Treasure dispute moves onto the actual mountain next week
September 9, 2016
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday is slated to tour the Treasure acreage, briefly trading the confines of the Santy Auditorium for the disputed hillside overlooking Old Town, in what is expected to be an important visit to the site as the panel continues to discuss the polarizing development proposal.
It will be the first tour led by the developers since 2009, during an earlier round of talks between the Treasure partnership and the Planning Commission. The development team, Planning Commissioners and staffers will hike part of the acreage. The site visit is open to the public. It is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. at the switchback where Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue meet.
The tour will precede a Planning Commission meeting about Treasure. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library. The Planning Commission is scheduled to continue to discuss issues related to square footage and hold a hearing at the meeting on Wednesday.
The Treasure partnership – consisting of the Sweeney family and a business partner known as Park City II, LLC – wants an approval from the Planning Commission for approximately 1 million square feet of development, including residences, commercial space and a conference center. The project would appear to be 13 separate buildings but would be connected underground.
The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured an overall approval for development at the Treasure site and nearby parcels of land but must win another one to proceed. Treasure opponents contend the proposal is larger than what was envisioned in the 1980s and, as it is designed, would overwhelm Old Town.
The visit to the site on Wednesday will offer a rare opportunity to walk the land with the development team. Similar tours in 2009 drew up to approximately 60 people.
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Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the Treasure discussions with the Planning Commission, said the developers will put stakes down at some of the locations where building corners would be situated. The stakes will include information like the height of the proposed building, the ground level and the depth of the anticipated excavation. The Treasure side, though, will not float balloons meant to show proposed heights, indicating that wind could hamper any visuals that rely on balloons floating at full height.
Sweeney said stakes will be put at approximately 25 building-corner locations. He said the tour on Wednesday is anticipated to stop at six points. Sweeney said the Treasure side will use the visit as evidence that the project designs, reaching toward 100 feet in height, are suitable for the site.
"We're hoping people can see it will fit back into the hillside. That would mitigate its size," Sweeney said.
Adam Strachan, the chair of the Planning Commission, said the panel wants the visit to provide an "on-the-ground understanding" of the scale of Treasure. That cannot be accomplished through drawings or other materials provided by the developers, he said. Strachan said he wants to learn about the anticipated excavation and the retaining walls that Treasure will require.
"It's going to help the public get an understanding of just how high these buildings may be," Strachan said about the visit to the site.
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