Park City solicits arguments from Treasure deal supporters, opponents
August 21, 2018
City Hall on Tuesday outlined an important procedural step related to the municipal government's ballot measure that would fund most of the cost of an acquisition of the Treasure acreage in a conservation deal, explaining the opportunity for supporters and opponents to draft arguments to be published in official election materials.
The arguments would be used in a pamphlet of election information that is sent to registered Park City voters and posted on the municipal website. The arguments are seen as one of the critical avenues for supporters and opponents to reach a large bloc of potential voters.
According to City Hall, someone must be a registered voter inside Park City to be considered a potential author of one of the arguments. The person needs to formally request the opportunity to submit one of the arguments to the Summit County Clerk's Office with a postmark by Sept. 1 if the request is made through the mail. The date is Sept. 4 if the request is made by email, with a deadline of 5 p.m.
If more than one person signals they want to provide one of the arguments, Summit County Clerk Kent Jones will select one of the people to draft the statement. The people selected are required to file their statements with the county clerk by 5 p.m. on Sept. 7. There is a 500-word limit and no more than five people can sign the statements.
Once the county clerk receives the statements, he has one business day to forward copies of them to the registered voters who submitted statements representing the other side. They are allowed to draft a rebuttal of up to 250 words. The due date for the rebuttals is Sept. 21.
The window for the submittals could trigger the sides to mobilize in a formal fashion. The supporters of the ballot measure have been rallying their side in the months since City Hall reached a $64 million agreement to acquire Treasure for conservation purposes. There is not known organized opposition to the ballot measure, however.
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The ballot measure support involves people who oppose the Treasure development proposal, including numerous Old Town residents. Members of a group in opposition to the project, known as the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, will almost certainly be heavily involved in the talks about crafting a statement in support of the ballot measure.
It is not clear how the ballot measure opposition will attempt to select a person or small group of people to draft and sign a statement. It seems a statement in opposition to the ballot measure could be crafted by someone or a group of people worried about the increase in property taxes paid within Park City should the measure be approved.
The Treasure land is located on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured an overall development approval for the Treasure land and nearby parcels. The Treasure land is now under the ownership of a partnership involving the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC.
The partnership spent years locked in difficult talks with the Park City Planning Commission about a development proposal of approximately 1 million square feet before the partnership and City Hall entered negotiations centered on a conservation deal.
The $48 million ballot measure also includes funding for a contribution of up to $3 million toward an unrelated conservation agreement in Thaynes Canyon, known as Snow Ranch Pasture.
People interested in providing a statement to be considered by the county clerk in support or opposition to the ballot measure must make the request via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the mail:
Summit County Clerk
P.O. Box 128