Treasure: Critics say proposal lacks detail
Applicant offers new website, visual aids
The Park City Planning Commission held a public hearing Wednesday to take additional input on the controversial Treasure project. As reported earlier by The Park Record, applicant Pat Sweeney did not intend to delve into the details of a prospective construction-mitigation plan, a document outlining restrictions on construction crews, for the Treasure Hill million-square foot project proposed to overlook Old Town, Park City. But details were exactly what staff, the commission, and members of the audience wanted.
The presentation presented to the commission included new information, such as decreasing the cliff scape (creation of rock cliffs due to excavation) and keeping the excavated material onsite by placing it on three sites on the hill, changing the topography and increasing the number of ski trails, primarily in the Creole Gulch zone. The change on the mountain, as well as the addition of the buildings can be seen in the video rendering the applicants provided. It is also included on the construction website, http://www.treasureparkcity.com.
“Regarding the constructability [of the Treasure project], staff finds that we need specificity,” Senior Planner Francisco Astorga said. “We’ve got statements written such as ‘as soon as possible’ or ‘we will proceed with caution,’ ‘we will progressively plant material.’ We need to know what it is exactly they want to do.”
Commissioner Preston Campbell wasn’t satisfied either. “I want to make sure you… hear my frustration because I’ve asked very specific questions in the past.” He acknowledged there was a letter from Questar included in the proposal in response to past questions, and used that as an example of his frustration. “As Steve [Joyce] said, we got hundreds of questions on lots of items, and I’m just using [the gas letter], ‘How much do you need and we’ll tell you want it costs.’ And that’s just got nothing to do with what we’ve been asking for.”
Campbell asked the staff to compile a list of questions the commission had asked in previous meetings so that both the commission and the applicant could have a reference.
Commissioner John Phillips pointed out that projects of smaller-scale projects have offered more information with their applications. “I’ve seen much smaller projects with much greater detail, and one-line bullet points are vague and seem like strategies as opposed to plans,” he said. “I struggle with the big-picture information, and really understanding the details with the information given in regards to the recent information you’ve provided.”
Commission Chair Adam Strachan provided another example of how he believes the application missed an opportunity to provide the information they asked for. In reference to the Robinson Construction letter as an analysis of the excavation, Strachan quote the opening line, “After careful review of the proposed Treasure project, we are of the opinion that the excavation of the project can feasibly be completed within two to two and a half years.
“If blasting is required, mats and seismic monitoring will be utilized to be safely perform blasting operations and to keep vibration within acceptable levels.”
“That’s about as vague as it gets,” Strachan said. “What acceptable levels? What blasting materials? What seismic monitoring? What are the numbers? What are the specifics?”
He added, “You can’t just give us this letter that references things that we don’t know, and say, ‘Well look, it’s the opinion of an expert, we’re good to go.’ We need to delve into the specifics and analyze this. “It just feels like these [letters] are shill submittals that don’t provide the analysis that really gets us from Point A to Point B…
“To answer staff’s question are we willing to condition the project on the submittal of information in the future. No,” Strachan said.
Soil creep, the slow downward progression of rock and soil down a low grade slope, above Old Town homes and traffic on Lowell and Empire Avenues were also concerns stated.
Looking at an October determination date of whether to approve the conditional use permit, Strachan summed up: “If those specifics are there, we can’t determine, A. What the impacts are ,and B. How to mitigate them. If you want us to condition your project… you have to identify for us what the mitigaters are and to know that, we need to know what the impacts are…
“It’s always the specifics that matter. And if we don’t have them, we can’t help you. We can’t help anybody. Without the specifics we can’t approve. We just can’t.”
More information on the project, including the final transportation/traffic study report, is expected at the August 9 meeting.
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Park City officials on Tuesday are scheduled to reconfigure a key stretch of road in Old Town. The alteration involves the section of Park Avenue between the 9th Street and Deer Valley Drive intersections.