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New Summit County Resort In Spotlight Over Bright Lights At Night

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — In its first winter in Utah, Woodward Park City quickly found itself in the community spotlight after residents said the outdoor winter resort spotlighted their community—literally.

Several residents said Tuesday the lights at night are just too bright, illuminating their properties and rooms inside their houses.

“The longer it’s there, the more it just hurts,” said Karen Howell. “I don’t have any idea what kind of night it is anymore because of the glare that comes off the lights.”

Howell said up until recently, the lights had stayed on until 10:00 p.m.

“If I had kids that are trying to go to bed at 7:30, 8:00, there’s no way!” Howell said.

New Summit County Council Chair Doug Clyde said the body had received a “flurry” of recent emails, negative and positive, about the lighting situation.

“The item that I think everyone reacted to was the amount of illumination from the previous operation, which was a tubing hill, compared to the amount of illumination that is now on their ski runs and snowboard runs is dramatically different,” Clyde said.

Clyde said the county’s initial analysis indicated the resort is compliant with its permit.

“If you have a conditional use permit, that permit vests you in that use essentially in perpetuity,” Clyde said.

Clyde suggested there may be some steps that could be taken to diminish the impact of the lights, but he acknowledged they “appeared to be entirely based on the cooperation of Woodward.”

Neighbors said it did appear lately as if Woodward was attempting to shut its lights down somewhat earlier and acknowledged that the resort in its correspondence with surrounding neighborhoods outlined some current efforts to reduce light and noise.

Attempts to reach Woodward executives for comment Tuesday evening did not immediately result in a response.

“I hope that through maybe tree barriers or other (options) working with the community, that Woodward’s group will be able to find a good balance of being a good neighbor,” said another resident, Jared Pulham. “I think the community is still just trying to find our feet.”

Howell said she hoped more could be done still to reduce the light that reaches her property.

“During the day, it’s fun to look out there and see the skiers and see what they’re doing, but at night it’s really disappointing,” Howell said.

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