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Prince home plans must return to planning commission, appeal panel finds

A rendering of the proposed home on Treasure Hill.
Park City Municipal
A rendering of the proposed home on Treasure Hill.

A controversial 11,000-square-foot home proposed atop Treasure Hill must return to the Park City Planning Commission for review, a quasi-judicial panel decided Tuesday night.

The property under review belongs to billionaire Matthew Prince, CEO of cybersecurity company Cloudflare.

In a split vote, the Park City Planning Commission approved Prince’s home plans in February. Neighbors Eric Hermann and Susan Fredston-Hermann appealed the decision, triggering a review by the city’s new three-member appeal panel. Eight other Park City area residents also signed on to the appeal.

The quasi-judicial appeal panel consists of former planning commissioner and lawyer Adam Strachan, real estate agent Esteban Nunez, and Matthew Day, who works in private equity.

After hearing arguments from the appellants and Prince’s lawyers for about six hours, the panel rendered a decision shortly after 11 p.m.

The panel denied the appeal but decided to send Prince’s home application back to the planning commission.

Strachan and Day found that commissioners didn’t properly analyze the sensitive lands overlay, a zone that restricts development.

They ordered the planning commission to determine if the zone applies to Prince’s lot. If so, the commission is being asked to figure out if breaking ground there is allowed, and if so, what the impacts will be and how they should be mitigated.

“I think they missed this,” Strachan said. “I think there’s disputed evidence in the record about where the sensitive land overlay line is and whether it can even bisect a lot like this… the planning commission has to look at that closely, because if there’s very steep slopes in the area as defined under the code, those impacts need to be carefully treated.”

Day agreed, and said in the case of ambiguity, it’s best to get a second look.

“I’m coming around to sending it back for this reason and this reason alone,” Day said. “This is not to open up the rest of the argument for the rest of the house and the heights and all sorts of stuff. I think that’s fine. It’s just this issue as it relates to safety.”

Nunez, who voted against sending it back to the planning commission, agreed with Prince’s lawyers that the sensitive zone doesn’t intersect the property.

The panel heard from more than 15 people during public comment Tuesday, including seven involved in the appeal.

So far, no date has been set for when Prince’s home plans will return to the planning commission. Until then, the family won’t be able to break ground on Treasure Hill.