Park City says reimagined Treasure would be ‘very visible’
City Hall on Monday acknowledged that a reimagined, scaled-back Treasure development would be easily seen and there would be major effects as the project is built, a statement that, though brief, could eventually help embolden critics of a proposed $30 million deal calling for the municipal government to acquire a 50 percent stake in Treasure.
The statement is included in a report drafted in anticipation of a Park City Planning Commission meeting about Treasure scheduled on Wednesday. Anne Laurent, who is the community development director at City Hall, and Matt Dias, the assistant city manager, drafted the report. The report addresses the visibility and the effects as it lists a series of points regarding the progress of the Treasure discussions.
The $30 million deal would hinge on Park City voters approving a $24 million ballot measure to fund the majority of the overall cost. The remaining $6 million would come from the municipal budget.
“Despite a 50% reduction in size and scope that would result if approved by Planning Commission, Council, and voters, the development on Treasure Hill will remain very visible on the hillside and result in significant construction impacts,” the report says.
It is an important acknowledgment in the context of the overall talks about a Treasure deal. The reimagined project has been a focus of discussions in the weeks since the $30 million agreement was made public.
The Treasure proposal itself contemplates 948,730 square feet of development while a reimagined project would involve 392,936 square feet. The reduction in square footage is greater than 50 percent as a result of the details of a redesigned project.
It would involve a boutique hotel and 18 houses compared to the Treasure proposal of a full-scale hotel. The houses generally require less square footage than multi-family units like those in a hotel since they have less accessory space, such as hotel-style amenities.
But there has been concern by the Planning Commission and the public that the project would remain large even if City Hall acquires a 50 percent stake in Treasure. There have been questions about issues such as the size of the excavation that would be required and the amount of traffic that a reimagined Treasure would draw.
The concerns are similar to those that have been expressed over the decade-plus of talks about the full Treasure proposal, designed for a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift.
There has also been long-running worry that Treasure would loom over Old Town with tall buildings and the years of construction would be miserable in the neighborhood, concerns that the City Hall statement do not seem to allay.
Park City leaders were scheduled to address Treasure on consecutive evenings this week. The Park City Council on Tuesday was slated to discuss the project while the Planning Commission on Wednesday is poised to continue its talks. The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. at the Marsac Building.
The discussions about a reimagined project have unfolded at a quickened pace as the Planning Commission and the elected officials have held meetings about Treasure alongside each other. Some members of the public have questioned the pace of the talks.
The agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday notes that a Treasure report drafted by staffers was added to the online document at 11:20 p.m. on Monday, illustrating the rapid timing of the discussions. Staff reports are usually prepared much earlier and in many cases two days before a meeting is scheduled.
The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured overall development rights for the Treasure land and nearby parcels. The land is now under the ownership of a partnership involving the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC. The $30 million agreement involves the Sweeney family’s 50 percent stake in Treasure. Park City II, LLC would pursue a reimagined project if a ballot measure passes, funding the City Hall acquisition of the Sweeney family’s stake.
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How on earth will the Park City Council candidates address the traffic situation? What will they pledge to accomplish regarding housing? And how well do they understand the impact of the consolidation and corporatization of the ski industry? The fall campaign could answer those questions.