Town approves site for Nordic Center’s new maintenance shed

Neighbors not pleased with compromise

Unless the current Crested Butte Parks and Recreation Master Plan comes up with a surprise recommendation, the Nordic Center will get its dream shed located a few yards from its main building in Big Mine Park. The 22-foot-high, 50-foot-long shed was salvaged from the old Peanut Mine site and will be placed adjacent to Second Street and the alley south of Whiterock Avenue.



“I’ve been looking for a shop since I was appointed director of the Nordic Council four years ago,” said Keith Bauer during the regular Town Council meeting on Monday night. He said he has looked at several sites in conjunction with the town and this was the best location.
The neighbors have disagreed with that assessment for months. “We are getting a big building across the street from my house that will impact snow shed, noise and views,” said neighbor Channing Boucher. “I don’t know what it ultimately means to my lifestyle. It will be 29 feet away from my second bedroom. I’ve always been a big supporter of the Nordic Council. I’d like a compromise and see it moved back and more behind the willows that are there. This is a life-changing event and I hope there can be some compromise.”
Geo Bullock agreed with Boucher. He showed the council a photo of massive snow in the alley and expressed concern with snow shedding issues.
Mayor Alan Bernholtz said it was a tough issue. He asked that as part of the lease with the Nordic Center, the town require them to move snow that encroaches on the alley from the building. He also asked that noise be limited.
Councilman Dan Escalante didn’t like it at all. “Putting the shed there will make the whole area look more industrial,” he said. “It’s not the best location—it is the easiest location. I’d really like to see that area of town become greener and look like Big Mine Park rather than be industrial.”
“To me it is light industrial use,” added Boucher. “It will be a garage where they work on the snowcat. It’s more appropriate for Belleview. We are taking public open space and putting up a shop.”
“We’ll be doing simple maintenance in there,” promised Bauer.
Councilmember Billy Rankin said that perhaps the town should wait until the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is completed in February. “We are paying an outside consultant to figure this all out,” he said. “It seems premature to me. We should wait until we see the master plan.”
Nordic Council board member Missy Ochs said the county had awarded a $4,000 grant to be used on the building and that money had to be spent before the end of the year. It is earmarked for town fees.
“I’ll give you twice as much to not put that building there,” quipped Boucher.
Bauer said the chances of the master plan prohibiting the building from being there was slim. “The master plan won’t create more land in town,” he said. “We’ve looked all over for a site. We looked at the town ranch, out by the bus barn. There just isn’t any more land.”
“That’s why we are paying outside consultants,” said Rankin. “They may come up with a new idea we don’t see.”
Bernholtz said that as part of the compromise, if the master planners recommended not putting the Nordic Shack in Big Mine Park, the council could reserve the right to move the site.
“I want to make sure we take care of the places where people live,” reiterated Escalante. “I really am struggling with this site.”
In the end, the town allocated the site for the building but reserved the chance to move it if the town Parks and Recreation Master Plan came back with a recommendation that wasn’t compatible. Escalante voted against allowing that location.

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