Crested Butte council briefs

Payment-in-lieu of parking fees going up

Starting in January, the cost of paying the town of Crested Butte for parking instead of providing physical spaces will increase from $9,600 to $13,000. The Crested Butte Town Council approved the rate increase at their Monday, October 6 meeting.


Payment-in-lieu of parking fees going up
Starting in January, the cost of paying the town of Crested Butte for parking instead of providing physical spaces will increase from $9,600 to $13,000. The Crested Butte Town Council approved the rate increase at their Monday, October 6 meeting.
The town’s Board of Zoning and Architectural Review (BOZAR) had recommended raising the payment-in-lieu of parking fee to $18,000 based on the cost of land in town. The fees are supposed to be used for purchasing property for parking lots in town.
The council agreed to raise the fee to $20,000 but felt the pain would be better spread over three years. So, the payment fee will rise to $13,000 per space in 2009, to $16,500 in 2010 and to $20,000 in 2011.
Town building and zoning director Bob Gillie promised that the fee increase would be revisited every year.
RTA Bus shelter put on hold
The council put on hold the construction of a bus shelter at the new Four-way Stop area. The 17-by six-foot shelter was originally planned for the Rural Transportation Authority bus stop at Sixth and Sopris. But Cathy Benson, owner of Benson-Sotheby’s International Realty, whose office is located next to the Alpineer, wrote a letter to the town objecting to the proposed bus stop.
The letter states that passengers “use our bathrooms as public bathrooms, sit on our property, smoke and drop cigarettes and beverage cans on the ground.” She said the shelter would block the view of her business from public view. She suggested moving the RTA shelter and the pick-up point to either the parking lot at the Chamber of Commerce or the spot at Sixth Street and Belleview Avenue where people hitchhike from town.
 The council will take another look at the plan and decide whether to pursue construction of the shelter at the planned location, move the shelter or abandon the plans altogether.
Museums to be added to possible T-zone uses
The council instructed the town attorney to draft an ordinance that will allow museums as a conditional use in the Crested Butte T-zone. That zone has traditionally been reserved for hotel and lodging operations but also allowed conditional uses for high-density residential projects and offices.
The Building Department recently received a proposal for a Children’s Museum to be built in the T-zone on Gothic Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets.
While the change in the ordinance will allow the town to consider a museum in the T-zone, it must go through the application process and is not guaranteed approval. The town is already looking at the issue of parking congestion at the proposed site for the Children’s Museum. The attorney will adjust the ordinance to allow museums to be considered as a use in the T-zone.
Building department update
Members of BOZAR took a field trip to Telluride last week to look at big building projects in the town. The board wants to be prepared when the Sixth Street Station project comes in for a building application, which should be sometime soon, according to building official Bob Gillie. The Sixth Street Station project includes large retail and lodging buildings along with underground parking. That project is slated to be built on the north side of Crested Butte and Gillie said the BOZAR members “wanted to get their minds wrapped around the large scale of the project.”
Gillie also informed the council that BOZAR is working on adding some design guidelines to the town regulations that deal with energy efficiency such as including solar panels on structures.
Parks and Recreation update
Parks and Recreation director Jake Jones said the new pavilion at Rainbow Park was going up on schedule. The new structure replaces the one that was crushed beneath last winter’s massive snowfall. Jones said he is hoping that the new soccer field will be unveiled in a big way with a state play-off soccer game. The Crested Butte Titans will host a state game October 22 if they beat Ridgway this Thursday; Jones said there would be no better way to open the new field. “That would be a really great grand opening,” he said.
Jones said the town was getting ready to put in the chain link fence guard around the Big Mine Park ice rink. The chain link will be installed to protect spectators from flying pucks during hockey games. Last winter there was no fence or glass around the rink and a Gunnison student, Evan Ferchau, was injured when a puck hit him in the face while he was watching a high school hockey contest. The Ferchau family has notified Crested Butte officials they may sue the town if a settlement cannot be reached. The chain link fence will be installed before hockey season gets under way. The boards at the rink are also being repaired.
Jones told the council that the fields in Crested Butte would be sprayed October 13 and 14 to continue the assault on dandelions. And the flower boxes on Elk Avenue will be picked up soon to begin their winter hibernation.
In an effort to develop a parks and recreation master plan, at least a half-dozen inquiries have been received to compile the plan. Jones said the deadline for applications to develop the master plan is October 27.
The council will next meet Tuesday, October 14 for a budget work session. The public is welcome to attend.

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