Sweeneys recast Treasure Hill | ParkRecord.com

Sweeneys recast Treasure Hill

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

The Sweeney family is readying for another round of talks with City Hall about its Treasure Hill development, recasting the project in the months since the discussions stalled in the face of neighborhood opposition and Planning Commission scrutiny.

Treasure Hill is among the largest developments under consideration inside Park City’s, and the Sweeneys spent considerable time with City Hall before retreating to revisit the blueprints.

Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in regards to Treasure Hill, says he expects new plans will be submitted to City Hall in the second half of March. Once they are filed with the government, the Planning Department will review them before they are brought to the city’s Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission will then likely hold a series of meetings and hearings before deciding whether the plans are appropriate. In previous hearings, neighbors have especially been worried about the traffic on streets like Empire Avenue and Lowell Avenue.

The neighbors have said the streets are not designed for more traffic, but the Sweeney side has said improvements planned along with Treasure Hill will reduce traffic and make the streets capable of handling more traffic.

"It’s basically a major refinement, if you will, of the original plan," Sweeney says about the new blueprints.

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According to Sweeney, some of the upgrades outlined in the new plans include:

( Architectural details that make the Treasure Hill buildings more interesting. They will not be designed as block-like buildings, Sweeney says, adding that the designs are "much more robust."

( A redesigned system of ski trails within the project. The runs will be designed for skiers and snowboarders who are solid beginners.

The Sweeneys plan to widen Lowell Avenue between the Treasure Hill site and Park City Mountain Resort, a crucial upgrade that is meant to make the road better fit to handle the traffic to and from Treasure Hill. The plans also include a sidewalk on the uphill side of Lowell Avenue and a people mover known as a cabriolet between Treasure Hill and the Town Lift Plaza.

Traffic has long been the critical issue with neighbors, and it is unlikely that the refined plans will convince people on Lowell Avenue, Empire Avenue and other nearby streets that the project is appropriate.

Meanwhile, the Sweeney family is considering options for work force housing tied to Treasure Hill, with Sweeney pledging there will be housing for workers on the site. The worker housing at Treasure Hill has been disputed before, but Sweeney says the family acknowledges it has a "moral obligation to contribute." He says the family will contribute money to build work force housing in addition to putting units within Treasure Hill.

Treasure Hill is seen as a mix of about 200 hotel rooms and about 100 condominiums on the slopes of Park City Mountain Resort. It would sit just west of Old Town near the Town Lift and the development would encompass 12 buildings.

The Sweeney family holds longstanding rights to develop Treasure Hill as part of an earlier overall approval for the project. The family, though, must obtain the proper approvals for the project’s details before it can start construction.

It would occupy a prime spot on the slopes and just off of Main Street, Park City’s most famous shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

Brooks Robinson, who manages the Planning Department and is involved in the Treasure Hill talks, says the Sweeneys’ new plans appear "substantially the same" as those reviewed earlier. He acknowledges some details have changed since the department last looked over Treasure Hill, though.

He says another set of hearings may be held in the spring.

"It probably meets the basic requirements. It will be up to the Planning Commission, with public input," to decide whether the plans meet the original approval for Treasure Hill, Robinson says.