Park City Treasure deal critic: This is not Bonanza Flat, not Round Valley
September 7, 2018
Stephen Streamer, a Park Meadows resident who has lived in Park City since 1999 after having lived in the community for a time in the early 1980s, has watched as City Hall acquired vast acreage of open space.
He supported many of the municipal efforts to protect land from development. But he has deep-rooted questions about City Hall's proposed acquisition of Treasure in a $64 million agreement, a deal that depends on Park City voters on Election Day approving a $48 million ballot measure.
The Summit County clerk on Tuesday selected Streamer to draft a statement in opposition to the ballot measure that will be published in official election materials. Streamer and one other person competed for the right to draft the opposition statement. County Clerk Kent Jones drew Streamer's name from a hat.
Streamer questioned the similarities between the ballot measure and previous City Hall bond elections to raise monies for land acquisitions. He argued the open space related to the Treasure development proposal was secured years ago as leaders in the 1980s negotiated the preservation of the steepest parts of the Treasure land. Just a small part of the overall Treasure acreage can be built upon, he said.
"They can only develop 10 acres. The rest will remain as open space regardless," he said, adding, "In my mind, that's $6.4 million per acre. Even for Park City prices, that's a lot."
Streamer added supporters of the ballot measure are "disingenuous" in their claims about the land that would be acquired.
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"Why are you billing this as an open space initiative? You're paying $64 million to stop a 10-acre development."
He said other City Hall land acquisitions, like those in Round Valley and Bonanza Flat, better reflect Parkites' desires to protect acreage from development.
"This is not a Bonanza. This is not a Round Valley. … This is not open space everyone can get to and enjoy," Streamer said.
He hopes there is a "silent majority" in Park City that opposes the ballot measure.
The Treasure partnership involving the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC spent years in discussions with the Park City Planning Commission about a development of approximately 1 million square feet on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift, close to Main Street. Critics worry that the traffic would overwhelm nearby streets like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue and the buildings would loom over Old Town. City Hall and the Treasure partnership reached the $64 million agreement as it appeared the Planning Commission was preparing to cast a vote against the proposal.
Streamer said he is "ambivalent" about the Treasure development proposal itself.
"Our Main Street is really our tourist central. … I think a five-star hotel would solidify that," he said.
Streamer in February wrote a guest editorial in The Park Record questioning the agreement shortly after it was reached and calling it a "bad deal" for Park City. In the statement published by the newspaper, Streamer argued sectors tied to the tourism industry should finance an acquisition of Treasure and said Main Street is a "selling point" for the industry.
"City Hall is suggesting yet another bond that property owners should pay to preserve Main Street. I believe that the Community would be better served to have the Resort side of Park City pay for the 'deal' on Treasure through an increase of taxes on Resort business . . . ," he wrote in February. "The Municipal government should pass legislation to enact special taxes on, restaurants, hotel rooms, lift tickets, second homes, etc. Let the tourists (end users) pay for the amenity of Main Street. The Community should NOT pay to sustain tourism for the Resort side of Park City."