Treasure deal: will the price be right for Parkites?
July 22, 2011
City Hall and the Sweeney family next week intend to reveal the price tags attached to conservation deals for all or part of the family’s Treasure land, dollar figures that will likely be of great interest in a community that could be asked to finance a deal through a ballot measure.
Both sides declined to discuss the numbers late last week. The amount of money that will be attached to a conservation deal has been the most anticipated detail yet to emerge from the long-running talks between negotiating teams from City Hall and the Sweeney family.
It has been expected that a conservation deal could reach into the tens of millions of dollars, depending on its breadth, and could be City Hall’s most expensive land deal. The two sides are considering two options one that would eliminate the prospects of development on The Treasure land altogether and one that would reduce the amount of development that could occur at the site by 50 percent.
Mike Sweeney, one of the family’s representatives, acknowledged some Parkites will see the price tag attached to the option that eliminates development at the site altogether as being too high.
He described a scenario that he said Parkites might be more amenable to that would reduce the scope of development at the Treasure site itself by 50 percent, lowering the price of a conservation deal significantly. That scenario would keep 50 percent of the Treasure development at the site and could allow upward of 25 percent of the development rights to be shifted toward a site uphill from the Park City Mountain Resort base area. The rest of the development rights could be purchased through a taxpayer-funded conservation deal.
The two sides are scheduled to hold an open house on Tuesday to explain the options and gather opinions. The three-hour gathering is set to start at 4 p.m. in the foyer of the Eccles Center. The organizers plan to provide information about the history of the Treasure project and agreements between the Sweeney family and Park City Mountain Resort.
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Jon Weidenhamer, who manages City Hall’s economic development programs and is one of the municipal government’s representatives in the Treasure talks, anticipates up to 250 people could attend on Tuesday.
The Sweeney family holds longstanding development rights at the Treasure site, situated on a hillside overlooking Old Town close to the route of the Town Lift. The family spent years in talks with the Park City Planning Commission with only marginal progress, resulting in the current discussions about development shifts and conservation deals.
It is not clear how Parkites will react to the price tags that will be unveiled next week. It is likely, though, that the Treasure opposition will see a conservation deal as worthwhile while others will be wary of supporting a ballot measure that would raise taxes to finance a deal.