Park City sets Treasure forum, signaling new phase of debate
City Hall on Tuesday is scheduled to host an open house and panel discussion about the municipal government’s desire to acquire the Treasure acreage in a conservation deal, an event that could break what has been largely a lull in the community discussion about the proposed buyout.
The event is expected to feature a series of figures with a role of some sort over the decades of the discussions about Treasure. The Treasure side in the 1980s secured an overall approval for development on a high-profile hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift and nearby parcels.
The other parcels have been developed, but the Treasure partnership spent more than a decade in talks with Park City officials about a project proposal involving upward of 1 million square feet on the hillside. Treasure made only moderate progress as the Park City Planning Commission and project critics worried about issues like the traffic a project would attract to streets like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue, the size of the buildings and other concerns.
The sides continued to be locked in discussions when Park City leaders in January reached a $64 million agreement to acquire the Treasure land in a conservation deal. The acquisition, though, depends on Park City voters in November approving a ballot measure to fund most of the cost. The ballot measure is expected to priced at between $50 million and $55 million, depending on the City Hall budget talks currently underway.
The open house and panel discussion on Tuesday will be the first event of its kind centered on the Treasure agreement, and it will likely serve as the start of another phase of the discussions as Parkites start to learn details. The Tuesday event is expected to be followed two days later with another Park City Council discussion about the funding.
The scheduled panelists on Tuesday:
• Mayor Andy Beerman, who was a key figure as the agreement was negotiated
• Nate Rockwood, a City Hall budget staffer who holds an important role as the financing is considered
• Adam Strachan, a former member of the Park City Planning Commission who held an influential role in the panel’s Treasure discussions
• Rory Murphy, a developer and a former member of the Planning Commission who served during some of the Treasure discussions
• Ann MacQuoid, now a real estate broker who was a member of the City Council during the 1980s-era Treasure discussions
City Hall staffers organized the event and selected the panelists. The panel roster appears to be weighted heavily toward supporters of the acquisition of Treasure.
The event is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the community room on the third floor of the Park City Library. The panel will take audience questions.
There have been only sporadic public discussions about Treasure since a series of important gatherings in February, but the event on Tuesday and then the budget talks that will follow will return Treasure to prominence as the fall election season approaches. The ballot measure will almost certainly be one of the most closely watched items to be decided locally.
Becca Gerber, a first-term member of the Park City Council who is seen as bringing a younger person’s perspective to the Marsac Building, will seek reelection this year.