Treasure developers craft argument for vast garage
Hundreds of spaces needed as a result of prohibition on street parking
The Treasure partnership and critics of the development proposal are expected to park themselves at the Marsac Building on Wednesday.
The Park City Planning Commission is scheduled to continue the long-running talks about the project with a discussion that will include parking and related topics like vehicle circulation within the project boundaries.
Parking will likely be of great interest to Planning Commissioners and people who live on nearby roads like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue. Treasure critics are concerned about the traffic the project will attract. Parking will be a complementary topic to the difficult discussions about traffic.
A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Thursday indicates the developers want to build 424 parking spots between the two Treasure development locations, known as Creole Gulch and the Mid-Station site. Most of the parking – 371 spots – would be built at Creole Gulch while 53 spots would be put at the Mid-Station location, the report says. The parking spots would be built underneath the development itself. The garage would cover a little more than 262,000 square feet, according to the report.
The Treasure partnership, involving the Sweeney family and a firm known as Park City II, LLC, has designed Treasure in a fashion that will allow the developers to prohibit project parking on nearby streets, including Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue. As a result of the prohibition, the large garage is needed on the Treasure site itself, said Pat Sweeney, who represents the Sweeney family in the Treasure discussions. The 424 spots are needed “if you want that ban to be effective,” Sweeney said.
“We want to have ample parking,” he said.
But it is almost certain Treasure critics will question the vastness of the parking square footage. They could contend that the capacity of the garage will attract more drivers to Treasure than the developers anticipate. Treasure-related traffic has been a key concern for critics. Sweeney acknowledged the Treasure opposition will challenge the capacity of the garage.
Sweeney also said the prohibition of street parking by Treasure will be beneficial for snow-removal operations and allow designs of loading docks that are off the street.
The meeting on Wednesday could also address topics like access by emergency vehicles, deliveries, zones for loading and unloading as well as screening for the places where trash will be picked up.
Parking has for years been one of the divisive issues in Park City as leaders and residents, particularly those in Old Town, struggle with crowds descending on the community in vehicles. Street parking is regulated by permits in a swath of tightly packed Old Town while parking lots sometimes overflow onto streets elsewhere on busy ski days.
The Treasure partnership is seeking an approval for approximately 1 million square feet of development on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured an overall permit for development on the Treasure land and nearby parcels before selling a stake in the project to form the partnership. The Planning Commission talks about the current Treasure proposal have extended for longer than a decade with various starts, stops and restarts.
The results of an important traffic study conducted by the partnership on the Saturday of the three-day Presidents Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest days of the year in Park City, will not be available at the meeting on Wednesday. The Treasure side plans to forward the results of the traffic study, conducted at key intersections, to City Hall in anticipation of a Planning Commission meeting that will be held in April.
The Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building. A hearing is planned.
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Park City leaders next week plan to showcase a City Hall workforce or otherwise restricted housing development in Old Town, highlighting one of what is expected to be a series of significant municipal projects in coming years.