The on-going battle over the proposed Treasure Hill project that would dwarf Park City’s Old Town by putting a major resort on the hill above, took an unexpected turn this week.
Jay Hamburger of the Park Record reported last Thursday: “Park City leaders and the Treasure partnership on Wednesday evening said an alternative to the disputed hillside development is under negotiation, a startling statement made as it appeared a momentous vote on the project was looming as early as next week.”
This was quite a switch from the months of planning commission clashes between the Sweeney family that owns the property, and argues its natural progress, and activists with THINC, who bitterly oppose it as destructive to Park City’s mountain town vibe.
Treasure Hill is the “line in the sand,” activists say, that will change Park City forever.
As Salt Lake magazine reported in December 2016, the road to the Treasure Hill mess is complicated, but seems rooted in a naive 1980s city council that signed off on an open-ended agreement that would let the Sweeneys put just about any development on the hillside that includes Town Lift Mid-Station and Creole Gulch.
Opinion now is sharply divided over whether the city council approved the project as a cluster of residences, condos, maybe a small hotel—or as a massive resort hotel on the scale of Montage. But the approved plan lacked detail and included problematic text, such as “Final unit configuration and mix may be adjusted by future developers … .”
Now reportedly, Mayor Jack Thomas and Mayor-elect Andy Beerman briefed the Planning Commission on an alternative agreement that might be reached within days.
It’s interesting is that an unsophisticated ’80s city council got PC into this mess and now a hopefully more savvy 2017 city government—so far without public input—is apparently trying to wriggle out.