With a new bond on the horizon to purchase Treasure Hill, Park City officials want to assure voters the city’s budget is on solid ground. KPCW’s Melissa Allison explains:
Newly appointed Park City Council Member Lynn Ware Peek and Mayor Andy Beerman discuss last night’s meeting.
THINC members John Stafsholt, Kyra Parkhurst and Neils Vernegaard react to the news of Park City negotiating a potential buy out of Treasure Hill
Organizers of THINC, a Park City group that opposes the Treasure Hill development, have raised thousands of dollars for legal representation. They tell KPCW they’ll do everything they can to ensure the bond is passed in November. Melissa Allison has more:
The opposition to the Treasure proposal has repeatedly called for City Hall and the developer to reach a conservation agreement that would eliminate the prospects of a project of any size on the high-profile hillside.
Park City officials on Wednesday did just that as they finalized a rapid round of negotiations resulting in a deal to acquire the Treasure land for $64 million. The agreement hinges on Park City voters in November approving a ballot measure that will be set at approximately $50 million, with the remaining sum expected to be raised from the City Hall budget.
The opposition quickly cheered the agreement as something that will benefit the entire community. The opposition has long argued that the impacts of Treasure if it is developed would stretch through Park City with traffic backups, years of construction and what project critics say would be a blight on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift.
“It’s been our dream, our vision, our hope,” said Brian Van Hecke, an Empire Avenue resident who was one of the founders of a Treasure opposition group called the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition.
Van Hecke expressed gratitude toward the Treasure partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, for its willingness to negotiate an agreement with City Hall. He also praised the efforts of a roster of Park City officials, including Mayor Andy Beerman and former Mayor Jack Thomas.
Van Hecke said a conservation deal for Treasure would trump City Hall’s acquisition of Bonanza Flat as the most critical land purchase in Park City’s renowned open space program. The Treasure land is centrally located while Bonanza Flat is remote, he argued.
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The price of Treasure has dropped sharply in seven years even as real estate prices have steadily risen in Park City during that time.
City Hall announced on Wednesday evening a deal had been reached to acquire the hillside acreage and attached development rights. Officials identified the $64 million price tag the next morning.
The $64 million sum will be widely debated in coming months if Mayor Andy Beerman and the Park City Council agree to pursue the acquisition, something that is a near certainty since it is the elected officials who negotiated the agreement. A ballot measure expected to be set at approximately $50 million or less would be put to voters in November while the remaining multimillion-dollar gap would be funded through other means, including shifting $6 million earmarked to build a plaza in the Brew Pub lot to the Treasure deal.
The $64 million would be, by a wide margin, Park City’s most expensive conservation deal. The $38 million acquisition of Bonanza Flat, finalized in 2017, currently holds that mark. Moreover, an approximately $50 million ballot measure to fund a Treasure deal would set a Park City record as the largest-ever conservation bond, also by a wide margin. The current high, $25 million, was approved by voters in 2016 to put toward a Bonanza Flat deal.
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Park City Mayor Andy Beerman discusses the news that came out last night that the city is negotiating a total buy-down of the Treasure Hill project.