Park City and Treasure cannot even agree on points of agreement
City Hall and the Treasure partnership apparently cannot agree on a statement outlining the points of agreement between the two sides regarding the polarizing development proposal, more evidence of the difficulties presented by a project that won an overall approval in the 1980s and is seeking another necessary permit three decades later.
The Park City Planning Commission appears to have deep-rooted questions about Treasure, particularly as panelists weigh the proposal – upward of 1 million square feet of development on a hillside overlooking Old Town – against the 1980s approval. The Treasure partnership argues the proposal fits the earlier overall approval, but Planning Commissioners thus far seem unconvinced that is the case.
At a Planning Commission last week, the Treasure side – consisting of a partnership of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC — claimed City Hall has previously found the proposal to fall within the limits of the 1980s approval, but the thinking within the municipal government changed recently.
A Treasure attorney, meanwhile, told the Planning Commission that City Hall had rejected a proposal from the Treasure developers seeking a statement signed by both sides that would have apparently listed points that are not disputed by either side. The Planning Commission was not provided a detailed rundown what would have been included in a statement.
The discussion of a statement was a sidebar during a lengthy Planning Commission meeting and hearing about Treasure that focused on the important topic of square footage. The short talk, though, highlighted another in a wide range of Treasure issues that continues to challenge the Planning Commission, City Hall staffers and the development partnership.
Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the Treasure discussions, said in an interview the developers wanted the sides to draft a statement that addressed commonalities. As an example, Sweeney said, the partnership wanted to reach an accord with City Hall regarding what edition of the municipal government’s detailed development rules, known as the Land Management Code, apply to the application for Treasure.
The discussions have encompassed editions from 1985, when the overall Treasure approval was won, and 2003, which is when the application for the current proposal was submitted. The version of the Land Management Code that applies would influence discussions about meeting space and commercial square footage meant to support a lodging property, he said.
“We just want to get that settled,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney said the Treasure side drafted a joint statement for consideration by City Hall. He said it was submitted to Park City officials in early September. The Planning Commission was not given a copy, Sweeney said, and he declined to provide a copy of the one-page statement to The Park Record. Sweeney also acknowledged the Treasure attorney who indicated City Hall rejected the statement misspoke during the Planning Commission meeting. Sweeney clarified that City Hall has not responded to the substance of the statement.
Mark Harrington, the Park City attorney and one of the City Hall staffers with a key role in the Treasure discussions, declined in an interview to discuss the details of the Treasure side’s desire for a joint statement. He spoke broadly about the topic during the meeting itself, though, indicating the sides have worked together over the years and acknowledging the difficulties of the current review of Treasure in relation to the earlier approval.
Harrington said in an interview City Hall and the Treasure side “did not agree on the terms of a joint statement.” The discussions about a joint statement were held in the days before the most recent Planning Commission meeting, he said.
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Park City Council members have directed staffers to continue working on a plan to develop affordable housing on a site 1 ½ miles south of City Hall on Marsac Avenue. Staffers are recommending the city release a request for proposals (RFP) to find interested entities to participate in a public-private partnership to build the project.