City Hall grants one-month delay before Treasure vote could be cast |

City Hall grants one-month delay before Treasure vote could be cast

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall has granted the Sweeney family a one-month delay before the Park City Planning Commission could cast what would be its most anticipated votes in years, agreeing to push back the earliest date a decision could be made from April until May.

The Sweeneys requested the delay shortly after a meeting in mid-February, according to Katie Cattan, the City Hall planner assigned to the family’s Treasure development proposal. She said Pat Sweeney, who is leading the family’s efforts, requested the delay in an e-mail message.

A finalized agenda for the April Planning Commission meeting will not be released until later. At the meeting earlier in February, the panel indicated it wanted to return to the long-running Treasure talks on April 14. Some of the Planning Commissioners said they might be ready to cast a vote at the April 14 meeting.

Instead of holding out the possibility of a vote at that meeting, though, Cattan said in an interview the Planning Commission will be asked to open the floor to another round of public testimony. She said she does not expect the Planning Commission to discuss the project in detail after the testimony.

It was not immediately clear whether a vote would be scheduled for the next Treasure-related Planning Commission meeting after April 14. The timing will likely depend on the amount of information that the Sweeneys provide in the meantime.

In winning the one-month delay, the Sweeneys have secured more time to prepare for the possibility of a vote in the spring after talks that date to the middle of the last decade.

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After the mid-February meeting with the Planning Commission, when it appeared a vote could be cast on April 14, Sweeney said his side would not have enough time to prepare for a vote at a mid-April meeting. He said in an interview then the family desired more time to further refine issues. He also acknowledged that it appeared that the Planning Commission could be preparing to vote against Treasure.

In an interview after City Hall agreed to the one-month delay, Sweeney said his team requires the additional weeks to craft its answers to issues like the excavations planned at the site and the calculations used to determine the amount of conference space proposed in Treasure — two sticky topics between the Sweeneys and critics.

"We didn’t have enough time to get all the materials we need to get to (Cattan) in advance of an April meeting," Sweeney said, adding doing so requires lots of "roll-up-your-sleeves, serious grind type of work."

Information forthcoming about the excavations and the conference center will be crucial as the talks with the Planning Commission continue, Sweeney said. He said the issues are "huge to us." There have been differing opinions about a conference center at the site, which the Sweeneys say will bring more business to Main Street but others say will increase traffic to and from the site.

Sweeney said he prefers a vote be further delayed from May, describing that a Planning Commission vote that month could be a "bit premature." In indicating that a vote could be scheduled soon, though, Planning Commissioners said it appeared that the Sweeneys would not be proposing wholesale changes to the Treasure blueprints.

It is expected that a Planning Commission vote — whether it be for or against Treasure — will be brought to the Park City Council in some fashion. The Sweeneys could appeal a ‘Nay’ vote, opponents could challenge an affirmative vote through an appeal or the City Council itself could override a decision by the lower panel.

The Sweeneys are seeking an approval for 200 hotel rooms and 100 condominiums spread through what would appear to be approximately 12 separate buildings. The structures would be connected through an underground garage. The project would be built on a hillside just west of Old Town, close to streets like Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue.

The family in the 1980s secured an overall approval for development at the site and on nearby land, but it now must win another round before construction could start. Opponents have criticized Treasure along a series of points, including the traffic it is expected to attract and the size of the buildings.