Powder Run at Deer Valley v. Black Diamond Lodge and Park City

February 24, 2014

2014 UT App 43 (Click for Full Text of Opinion)

Utah Court of Appeals

February 21, 2014

This case clarifies the thirty-day limit to appeal a municipal land use decision, as provided in § 801 of LUDMA (The Land Use and Development Management Act, Chapters 10-9a and 17-27a of the Utah Code).

In 2001, Black Diamond Lodge proposed to dedicate an easement it owned to Park City, to be used as a public street.  Part of the easement crossed Powder Run’s property.  Powder Run was aware of the proposed dedication, and sent a letter to Park City asking that a decision be postponed.  The City did not postpone the decision, and it enacted an ordinance accepting the dedication and creating a public street.  The easement was developed as a public road, and was used as access for Black Diamond’s property.  Powder Run did not appeal the decision within 30 days, as provided in § 801 of LUDMA.

In 2010, Powder Run filed a quiet title action against Black Diamond and Park City.  The defendants argued that the action was barred because it was not filed within thirty days after the City acted to accept the dedication.  The thirty-day appeal period served as a statute of limitations against claims filed against a City.   Section 801 of LUDMA requires that appeals of land use decisions be filed within 30 days.  Powder Run argued that the thirty-day limitation did not apply, because Black Diamond did not have the right to dedicate the easement in the first place.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, and held that the appeal should have been within thirty days, as provided by § 801 of LUDMA.  By accepting the dedication, the City also had a claim to the easement, arising in 2001.  Powder Run was aware of the action, and had ample opportunity to pursue an appeal then.

The Court rejected Powder Run’s arguments that it qualified for an exemption from the Statute of Limitations argument.