Park City honors former planning panelist, a referee of Treasure
May 25, 2018
Adam Strachan spent every other Wednesday evening at the Marsac Building over the past decade, sometimes not leaving until the late-night hours.
As a member of the Park City Planning Commission, Strachan was a pivotal figure during an era of intrigue in City Hall's growth debates. He was appointed to the influential panel in the middle of 2008, after the great post-2002 Winter Olympic development boom and just before the depths of the recession.
Strachan, an attorney who retired from the Planning Commission in early 2018, was honored at the Marasc Building during a meeting of the panel on Wednesday evening. Strachan, who spent time as the chair of the Planning Commission, served during a period when high-profile projects like Bonanza Park and the redevelopment of the Kimball Art Center were considered alongside numerous less glamorous proposals that required a deft review.
But Strachan's tenure was most notable for the difficult discussions between the Planning Commission and the Treasure partnership regarding a proposal for upward of 1 million square feet of development on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Treasure talks stretched through much of his time on the Planning Commission.
Strachan was the chair during some of the most notable meetings regarding Treasure, putting him in a highly visible role as the Planning Commission struggled with what is the most controversial development proposal in Park City since the project that was built as Empire Pass was approved in the 1990s.
As the chair, Strachan needed to referee a series of tense meetings involving the other panel members, the Treasure side and crowds that were lopsidedly against the project.
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At one point in the talks, a member of the Treasure partnership questioned whether the Planning Commission was treating the proposal the same as other applications, pointing to the panel's intense review of the impact on traffic. Strachan defended the Planning Commission's work as fair and thorough.
In another point of Treasure, in October of 2017, Strachan was involved in a tense moment with the developer. Strachan and Pat Sweeney, an important Treasure figure, briefly seemed to be speaking over each other's comments. The exchange prompted Strachan to raise his voice as he told Sweeney to let him finish his own comments.
There was not a large crowd at the meeting on Wednesday to honor Strachan's work on the Planning Commission, but the current panel members were appreciative of his service. Mayor Andy Beerman greeted Strachan as well. The mayor noted Strachan's work on the Planning Commission included projects like Bonanza Park, Park City Heights and the Utah Film Studios. He also mentioned Treasure.
"Thankful for this and honored," Strachan said at the meeting.
Beerman presented Strachan with a framed copy of a Planning Commission resolution passed early in 2018 that indefinitely postponed additional meetings about Treasure and supported the City Hall efforts to acquire the land in a conservation deal.