Category Archives: Uncategorized

Letter to the Sweeneys – 6/26/09

Dear Sweeneys:

I do not know if it is appropriate to contact you directly, however…

I am enclosing one of the many letters I have written to the Planning Commission, the City Council, and to the Park Record.  I am very afraid that you are not receiving the vast numbers of letters and messages expressing opposition to your proposed project.  I spent the past hour pouring over letters from Park City residents who are concerned about your efforts.

The bottom line, of course, is money.  

My hope is that your statements about being good citizens of Park City are not hollow and that you will find some way for the city or a land conservancy to provide you with enough capital to halt your efforts to develop “Treasure Hill,” which would, in my opinion, ruin Park City.  I have donated money to Brian Van Hecke’s organization and to the Land Conservancy in the hopes that someone can change the course of your efforts.

I have attended many Planning Commission meetings, and it seems that you turn a blind eye to those present and to the wishes of the rest of the citizens of Park City.  It also seems that you change meeting dates to reduce the numbers of those who do not want your development to progress.  As a mere half-time resident of Park City, I cannot attend the meeting you postponed from June 24 to July 22.  I have a teaching commitment at the University of California at Santa Barbara during that time, but my absence does not diminish my concern over your “Treasure” Hill project.

Please be aware of what you are doing to everyone else in the city, and please read this letter, one of many.

Very respectfully,

Stu Shaffer


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Next Treasure Hill meeting continued to July 22, 2009

Greetings THINC!

It’s been a long time and I just wanted to let everyone know that the next scheduled planning commission meeting regarding Treasure Hill (originally scheduled for 6/24) has been changed to 7/22.  The applicant requested the delay late last week – see the email below from Katie Cattan who works in the Park City planning department.

Also, last week I received the following email excerpt from Katie about the next meeting and what to expect:

“The topic of discussion is traffic and parking.  The applicant has returned with a new customized approach for Empire Avenue (including parking and a sidewalk).  They also performed a parking study for the parking demand of the project.”

I will keep everyone posted and will look to get this information distributed prior to the next meeting.

Finally, there are currently three open seats on the planning commission.  Eight individuals have submitted applications to fill the three open spots (including Charlie Wintzer and Dick Peak who are reapplying).  Rory Murphy is stepping down.  See link below from the recent Park Record article for more details:

Please forward any comments or questions about Treasure Hill to our blog here at



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Next Important Treasure Hill Meeting Tonight

There is an important Planning Commission meeting tonight on the proposed Treasure Hill development. Our large turnout last time made a huge impact and is needed once again.


The main topic will be traffic and safety issues. Public input will be taken and is highly encouraged. This may be our last chance to address this major issue.

Jody Burnett will also be presenting his final report regarding the “vesting and validity” of the 1986 Treasure Hill MPD. As you might recall, the City hired Jody Burnett as outside counsel to review the 23 year old Treasure Hill Master Planned Development agreement.

Finally, the Sweeneys will provide updates on the proposed project and answer questions that were raised by the planning commissioners during the last meeting on February 11, 2009. The questions to be addressed are listed in the attached.

More information and some of the Sweeneys responses (as well as consultant and engineering reports) are available online in the agenda packet starting on page 217:


Tom Eddington and Katie Cattan were interviewed on KPCW this morning regarding the meeting tomorrow night. Below is a summary of some of their comments and what to expect tomorrow night:

Revised proposed changes to Lowell Ave. including widening the street, 4’ retaining walls on the uphill side of the street, and a sidewalk on the downhill side of the street.
Revised strict parking requirements on Empire and Lowell – no overnight parking during the winter.
New stairs on 10th street to get people up to Lowell Ave.
Mass and scale will be the next topic to be discussed.


Wednesday, April 22nd @ 6:40 PM – Santy Auditorium (1255 Park Avenue). Please note that discussion on Treasure Hill is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM. Jody Burnett will be first on the agenda with his final report and findings.

Below is a link to the complete agenda:

Hope to see you at the meeting. Thanks for your support.


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City Council Meeting Thursday Night

Greetings THINC.

I wanted to make sure everyone was aware there is a key City Council meeting this week on Thursday night. There are two topics pertaining to Treasure Hill on the agenda.

First, the Sweeneys are attempting to appeal the current code which requires all affordable housing units to be built on the development site. They are hoping to get an exception so they can build most of the required affordable housing units elsewhere. Putting the affordable/employee housing elsewhere would only increase the daily traffic to the proposed development and simply should not be allowed. The proposed development should include all the affordable housing requirement and it should be part of the existing density (no increase in density should be permitted). There will be a public hearing and I would encourage you to voice your support for the current code pertaining to affordable housing and AGAINST giving the Sweeneys any exception.

Second, the City Council is considering retaining outside special counsel to fully review the 1986 Master Planned Development and vesting rights related to the proposed Treasure Hill development. I would strongly encourage you to voice your support for retaining outside counsel.

Below are the meeting details:

Thursday, February 26 @ 6:00 PM – Santy Auditorium (1255 Park Avenue)

If you cannot make the meeting please write directly to the city council members and voice your opinions. Their email addresses are below:

Candace Erickson
Jim Hier –
Joe Kernan –
Roger Harlan –
Liza Simpson –

You can also include Katie Cattan from the planning department at

Below is a link to the agenda and staff report for the meeting:

Click to access 0226packet.pdf

Unfortunately I am out of town so I will not be able to make the meeting.


I also wanted to forward a couple of interesting articles which appeared in the Saturday edition of the Park Record:

Probe of Treasure Hill considered

Merchants delve Into Treasure

There is also an article in the paper today which focuses on Treasure Hill supporters:

Sweeney: we have supporters, too

It seems the Park Record is not being objective in their coverage of Treasure Hill. The paper seems to be making a significant effort to show support for the development and the Sweeneys rather than focus on the real issues that this development would have on Park City. Keep in mind how reluctant the paper was in posting a large rendering of this project until we took out a full page ad to show the truth. You can always voice your opinion to the paper at:



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Letter of Concern to the City Council

I am writing you to express the concerns of over 400 residents of Park City who are part of THINC. The group includes residents, business owners and home owners from all over Park City including Park Meadows, Pinebrook, Thaynes Canyon, Deer Valley, Promontory, Glenwild, Old Town and elsewhere.

THINC’s collective mission is to raise public awareness and to help initiate action in order to preserve and protect Park City’s Historic Old Town. Our first and main project has been to raise awareness and voice concerns about the compatibility of the development of Treasure Hill.

Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the meeting on Thursday night but I wanted to share our opinions on the two Treasure Hill matters facing City Council on Thursday night.

First, there is no basis for compromising the affordable housing requirements for this large scale development proposed for Old Town. The Sweeneys have not provided a single good reason as to why they should be entitled to a waiver of 30% of the affordable housing requirements set forth in Resolution 17-99 and 20-07. The affordable housing requirements in the Code are well considered and reasonable and should not be compromised except in extraordinary circumstances which are not present here. Putting any affordable/employee housing elsewhere would only significantly increase the already complicated traffic problems and simply should not be even considered. The proposed development should include all the affordable housing requirement and it should be part of the existing density (no increase in density should be permitted). In addition, developers are required to provide a diversity of housing as part of fulfilling the affordable housing requirement for sound reasons. Why should the City Council allow dorm style lodging alone to fulfill this requirement? For an extra 20 beds? We have a diversified work force in Park City which requires diversified affordable housing. We encourage the City Council to abide by the affordable housing requirements as set forth in the Code.

THINC very much supports the current code pertaining to affordable housing and is AGAINST giving the Sweeneys any exception for the proposed Treasure Hill development. All affordable housing requirements, as contemplated in the Code, belong on site for Treasure Hill if the project is developed.

Second, City Council is considering retaining outside special counsel to fully review the 1986 Master Planned Development and vesting rights related to the proposed Treasure Hill development. THINC strongly encourages the City Council to support retaining outside counsel to review this proposal, the MPD that was granted over 20 years ago, vesting rights, and the rights of all citizens of Park City. It is important for the City to take all reasonable steps in its consideration of this massive project on behalf of all of the citizens of Park City. The public, prior City Council members and now Planning Commissioners have all raised questions regarding the legality of the MPD given the lapse in time and the various questionable administrative procedures which took place. With all due respect to the City Attorney, land use is a complicated area of the law and it is absolutely appropriate for the City to have a lawyer with the requisite expertise to assess the current merits of the MPD approval. Indeed, if City Council declines to approve the hiring of outside counsel to do a thorough review of this matter (particularly if Council declines due to budget concerns while in the midst of potentially approving million $ renovations to the Racquet Club and 125th Parties throughout the year), the City Council will raise some serious public confusion or potential resentment.

We trust the Council recognizes its critical role in ensuring the responsible growth and compatible development of projects within this City – new projects should not severely compromise the quality of life of our citizens.

On behalf of our 400+ members, we thank you for your consideration.


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Letters to the Editor – Park Record 2/7/09

Treasure Hill plans concern Historical Sociey
The Park City Historical Society is dedicated to “Preserving, Protecting, and Promoting Park City’s History and Heritage.” The board of trustees of this organization fully supports this statement.

We applaud the hundreds of historic-property owners who have preserved, protected and promoted our history and heritage with their sensitive restorations, additions and infill buildings as outlined in the Park City Historic District Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior Guidelines for Historic Districts. Both documents advocate compatibility of new construction with our turn-of-the-century mining vernacular. The board of trustees is very concerned about the incompatibility of the size, scope, height and massing of the Treasure Hill development as currently proposed, and its significant impact on historic Park City.

Also of concern is the additional traffic that obviously will be generated in constructing, servicing and filling this large project. The district’s narrow residential side streets, street layout, and existing structure configuration were not designed to accommodate a development of this magnitude. The topography of the district is especially inhospitable to large vehicles like cement trucks and fire engines. The safety, health and quality of life of Old Town residents should be of consideration.

We urge a solution to this decades-old agreement that will allow historic Park City to maintain its standing as “the jewel” of our community.

Richard D. Pick

Chair, board of trustees,

Park City Historical Society

When approving project, consider the children


Twenty-three years ago Park City was a different town, but 23 years ago a project was put together called the Treasure Hill project. In retrospect, who could have predicted where we are now? In 1986 I was 4 and I was riding my bike up and down Empire Avenue. Although it was steep, the road was safe enough for me to walk my bike over the last steep hill to my great grandmother’s home at the top of Empire. In 1986, there were places to play between spaces and yards between homes. Now a yard or any sort of green space is considered a rare luxury. The density on Empire is now to capacity with no space to safely move snow and ice in the winter and the driving conditions are dangerous any time of the year due to density.

My family is fifth generation Park City, and we have owned at one time or another seven different houses on Empire. Today we own five houses including my great grandmother’s home where my husband and I live. Although Empire is known more as Old Town, there are still children living on the street, in the same safe neighborhood my brother and I grew up in.

Beyond the logistical problems of running thousands of trucks up and down the streets during construction, the Treasure Hill project will take away the feeling of safe roads. We also must consider the horrific impact to the air quality and the inevitable noise pollution. Also, there is a safety factor of getting emergency responders to the area both fire or medical with large trucks and a larger population that is in the area. As I begin planning my own family on Empire Avenue, I want my children (the sixth generation living on Empire) to feel safe riding their bicycles to their grandparents and great-grandmother’s homes. As a parent I would be very saddened by the fact that I would consistently worry about my children’s safety in my own front yard because of dump trucks and semi trucks. I have seen semi trucks reverse down Empire because they could not make the turn to Lowell. The small streets, the snow, and the parking congestion make it nearly impossible to navigate both Lowell and Empire avenues. I urge all citizens young, old, one-year residents or 100 year residents, to come together and fight this project not only to protect the children, but all citizens and tourists who ride their bikes and walk on these streets and to protect the integrity of this small community

Tana Toly Ireland

Old Town Park City

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