This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
HYRUM - Powder Mountain developers are offering prosperity with minimum impact.
But promises of low lights at night and well-maintained access roads on the other side of the mountain did little to eradicate the skepticism among residents of south Cache Valley who attended a public meeting Thursday night at the Mountain Crest High School auditorium in Hyrum.
"We know this is going to affect us," said Avon resident Sherry Lowery. "You will get some opposition from us because we like the quality of of life we have."
Investors of Western America Holding Co. are aiming for summer 2009 to begin Phase I of a proposed 7,960-acre ski resort between Eden and Ogden.
The major concern of Cache County residents who live near the project has been the preservation of a gravel road that is closed during the winter and scarcely passable in the summer. Their opposition to improving State Road 165 from Avon to Liberty has been unceasing. But many still fear that once the resort is built, the state road would be improved, bringing traffic and noise to their quiet communities.
Project manager Brooke Hontz assured the crowd that a secondary access road would likely be developed to the east of the ski resort. Meanwhile, Cache County would receive financial gains from sales taxes and commercial development planned on 3,500 acres.
"It would be neat if we could have access to Powder Mountain from the Cache side," Hontz said. "[But] developing that road [State Road 165] doesn't solve anything. It doesn't facilitate ease of access . . . The Powder Mountain Road [on the Weber County side] will always be the main access."
Sen. Lyle Hillyard, the attorney representing the developers, said the condition of the rough road isn't likely to change in many years to come.
"When you look at the priority of [state] roads, this isn't even anywhere on that list. To do that would require a significant change," Hillyard said.
Paradise Mayor Lee Atwood said his biggest concern is the impact of Powder Mountain Resort on property taxes in his neighborhood just 12 miles from the project area.
"You want to make money. That's fine," Karl Kler, of Paradise, told developers. "But I don't want it to be at the expense of the Cache County folks."
Weber to weigh zoning application resolution
The Ogden Valley Planning Commission in December approved the application to develop Powder Mountain into a four-season resort and forwarded the recommendation to the Weber County Commission with a long list of conditions, including the implementation of a density cap and a requirement to build a secondary road.
The Huntsville Town Council subsequently passed a resolution opposing the Powder Mountain zoning application. Although the council has no legal jurisdiction in the pending zoning decision, the Weber County Commission will take the resolution into consideration.