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Sweeney Treasure Project Comes before Park City Planning Commission in June

Roundabout 1

The first meeting for the Park City Planning Commission to look at the Treasure application is June 8th.  The staff, planning commission, and city council will be getting up to speed on the project until then, and the City hopes the public will too.    Lynn Ware Peek has more.

Click on the link below to hear the full update from KPCW:


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Sweeney Treasure Project Comes before Park City Planning Commission in June

Planning Commission continuity wanted for the upcoming discussions

The Park City Council on Thursday opted to keep two members of the Planning Commission on the panel past the scheduled expiration of their terms, a move meant to keep the current roster intact on an indefinite basis as another round of discussions about the polarizing Treasure development proposal nears.

Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Councilors want Adam Strachan and Laura Suesser to continue to serve on the influential panel. Thomas, a former Planning Commissioner, said it was an “excellent idea” to keep the two. City Councilor Andy Beerman indicated continuity is important. The two Planning Commissioners were not in attendance. The terms were scheduled to expire in July.

For the rest of this article please see link below:

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Park City and Treasure developers outline wildly different timelines

City Hall says talks could last a year-plus, partnerships wants faster process

Park City officials on Thursday outlined a prospective timeline for the discussions regarding the proposed Treasure development that, at its lengthiest, would stretch for more than a year.

It is a schedule that would extend the Park City Planning Commission talks far longer than the Treasure side desires. The developers in early April, in requesting that the long-dormant talks begin again, offered a proposal for a wildly different timeline that would have started last week and ended with a vote in the fall. Instead, it appears, the discussions will not begin again until June and possibly last well into 2017.

Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, said he anticipates the Planning Commission will address Treasure at between seven and 15 meetings, at a rate of one meeting per month. The talks are targeted to restart at a meeting on June 8.

The Treasure proposal involves upward of 1 million square feet of development on a hillside overlooking Old Town close to the route of the Town Lift. The Sweeney family, which is the historic owner of the property, secured development rights in the 1980s for the Treasure acreage and nearby parcels of land. The Treasure land is now under the ownership of the Sweeney family and a business partner.

For the rest of this article please see link below:

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On record against Treasure, now on the Planning Commission

9th St. Turnaround

Two panel members criticized the project years before appointments

Treasure by early in 2009 had already become the most disputed development idea in Park City since the hard-fought approval of what would be built as Empire Pass a decade earlier.

The Treasure proposal by then had spurred an opposition movement and drawn large crowds to Park City Planning Commission meetings, primarily in opposition, with little apparent progress toward a compromise, or a vote. The proposal, upward of 1 million square feet of development on a highly visible hillside overlooking Old Town on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort, left some unhappy enough to submit letters to City Hall detailing their displeasure.

Two letters submitted in January of 2009 and forwarded to the Planning Commission in anticipation of a meeting about the development the next month are of special note as the Treasure partnership prepares to return to the panel after a hiatus that has stretched since 2010.

For the rest of this article please see link below:

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Pictures of the Treasure Model

Below are some pictures that I took of the new Treasure model.  Unfortunately it’s difficult to tell what’s what because they have not required the applicant to make the proposed Treasure buildings in a different color from the existing buildings.  Another thing that is not visible in these picutres are the huge  100+ foot excavations scars that will be visible from all over town.

I hope these help but I would still suggest that you stop by the Marsac building to see the model for yourself.



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Open letter to the people of Park City from THINC

To all our neighbors and friends,

Thank you to our neighbors from all over Park City who attended the Planning Commission meeting on Feb 10th.  Thanks for speaking out and taking a stand against the proposed Treasure Hill project.  Thanks for asking the right questions and working positively toward keeping Park City a great place to live.
Treasure Hill could literally destroy Old Town as we know it and have devastating and irrevocable impacts on our town.   Some of these impacts include: intolerable traffic and safety impacts to narrow streets built prior to the automobile, potential loss of our national historic district designation, 10- 20 years of almost indescribably destructive construction, extremely negative impacts to property values for Old Town property owners, obvious and massive excavation 10 stories deep into the mountainside, environmental  habitat destruction, environmental damage from building atop a centuries-old mining complex, potential contamination of our main water source, and towering buildings over 100 feet tall up the mountainside directly adjoining Old Town and extremely visible from Main Street. 

Treasure Hill will permanently alter the landscape and beauty of Park City. Our town will lose infinitely more in esthetics, beauty, nature, and quality of life than we could ever gain financially through property taxes from this project.  Treasure Hill also violates our city’s building codes and stated goals in numerous ways.  Hundreds of local citizens agree and are working with us to stop this project.
This project is still moving forward.  The people of our town are speaking up, but this fight is not nearly over.  Citizens of Park City, we must stay committed and continue to fight to protect the town we love, our home.
Thank you,

Kyra Parkhurst
John Stafsholt
Steve Swanson 
Brian Van Hecke
Rich Wyman

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John Stafsholt Speaking Notes – Treasure Hill Planning Commission Mtg 2/10/10

As always, I would like to reiterate that I believe the Sweeney’s to be very forthright, respectable people.  I appreciate their making so much information available to us for a thorough review of their proposed project.  My comments refer to the Treasure Hill proposed development and not to the Sweeney’s personally.

CUP Criteria 8: Building mass, bulk, and orientation, and the locations on the site; including orientation to buildings on adjoining lots.

December 18, 1985 planning commission approval addresses SCALE: A couple exerpts

“Located in the historic district, it is important for the project designed to be compatible with the scale already established.” 

“The focus or thrust of the review process has been to examine different ways of accommodating the development of the property while being mindful of and sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood.”  

While buildings 1A and 2 are possibly the most compatible in the project.  Their location and orientation present a road on top of an approximately 22 foot vertical wall.  The wall will be very pronounced in old town and it will not be a welcome design feature, nor is the exposed road.

Bldg 1B is 6 stories and quite massive for its location at the midstation site above Woodside Ave and could be broken up similar to 1A. 

Massing issues exist with most bldgs, but especially:

Bldg 5A: 11 stories 150’ tall & 60,000  sq ft w/ 39% circulation, common space, & accessory

Bldg 5C: 12 stories 145’ tall & 81,000  sq ft w/ 37% circulation, etc…

Bldg 4B: 13 stories 137’ tall & 252,000 sq ft w/37% circulation, etc…       

The over riding design features on the site are bldg positioning and orientation to allow for maximum heights through excavation of the existing hillsides. This excavation is proposed at unprecedented volumes.  This will be addressed with CUP criteria 15.

CUP Criteria 11: Physical design and compatibility with surrounding structures in mass, scale, style, design, and architectural detailing;

As discussed in the staff report and public input, mass and scale are not compatible with surrounding structures.

Style, design, and architectural detailing should be determined by the historic district design guidelines.  This is required by the original planning commission approval dated December 18, 1985:

“MPE Inc., its successors or assignees, shall be bound by and obligated for the performance of the following:”

III. Item 6: “At the time of project review and approval, all buildings shall be reviewed for conformance with the Historic District Design Guidelines and related architectural requirements.”

These Treasure Hill buildings have not passed review with the Historic District Design Guidelines.

CUP Criteria 15: Within and adjoining the site impacts on environmentally sensitive lands, slope retention, and appropriateness of the proposed structure to the topography of the site;

The topography of the site should be respected by the proposed development.  It is not.

Every tree, bush and blade of grass will be removed from the proposed site.  This will destabilize all the soil in the project above Old Town.   Mudslides and snow slides were known to happen at this site in the past.  There  was a 1926 law titled “PROTECTION OF STANDING TIMBER ON TREASURE HILL. DANGEROUS EXCAVATION”. Tree cutting on Treasure Hill was punishable by $100 fine or up to 90 days in jail.  There was also a deadly slide in Daly in 1948 and another large slide on the other side of Empire canyon in the late 1960’s.

The developers site plan from Alta Engineering calls for an estimated 960,000 cubic yards of excavation.  To give some scale to this, think of an average dump truck. It carries 12 cubic yards of dirt.  That is 80,000 single dump truck loads.

Another example for scale.  The Montage development in Empire Pass had approximately 780,000 sq ft and their estimated excavation from the site was 50,000 CY.

Treasure Hill plans to move almost 20 times as much dirt as the Montage planned to move. 

The developers are adamant that no dirt will be removed from the site, it will be relocated on the mountain.  How can this be guaranteed when there are 4 mining sites within close proximity to the proposed development.  3 of these sites have elevated levels of lead and arsenic.  The Creole Adit is within the proposed development and contains 11,000 PPM Lead which is 11 times the acceptable limit as required by the city.

These 4 mining sites have not been mapped in detail and full geologic and geotechnical data are not available as yet from the developers.  From the Alta Engineering document, it appears Treasure Hill Bldg 4A sits directly on top of the Creole Adit.  This horizontal shaft appears to run NW to the Creole Mine Shaft and beyond.  If this is the case, the largest hotel bldg 4b also sits directly on top of the Creole Adit.  Again, more data is needed to confirm this and understand the depth and extent of the mining activity.

Again as an example, The Montage had extensive geotechnical work done prior to development.  Only 4 mining operations were found to exist at the Montage site.  After excavation commenced, an additional 4 mining operations were found at the site.  This required the Montage developers to remove another unexpected 40,000 CY of dirt.  Nearly double the total excavation and removal of contaminated soils from mining activity to Richardson Flats.

There is no approved soil remediation plan in place as yet from the Treasure Hill developers.  Their plan was to take the contaminated Creole Adit soils up to the Creole mine shaft and dump them down into the shaft (which is also contaminated), then cap the shaft with semi permeable soils.  The city has rejected this plan.

PCMC’s letter dated August 28, 2006 states, “PCMC does not agree with the strategy of transporting a higher concentration mine waste (Creole Adit 11,000PPM lead) to a lower concentration site (Creole Mine Shaft 2,200 PPM lead) for permanent placement within a shaft.  In addition, the City would consider such placement within the Creole Mine Shaft as a potential “pollution source” for the Spiro Drinking Water protection Zone, which is prohibited per PCMC’s Drinking Water Source Protection Plan ordinance detailed in Section 13-1-28.”  Of the code. 

The Creole Mine Shaft is within the Spiro Drinking Water Source Protection Zone.

This is where much of the city’s drinking water comes from.  It must be protected.

The developers are planning unprecedented excavation and there is no guarantee that this is even near the final reality of how much soil will be moved or removed from the site.

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Treasure Hill Update – The 15 Conditional Use Permit Review Criteria

The developer of Treasure Hill is currently trying to get a Conditional Use Permit approved by the Park City Planning Commission.  The developer must receive this Conditional Use Permit before any development or likely sale to another outside developer takes place.

The 15 Criteria deal with all aspects of the proposed development including:  traffic, safety, scale, massing, environment, and other architectural and design elements.  The Planning Commission has already reviewed traffic and safety issues pertaining to this project with no resolution.  The Planning Commission is now reviewing Scale and Massing issues.  

The 15 Conditional Use Permit review criteria have not changed since the original submittal.  The following are the 15 criteria in which the application must be evaluated when considering whether or not the proposed conditional use mitigates impacts:

1. size and scale of the location of the site;

2. traffic considerations including capacity of the existing streets in the area;

3. utility capacity;

4. emergency vehicle access;

5. location and amount of off-street parking;

6. internal vehicular and pedestrian circulation system;

7. fencing, screening, and landscaping to separate the use from adjoining uses;

8. building mass, bulk, and orientation, and the location of buildings on the site; including orientation to buildings on adjoining lots;

9. usable open space;

10. signs and lighting;

11. physical design and compatibility with surrounding structures in mass, scale, style, design, and architectural detailing;

12. noise, vibration, odors, steam, or other mechanical factors that might affect people and property off-site;

13. control of delivery and service vehicles, loading and unloading zones, and screening of trash

14. expected ownership and managements of the project as primary residences, condominiums, time interval ownership, nightly rental, or commercial tenancies, how the form of ownership affects taxing entities; and

15. within and adjoining the site impacts on environmentally sensitive lands, slope retention, and appropriateness of the proposed structure to the topography of the site.

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THINC Town Hall Meeting with the Mayoral Candidates – October 19th, 2009

THINC is proud to present a town hall style meeting with the 2009 Park City mayoral candidates.

Brad Olch and Dana Williams will be appearing live this coming Monday, October 19th at the Alpine Internet Café (738 Main Street). Come hear both candidates address the proposed Treasure Hill development project – one of the biggest issues facing Park City. The event starts at 6:00 PM and will last until around 8:30 PM. Here’s the schedule:

6:00 – 7:00 PM Brad Olch
7:00 – 7:15 PM Break
7:15 – 8:15 PM Dana Williams

Both candidates will be given an opportunity to discuss their thoughts on the Treasure Hill project, some of the history, and most importantly their ideas on what to do about it. There will also be time for questions and answers with both candidates so make sure to bring your questions and concerns.

This unique town hall style meeting is open to THINC members and all concerned residents of Park City.

Please spread the word and come out for this special opportunity to hear the candidates address this highly controversial issue. Space is limited so try to arrive early. I will also be sending out an Evite to better gauge attendance.

If you can’t make it, send me your questions or concerns at I will do my best to get answers.

I hope to see you at this important event!



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Mayor: send Treasure back to drawing board

Mayor Dana Williams said during a Tuesday campaign event he expects the Park City Planning Commission will soon request the Sweeney family rework its blueprints for Treasure, telling his supporters that the proposal “needs to be remanded back to the developer.”

Such a move could indefinitely stall the Sweeneys as they seek an approval for the project, which would be situated on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort overlooking Old Town.

The family since 2004 has engaged City Hall in two primary rounds of talks. The first round ended with only modest progress. The second one, which is ongoing, is in danger of withering, with the Planning Commission appearing to have deep concerns about the proposal.

Speaking to approximately 50 people at the Wasatch Brew Pub, Williams acknowledged that he must be careful while making statements about Treasure. It seems likely the mayor and the Park City Council will consider Treasure in some fashion once the Planning Commission has completed its discussions, either through an appeal or a rarely used procedural move that allows the elected officials to reconsider a decision by the lower panel. The elected officials typically do not speak extensively about projects the Planning Commission is considering.

But Williams said the Treasure proposal does not reflect City Hall’s 1980s overall approval for the development. He said the Sweeneys are requesting a larger project than envisioned in the earlier approval. “There’s a huge disconnect in terms of what’s being applied for,” Williams said.  Williams said he anticipates the Planning Commission sometime in the next few months will break off the talks and request the Sweeneys rework the proposal. The Planning Commission is next scheduled to discuss Treasure and hold a hearing at a Sept. 23 meeting.

The Sweeneys envision Treasure as an upscale lodging option in a sought-after location on the slopes and with easy access to Main Street and surrounding Old Town. Williams, meanwhile, also spoke about his leadership style, his support of housing for senior citizens and City Hall’s environmental programs. Williams, who is seeking a third term, faces three opponents in a Sept. 15 primary. The top two finishers will advance to Election Day.

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