Crested Butte Briefs

Horizontal zoning changes in the works
The Crested Butte Town Council is moving to adjust the horizontal zoning ordinance. A public hearing on changes to the ordinance will be held on Monday, April 6 after the Board of Zoning and Architectural Review has a chance to review the proposed changes. Horizontal zoning prohibits some office uses on Elk Avenue in favor of retail space.
The new ordinance will allow the upper floor of a split-level building in the B-1 zone to be exempted from restrictions on office uses. The new regulations also relax the rules prohibiting office uses in the 000 block of Elk Avenue. That entails the formation of a new zone, B-4.
“We’ve listened to the public and made adjustments,” said Mayor Alan Bernholtz. “You can see that small town government does work.”



ORE in line for $10K
The council will consider a service agreement with the Office for Resource Efficiency at the next meeting. There was some confusion over the document before the council. Mayor Bernholtz wanted to make sure all members of the town staff were comfortable with the proposal. The $10,000 agreement outlines goals for ORE to accomplish for the town such as furthering sustainable education in town, expanding local energy and building policies, and shoring up recycling efforts in Crested Butte. The town wants semiannual updates as part of the agreement.

Council wants to comment on county regs
Town planner John Hess told the council he is busy evaluating proposed changes to the Gunnison County Special Development Regulations. He expects a public hearing on the matter to be held in May or June. In the meantime he wants the town to comment on the proposed changes. He hopes to get an email to the county concerning the proposal by the end of the week. Bernholtz told Hess he had received a number of calls from concerned constituents about the issue and he hoped the town would chime in with comments. They will.

Sales tax drops
Sales tax is continuing its downward trend. For January, sales tax in Crested Butte is off 11 percent compared to 2008. It is off a similar amount compared to 2007. Retail stores showed the biggest decline, followed by grocery sales and bars and restaurants.

If you eliminate the parking lot will you eliminate the cars?
Councilperson Skip Berkshire brought up the idea for council support of eliminating the proposed extra parking lot behind the expanded Community School. He suggested that the council was being hypocritical. “We don’t want to be talking out of both sides of our mouths,” he said. “We are demanding a LEED [Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design] certified building but saying it is okay to double the parking. We are encouraging people to drive automobiles. Does that really make sense?” he asked.
Councilperson Kimberly Metsch reminded Berkshire that a recreation facility might someday be built behind the school. “Having a parking area there would be needed,” she said.
Councilperson Reed Betz sided with Berkshire. “It does seem strange that we are asking for LEED certifications but encouraging more driving. Maybe if we need parking for a future rec facility we build it at that time.”
Town building and zoning director Bob Gillie told the council not to talk about the issue in a vacuum. “Some things you do in concert with your values and some things you do in concert with reality,” he said. “People will drive to the school and the baseball field and a recreation center.
“The school will contend that having a parking lot dedicated to high school students is a safety issue to separate them from grade school students,” he continued. “We would use the parking lot as multiple use for the baseball field and if there is a future rec facility there, is it a good idea to have them build the parking lot and not us?”
Gillie said the staff and marshals were meeting this week to go over traffic issues by the school. Metsch asked them to evaluate stop sign placement. Gillie said the council could voice their concerns at a school board meeting March 30, when the school district holds a public meeting about site plans for the expansion.
Building inspector is leaving
Gillie told the council that building inspector Scott LeFevre would be leaving the town. He has a new job with the Gunnison County Electric Association. “We’ll be taking applications soon to fill his position,” Gillie said.
Bernholtz gave a shout out to LeFevre and said he had been a great member of the staff.

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