The 30-year saga of Treasure Hill’s development is heading towards resolution this fall. The Park City Council is forging ahead with a $48 million bond, leaving the future of Treasure Hill in voters’ hands. The cost to taxpayers represents a reduction from the $54 general obligation bond after Budget Manager Nate Rockwood cobbled together additional funds from the city’s budget to go towards the total $64 million to purchase and preserve Treasure Hill.
Treasure Hill’s densely forested slopes loom above Park City’s historic Old Town, but the area’s development plans include more than a million feet of mixed-use development including condos and a high rise hotel. Park City residents will have the chance to preserve this iconic open space at the ballot box. It will be familiar feeling for many, as voters overwhelmingly agreed to the $25 million bond to help purchase Bonanza flats in 2016.
“I absolutely support the bond because Treasure Hill development will only make Old Town more crowded and less desirable. The town would be overwhelmed,” says Park City resident James Huser. “That said, we all bought Bonanza Flats, and at some point there’s going to be fatigue for bonds to purchase public lands.”
Many are feeling déjà vu over the issue, but the City Council and Planning Commission are hoping this is the final big purchase required to protect Park City’s remaining opens spaces. To that end, the bond also includes $3 million to secure a conservation easement for the Armstrong Property in Thaynes Canyon. The bond, if approved, would cost the owners of a $799,000 property around $190 per year. The cost would be more for owners of a second home or rental property.
Handwringing over development is an honored local pastime in Park City, but worries surrounding Treasure Hill development isn’t the town crying wolf. Large-scale expansion in Old Town will fundamentally shift Park City’s character, so it’s not a matter anyone should take lightly. The Sweeney family—who owns Treasure Hill and has development rights—is fully justified in seeking maximum return on their investment, and it’ll be up to Parkites to decide what that looks like.
The finalized bond resolution will be issues on August 16th, and we will be following the issue for any updates.