Park City leaders on Wednesday evening added even more drama to the long-running discussions about Treasure when it was announced that a late-hour effort is underway to reach some sort of deal, perhaps a conservation agreement, involving the land.
Mayor Jack Thomas and Park City Councilor Andy Beerman, who is the mayor-elect, appeared before the Park City Planning Commission to inform the panel that talks have been underway privately.
It is not known whether an agreement will be reached, but City Hall will continue to consider Treasure as if a vote is fast approaching, perhaps by the end of the year if an accord is not finalized. A Park City Planning Commission vote on Treasure would be the most notable development decision made at City Hall since the project now known as Empire Pass was approved nearly 20 years ago.
But a Treasure vote by the Planning Commission would almost certainly not end the talks about the project, which is proposed on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. A vote instead would be expected to trigger an unorthodox appeal process.
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A prominent figure in the Treasure opposition group said the best outcome of the late-hour negotiations between City Hall and the development partnership would be the preservation of the hillside land as open space.
It would be a scenario the critics of the project have long desired but one that seemed highly unlikely until it was acknowledged on Wednesday that Park City officials and the Treasure side have been engaged in closed-door talks about an unspecified agreement regarding the project.
The Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition has led the opposition to the development proposal, forming in response to the discussions about the project, sending representatives to testify at Park City Planning Commission meetings over the years and retaining a law firm to press Treasure issues.
Brian Van Hecke, one of the founders of the group and an Empire Avenue resident, said in an interview the desired result of the negotiations is the preservation of the entire property as open space. The Treasure partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, would “receive a fair return on their investment that honors their property rights, their true property rights.”
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The Park City Planning Commission approved the one week continuance for the Treasure Hill project but Chair Adam Strachan told KPCW either way, they’re making a decision on the 13th. KPCW’s Melissa Allison has more.
Park City residents were told they would have a final opportunity for public comment at Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting on the Treasure Hill conditional use application. As it turned out, residents will still have one more chance, but no one is happy about it. KPCW’s Melissa Allison tells us why.
Just when everyone thought the Park City Planning Commission was going to be able to make a decision about the Treasure Hill application for a conditional use permit – Mayor Jack Thomas and Mayor-Elect Andy Beerman threw a curveball at Wednesday’s meeting. KPCW’s Melissa Allison has the story.
The Park City Planning Department has issued a report in anticipation of a Wednesday meeting about the disputed Treasure proposal that defends the department’s work on the project against criticism from the development partnership that Treasure has been subjected to an unusually intensive review.
The report covers numerous issues related to Treasure, but a section about the fairness of the review is an especially intriguing inclusion. The Treasure partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, recently raised a concern that other large development proposals were not scrutinized at the same level as Treasure has been.
Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the discussions, in early November said in an interview the partnership is “getting treated differently than others in the community.” He noted the way in which the Planning Commission discussed the traffic Treasure is projected to generate and utility blueprints as examples. He said at the time the Treasure side has not seen traffic as a critical issue since traffic-fighting measures were crafted, claiming the continuing discussions about traffic are “no pun intended . . . a good place to park the process.”
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Park City Planning Director Bruce Erickson previews tomorrow’s planning commission agenda, the last meeting about Treasure Hill before the commission takes a vote on December 13th. See link below which starts at 16 minutes: