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The Park City Council has put on hold a plan to spend millions in tax dollars to reduce density on the proposed 1.1 million-square-foot Treasure Hill project abutting the town's historic district.

Council members said more details were needed about the latest plan to downsize the development.

After months of negotiations with the brothers who own the property, Ed, Mike and Pat Sweeney, Park City officials had considered two options to reduce the size of the proposal near Lowell Avenue in Old Town.

One would buy down all the approved density for an amount that had yet to be determined. The Sweeneys had rejected an offer of $48 million.

The second, and more popular, plan would ask voters whether they are willing to spend $15 million to buy down the density by 25 percent. Another 25 percent would be moved to another location near Park City Mountain Resort under that plan.

But the City Council announced last week that it's back to the drawing board after determining that details were lacking in the $15 million option.

On its face, that plan would have reduced the scope of the project by 50 percent, said Brian Van Hecke of a citizens group called Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, or THINC. The problem, he pointed out, is that it remained unclear whether that would mean 50 percent of 1.1 million square feet or 50 percent of the original approval given to the Sweeneys of 415,000 square feet.

"I think it's wise the City Council is taking the appropriate amount of time to do their due diligence," Van Hecke said. "The public needs specifics on the true scale of the project."

In 1986, the Sweeneys were granted approval for 415,000 square feet on their land near the Creole ski run at Park City Mountain Resort just west of the historic district.

Several years ago, the Sweeneys put forth another proposal that defined a development of more than 1 million square feet. The Park City Planning Commission appeared poised to give it a negative recommendation when the City Council called a halt to the process.

According to Mayor Dana Williams, the council initiated the talks because officials feared if the Planning Commission gave a thumbs down, the Sweeneys would seek redress in court, leaving Park City with a legal settlement as a planning guideline.

Ed Sweeney declined to comment.

The next step is for the council to define what 50 percent of the plan would entail before resuming negotiations with the Sweeneys, said Councilwoman Liza Simpson.

"It became clear we had to drill down and get more information before we could put it to voters," she said.