Treasure talks further complicated as nearby developer emerges
Combined impacts of the two projects will be closely scrutinized
February 7, 2017
Many people in Old Town, particularly along Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue, are already dismayed with the idea to build the Treasure project on a hillside overlooking Old Town close to the route of the Town Lift.
Another developer in early February publicized plans for a significant project nearby, a concept that, it seems, will draw extra attention based on its proximity to the much larger Treasure. Though they are separate projects, Treasure and an eventual CRH Partners, LLC proposal will likely be seen by critics as related nonetheless as they outline the concerns about each. Members of the Park City Planning Commission, which are amid a review of Treasure and are expected to begin discussing the CRH Partners, LLC project in coming months, could also raise questions about the combined impacts, such as the traffic the two projects will be expected to generate.
It is an unusual situation in recent years involving two sizable development proposals in such close proximity. Drivers headed to the two projects, as an example, would be expected to heavily use Lowell Avenue.
"I would expect that we both get the same banter, the same traffic concerns . . . as expressed by the neighbors and other people in Park City," acknowledged Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the Treasure discussions.
The Treasure acreage was traditionally held by the Sweeney family and is now under the ownership of a partnership involving the family and a firm known as Park City II, LLC. CRH Partners, LLC, meanwhile, in January acquired its 18.5 acres, located along Lowell Avenue immediately south of the Marriott MountainSide.
Sweeney said the development prospects of the CRH Partners, LLC land have long been understood. He said Treasure studies have "factored in a certain amount of traffic" tied to a development someday on the CRH Partners, LLC land. He does not want the Treasure discussions to be made more complicated as a result of the possibility of development on the other land.
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"I think it will be mentioned by people concerned about more traffic on the roads," Sweeney said, adding, "People will not remain silent on that . . . They'll be concerned about both."
City Hall officials have not received an application from CRH Partners, LLC. The developers have indicated they are considering, perhaps, between 130,000 and 140,000 square feet, a far smaller project than the approximately 1 million square feet envisioned on the Treasure land. Bruce Erickson, the planning director at City Hall, said the municipal government's General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth, pushes staffers to consider the "cumulative effects" of development.
"We can't look at them together because they're individual applications," Erickson said, noting that the parking lots at Park City Mountain Resort are another potential development site in the vicinity of the other two.
He compared the thinking to the development pattern over the years in Deer Valley, saying City Hall considers the overall impact of the various projects as individual ones are reviewed.
A representative of CRH Partners, LLC said fewer issues should arise as the project is considered. Hans Fuegi, though, declined to discuss the details of Treasure as they relate to CRH Partners, LLC's plans. He said a project would burden "a lot less people on Empire" than Treasure would.
"There's really not that many neighbors that will be impacted across the road," Fuegi said, describing that the project's influence should not stretch south of the site along Empire Avenue.
Fuegi said a private meeting with the neighborhood is planned on Thursday.
A Treasure opposition group, known as the Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, is expected to closely follow the CRH Partners, LLC proposal alongside its long-running monitoring of Treasure. Brian Van Hecke, the leader of the opposition group, said the CRH Partners, LLC project will intensify the concerns about Treasure.
"It's obviously going to complicate things because now we're talking about additional density on narrow, sensitive streets," Van Hecke said.
He said there is concern drivers headed to the CRH Partners, LLC site could get lost or attempt to bypass roads like Park Avenue during busy times, sending them onto the roads where the Treasure worries are greatest. Van Hecke said a new traffic study should be conducted looking at the combined numbers of Treasure, a CRH Partners, LLC project and development potential at the PCMR parking lots.
CRH Partners, LLC acquired the acreage as the Planning Commission continues a difficult discussion about Treasure. The panel on Wednesday will hold a public hearing about Treasure but is not expected to discuss the project in any depth. The sides in the Treasure discussions are waiting for traffic counts that are scheduled to be taken over Presidents Day weekend, traditionally a busy, three-day run for the ski industry. The Planning Commission meeting is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. in the Park City Council chambers at the Marsac Building.
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