Park City questions Treasure refinements, disconcerting developer | ParkRecord.com

Park City questions Treasure refinements, disconcerting developer

Numerous changes to project detailed, but staffers remain concerned

 

The hillside Treasure development would be set off Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue. The vertical lines illustrate parts of the project's transportation plan, like a people mover connecting the location to lower Main Street. The Park City Planning Commission is scheduled to continue its discussions about the project on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Treasure)

The Park City Planning Department has published a list of refinements to Treasure crafted by the development partnership in recent months, a diverse set of changes that were presented as the partnership attempts to win support for the proposal during what are expected to be the final months of discussions after more than a decade of talks.

The Planning Department detailed the refinements in a report issued in anticipation of a meeting about Treasure scheduled on Wednesday. The Park City Planning Commission appears to be preparing to cast a vote on Treasure later in 2017. The list of refinements seems to be an important step by the developer at a time when the Planning Commission continues to have deep-rooted concerns about the project. The list covers nearly three pages and addresses refinements between the current plans and a 2009 version.

The list provides a building-by-building rundown of the refinements. Treasure is designed to appear as if it is a collection of separate buildings. They will be connected with an underground garage, however.

The report involves more than 50 changes to the project details. Some of the refinements include:

  • Converting one of the buildings to flats rather than the townhouses that had been planned. The building was also shifted to the west.
  • Eliminating a building for a pool and shifting the activities that were planned inside to another space in Treasure.
  • Eliminating a circular ramp that was designed to access a parking garage.
  • Adding a penthouse unit to a building, requiring another story.
  • Eliminating a story from a building.
  • Adding several stories at one location of a building, which changes the mass.
  • Eliminating one story from the west wing of a building and adding a partial story to the building's east wing.

The refinements were made to a 2009 version of Treasure that has largely been the basis for the talks since then. The 2009 version itself was a more detailed rendition of an earlier plan.

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The discussions about Treasure have stretched for more than a decade. The project's roots, though, date to a 1980s City Hall approval of development on the Treasure land and nearby parcels. The Treasure partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, wants to secure an approval for 948,730 square feet of development, down from a proposal of just more than 1 million square feet. The drop in square footage is 68,157, according to the Planning Department's calculations.

The Treasure side argues the project jibes with the 1980s approval while project critics argue otherwise. The Planning Commission has also expressed concerns.

The report importantly questions whether the refinements outlined by the Treasure side address issues broached by the Planning Commission. It says they do not represent a "substantial change or deviation of the 2009 plans as the applicant has clearly labeled it as a refinement, not a change or an amendment. In reviewing the plans, specifically the difference in square footage Staff does not find a significant departure to the 2009 plan or that it is in direct response to the Planning Commission items."

"It seems like they're focused on the negatives as opposed to the positive. I find that disconcerting," Pat Sweeney, Treasure

Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the Treasure discussions, said in an interview the refinement list was based on concerns expressed by the Planning Commission and City Hall staffers. The refinements reduce the footprint of the buildings, lead to a more efficient parking blueprint and require less excavation, he said.

"That was an attempt on our part, in the real world, to respond to what we heard," Sweeney said.

He also addressed the report's questions about whether the partnership dealt with the concerns of the Planning Commission, saying Park City leaders of the 1980s desired the Treasure square footage be put where it is proposed. That, he said, protected much of the hillside from development.

"It seems like they're focused on the negatives as opposed to the positive. I find that disconcerting," Sweeney said.

He also said it appears the Planning Commission and staffers prefer a scaled back project, perhaps involving a few houses. That sort of project would be a significant departure from the current proposal. Or, he said, the officials desire the partnership abandon Treasure.

"What do they want? I have no idea at this point," he said.

The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. A hearing is planned.

The meeting on Wednesday is slated as the Planning Commission is expected to increase the pace of the Treasure discussions. Treasure has generally been on the panel's agenda on a monthly basis, but it is tentatively scheduled to be addressed twice a month starting this month. The Planning Commission in September indicated it could be prepared to cast a vote in December. The Treasure side has indicated it wants the panel to render a decision soon. The Planning Commission decision will almost certainly be appealed, though. The partnership would appeal a 'Nay' vote while project critics would appeal a vote in favor of Treasure.

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