Speakers criticize Treasure with near uniformity | ParkRecord.com

Speakers criticize Treasure with near uniformity

by Jay Hamburger, of The Record staff

Speakers on Wednesday night with near uniformity criticized the Sweeney family’s idea to build the Treasure development on a hillside overlooking Old Town, saying the project does not fit into the surrounding neighborhood.

The criticism was expected and it closely resembled what’s been said at earlier Treasure hearings. But the Wednesday meeting of the Park City Planning Commission showed that the opposition movement remains emboldened months after Treasure became the key issue in last year’s City Hall elections.

Approximately 20 people testified during a one-hour hearing about Treasure, with the overwhelming sentiment against the development. Many of the speakers focused on the size of the proposed Treasure buildings in comparison to the smaller historic houses in Old Town.

"All I’m going to see is buildings. That’s the only view I have left," Jane Toly, who lives on Empire Avenue, said, adding, "I think a beautiful view is a mountain hillside."

Another speaker, Brian Van Hecke, an Empire Avenue resident and a leader in the Treasure opposition, said the project is "intolerable" and the hillside will be "forever changed" if the project is built as it is designed.

The Sweeneys on Wednesday, meanwhile, unveiled a much-anticipated model that shows the location of the Treasure buildings in relation to houses on neighboring streets. Planning Commissioners studied the model and the crowd was allowed to peer at it on a row-by-row basis.

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The project has been under consideration since 2004, and the idea of development at the site dates to a 1980s overall approval the Sweeneys won for the Treasure land and nearby parcels.

The Sweeneys want the Planning Commission to allow 200 hotel rooms and 100 condominiums on land just off streets like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue.

The Planning Commission seems to remain unconvinced that Treasure is designed as it should be. The panel, though, indicated that it could be ready to cast a vote as early as April 14, the next time Treasure is scheduled to be discussed.