Park City prepares for trail work on newly acquired Treasure hillside
The Treasure efforts did not end with City Hall’s acquisition of the hillside land in a $64 million conservation deal.
The municipal government finalized the purchase in March and now must craft plans for the management of the open space. Addressing trails is expected to be among the first steps. City Hall staffers this week drafted a report about the trail plans in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting that was held on Thursday. Mayor Andy Beerman and the City Councilors addressed the topic, but it seems more extensive discussions will be held later.
The Treasure hillside overlooks Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. It had been under the ownership of the Treasure partnership and had been a popular recreation spot for years before the City Hall acquisition. Hikers and mountain bikers have long used the trails, located close to Main Street and surrounding neighborhood streets.
The report to the elected officials indicates one of the overall goals of the trails planning is to make improvements meant to create easier access to Treasure from the Main Street core. Doing so, the report says, would create a scenario in which “Main Street provides primary ‘Trailhead Access’ for the property, which will minimize neighborhood impacts.”
Some of the other overall goals include highlighting the mining-era history of the land and linking the trails plan of the nearby Kings Crown development to the Treasure trails. Another goal is to incorporate a nearby trail, the Crescent Tram route, into the plans. Staffers, meanwhile, want to reclaim what are described as “bandit trails” in the vicinity of the Treasure land. They also want to create some sort of physical acknowledgment of the efforts to preserve the land as open space, perhaps with a monument.
Officials outlined three phases of work that include the creation of a trailhead just off the Lowell Avenue-Empire Avenue switchback with a small amount of parking and other trailhead features like a station for mutt mitts in a second phase and the possibility of building stairs to Treasure on 6th Street and 8th Street in a third phase.
City Hall also intends to celebrate the acquisition with an event. It appears the gathering could be slated for June 1, the date National Trails Day is marked. Details about an event are not set.
The $64 million acquisition of Treasure, by a wide margin the most expensive in the history of City Hall’s open space program, ended a development dispute that stretched since the 1980s. The acquisition triggered the need for City Hall to address a range of issues like the trails plan.
Officials will eventually also need to craft a set of restrictions that will be placed on the land to ensure it remains undeveloped, a document known as a conservation easement. The acquisition also created a new relationship between City Hall and Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts since an easement exists allowing the skiing infrastructure on the land. The acquisition did not alter the arrangement with the Colorado firm.
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