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Contested Prince Treasure Hill home returns to Park City Planning Commission

A rendering of the proposed home sitting above the Treasure Hill skyline. The view projected is from the perspective of city hall. The proposed home is four and a half stories, with two levels considered basements because they’re below grade.
Park City Municipal
A rendering of the proposed home sitting above the Treasure Hill skyline. The view projected is from the perspective of City Hall.

Park City planners will reconsider details of billionaire Matthew Prince’s proposed home on Treasure Hill Wednesday.

Earlier this year the planning commission approved Prince’s 11,000-square-foot home plans. Then several neighbors appealed the decision, citing a violation of local development rules.

A three-member city panel rejected the appeal, but tasked the commission to review the sensitive land overlay, or SLO, a zone that restricts development.

The city’s zoning map shows a portion of the Prince property is within the SLO. However, the lot is part of a special area along Treasure Hill called the Sweeney Master Planned Development, which historically hasn’t been subject to the SLO.

On Wednesday the planning commission will be asked to determine whether the SLO applies or not.

The property, owned by Matthew and Tatiana Prince, is on the upper portion of Treasure Hill, and in some areas has slopes exceeding 40%.

A lawyer for Eric and Susan Hermann, Prince’s next-door neighbors leading the appeal, said the SLO should apply and that the project doesn’t comply with its requirements. A document submitted by the Hermanns’ lawyer for Wednesday’s meeting states construction of the home would require excavating over 11,000 cubic yards of earth, similar to the Kings Crown development near Park City Mountain, which suffered a landslide in 2022 after record winter snowfall.

Eric Hermann said Park City needs to apply the SLO regulations as a matter of safety.

“I believe the city has a duty to protect its citizens,” Hermann said. “There is no way that the dangers of the contemplated excavation can be sufficiently mitigated that citizens, property and lives will not be at risk.”

Bruce Baird, one of the attorneys representing Prince, said the Cloudflare CEO’s land has vested rights that mean the SLO does not apply. He said the Princes have just as much interest in making sure the site is safe.

“The first victim of any landslide would be the Princes,” Baird said. “They have every incentive to make sure that the mountain doesn’t landslide, because it would be their house that gets hurt first.”

Baird said they have geotechnical reports that support the project’s safety and they plan to monitor their contractor on site during construction.

After the Hermanns filed their first appeal of Prince’s home, the billionaire filed two lawsuits in Third District Court against the couple. One centers around a driveway easement across the Hermann’s lot and involves the couple’s two Bernese Mountain dogs. Prince said the Hermanns violated off-leash laws on the trail connecting their property. The other lawsuit pertains to a rock wall protruding over the neighbors’ property line.

Matthew and Tatiana Prince purchased The Park Record in March 2023.

Wednesday’s planning commission meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The agenda and a link to attend virtually can be found here.

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