An ambitious project to remake Solitude Ski Resort is a step closer following Salt Lake County commissioners' approval of rezoning 38 acres of the Big Cottonwood Canyon ski area.

The rezoning clears one of many hurdles Solitude owners face in getting their plans for a 280-unit overnight lodging complex approved.A 10-year development master plan call for demolition of existing Solitude base facilities, construction of a new day-use complex and five overnight lodging buildings and reorientation of ski trails.

Solitude now must get a number of other approvals before development can begin. A county planning commission hearing is scheduled for March 14 on a Solitude request for conditional use permits allowing phase-by-phase development.

In addition, Solitude must secure Forest Service approval to build a ticket booth and employee housing on 10 acres of federal land. Solitude also needs Forest Service final approval to build a $3.2 million sewer line the length of Big Cottonwood Canyon.

The planning commission's preliminary approval of the lodging units is conditional upon completion of the sewer line. Wasatch-Cache National Forest officials approved construction of the sewer line last year after environmental impact studies. But environmentalists appealed to the Forest Service regional office in Denver. A final decision could be years away.