak Ski Area moved forward Thursday when the Cache County Board of Adjustments supported the County Planning Commission’s approval of the ski resort’s conditional use permit.

“As I have looked at the issues, I have really felt, that the planning commission met the requirements of the ordinance by identifying the potential impacts,” said board member Lee Atwood.

The CUP that was approved in February has been met with fierce opposition by Richmond residents and wildlife activists. The decision was unanimous among four members of the five-person board that voted. The fifth member, Rob Smith, opted not to vote due to professional conflict of interest. Many in the crowd felt the decision did not come as a surprise, but are ready to take the issue further if necessary.

“I expected the decision, but I was hoping it would go differently,” said Dan Miller, executive director of the Bear River Watershed Council. “We will contemplate going to district court. We’ll be discussing it with the appellants and the attorney.”

As the attorneys from both sides made their final comments, Chief Deputy Cache County Attorney Don Linton addressed the board.

“Your job is to decide if they acted arbitrarily or capriciously; they didn’t,” Linton said. “What we have heard on the side of the appellants is a lot of mights. What the planning commission considered was studies.”

Kirk Robinson, the attorney representing the group appealing the conditional use permit, voiced his concerns about the logic of the board’s thinking. Since there has been development on the property, in the form of a summer-time cabin, the property will likely be developed a different way, if not for a ski area.

“You’re assuming that something has been impacted, why not allow a bigger impact, and that just doesn’t follow,” Robinson said.

After the board announced the final decision, they closed the floor for any additional comments or rebuttals.

“Unless something new can be brought forward, we have already seen what we needed to, to make a decision,” said Atwood.


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