Sweeney: Bonanza Park, PCMR have potential if Treasure project shifted | ParkRecord.com

Sweeney: Bonanza Park, PCMR have potential if Treasure project shifted

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

A Sweeney family representative said Monday there is an equal chance of the Treasure development rights being transferred to either Park City Mountain Resort or the Bonanza Park district should an agreement be reached between the Sweeneys and City Hall to protect the Treasure land from development.

Mike Sweeney, one of the family’s negotiators, though, said another site under consideration — Deer Valley Resort’s Snow Park parking lots — would not be considered by the family. Sweeney, meanwhile, said he wants Park City officials to discuss designating Main Street as a spot where the development rights could be moved toward if an agreement is reached.

The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday is scheduled to hold a meeting about the idea to allow landowners to shift development rights off their properties, a scenario that insiders call transferring development rights or transferring density rights. Such a program could significantly impact the discussions about a Treasure-related conservation deal. The current talks by the Planning Commission, though, are not focused on a Treasure deal.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building. The Planning Commission is not scheduled to take testimony. A vote is not scheduled.

The Planning Commission recently indicated Bonanza Park, Park City Mountain Resort and the Deer Valley parking lots could be proper places to transfer development rights toward. The Treasure land and undeveloped lots in Old Town were suggested as places where development could be shifted from. Transferring development rights normally also involves a payment to the landowner.

Other sites that could be discussed on Wednesday include Silver Lake and the Park City Heights land along the S.R. 248 entryway.

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Sweeney said he wants to address the Planning Commission on Wednesday, with his comments focused on considering Main Street as a place to transfer development toward. He said Main Street sites like the abandoned Claimjumper building, a parcel controlled by the Kimball Art Center and the Brew Pub lot should be under consideration.

The Wednesday meeting, rescheduled from one that was canceled due to poor weather in late November, could draw interest from figures in the land that is under discussion.

Mark J. Fischer, who has significant land holdings in the Bonanza Park district, said he is willing to enter negotiations that could result in the Treasure development rights being transferred to his parcels. All of the development rights tied to the Treasure land could be positioned in Fischer-controlled land if City Hall loosens restrictions on the height of buildings in Bonanza Park, Fischer said.

"I’m very good friends with the Sweeney family. I certainly would like to be part of the solution," Fischer said. "I am engaged and willing to work with the Sweeneys and the city in any way to help resolve this complicated issue."

Fischer had previously tapped Mike Sweeney to manage events at The Yard, a Fischer endeavor, but he does not have development-related business with the Sweeney family, Fischer said.

Fischer said Bonanza Park is an "ideal location" for the Treasure development rights to be shifted toward, noting that the land is level and roads are already in place. He said concentrating development there could also lead to a transit hub in Bonanza Park. That would reduce traffic in Old Town, Fischer said.

Bob Wells, the Deer Resort vice president, said numerous issues would need to be addressed before Snow Park could be considered as a site. A PCMR official did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

City Hall does not currently offer a program that allows landowners to shift development rights elsewhere. Officials say the discussions are not exclusively linked to Treasure, but a program would make it possible to transfer all or part of the development rights at the site elsewhere.

The Sweeney family holds longstanding development rights on the Treasure land, situated on a hillside overlooking Old Town and close to streets like Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue. The family and the Planning Commission have been locked in negotiations for years with only moderate progress. Negotiating teams from the Sweeneys and City Hall have been trying to craft a conservation deal.