Park City poised to finalize $48 million Treasure ballot measure
August 14, 2018
Park City leaders on Thursday are expected to formally put the proposed acquisition of Treasure in a conservation deal on the Election Day ballot, an important procedural step that effectively launches the campaign season for what will be, by a wide margin, City Hall's largest-ever open space ballot measure.
The Park City Council is scheduled to vote on a required resolution that puts the Treasure question on the ballot. Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Councilors have spent months wrangling the finances as they attempted to reduce the dollar figure that will be attached to the ballot measure.
The ballot measure will be set at $48 million after the elected officials made a series of fiscal moves like budget reductions or tapping other funding sources to drop the number from an earlier figure — $50.7 million — that was discussed. The $48 million would fund most of the cost of a $64 million acquisition of Treasure. Some of the funds would also be put toward a contribution of up to $3 million for an unrelated Utah Open Lands-led $6 million effort to set aside the Snow Ranch Pastures land in Thaynes Canyon from development through an instrument known as a conservation easement.
If the ballot measure passes, City Hall projects the owner of a residence classified as primary would pay an additional $194 in property taxes annually while the owner of a vacation home or a commercial property would pay another $353 per year over the course of a 15-year repayment.
The discussions were focused on Treasure for months before the possibility of attaching Snow Ranch Pastures to the ballot measure was broached. The elected officials in recent weeks opted to add the Thaynes Canyon land to the ballot measure.
The Treasure land is located on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Treasure partnership — consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm known as Park City II, LLC — spent years in discussions with the Park City Planning Commission about a development proposal involving upward of 1 million square feet.
Recommended Stories For You
The Planning Commission and project critics worry about issues like the traffic the project would attract to streets like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue, the size of the buildings and the excavation that would be required. Park City's elected officials eventually negotiated a conservation deal that depends on the funds that would be raised through the ballot measure.
Supporters of the acquisition and the necessary ballot measure, the side that opposes the Treasure development proposal, have started to rally voters. There is not known organized opposition to the ballot measure.
It is unclear how much time the elected officials will spend on the matter on Thursday. The mayor and City Councilors spent extensive time in earlier discussions as they crafted a dollar figure for the ballot measure, weighing the various funding options when the talks were centered on Treasure and then relooking at the possibilities to account for a Snow Ranch Pastures contribution once that land was added to the talks.
The City Council meeting is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building. A hearing is planned prior to the vote.