Serviceberry Canyon Road remains closed to public access other than for hikers and horsemen, pending a future hearing on the issue in 3rd District Court, according to Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead.
“We hope to have a hearing soon which will decide this case in its entirety,” Broadhead said. “The attorneys and the court are working on scheduling that hearing.”
The Tooele County Commission voted on Aug. 7 to open the road in Ophir Canyon to all traffic, including motorized vehicles.
However, two days later, 3rd District Court Judge Matthew Bates issued a temporary restraining order staying the county commission’s decision until a full hearing could be held on the dispute.
That hearing was initially scheduled for Sept. 5, but will now be rescheduled, according to Broadhead.
In the meantime, the county and owners of the private land that Serviceberry Canyon Road crosses entered into a stipulated agreement that calls for the road to remain open but limited to hikers and horsemen with no public motorized vehicles.
Tooele County also agreed to not take any final action with respect to public access to the road pending a decision by the court.
Serviceberry Canyon Road has been the source of contention for at least 20 years. It starts north of Ophir, near where Ophir Canyon Road turns from pavement to dirt. It heads northwest up the wall of the canyon for approximately two miles. It rises from the canyon floor to a saddle below Commadore Peak and joins with Tooele County’s Jacob City Loop Trail.
Tooele County asserts that Serviceberry Canyon Road is a public road that crosses property owned by Silverslate, LLC and that the county has never abandoned its rights or claims to the road, according to Broadhead.
The owner’s of Silverslate, the Ault family, maintains that Serviceberry Canyon Road has always been a gated-private road. The Ault family said they entered into an agreement with Tooele County in 2009 to open their road to public foot and horseback traffic only.