Briefs Mt. Crested Butte

Sandwich board signs may get nod of approval
The Mt. Crested Butte Planning Commission is looking into policies that would allow the use of sandwich-board signs during winter—a time during which they are already used in the Crested Butte Mountain Resort base area but are technically not allowed.



On Tuesday, February 3, community development director Carlos Velado asked the Town Council to temporarily suspend the section of town code regulating the use of sandwich-board signs. “It seems that we’ll be making amendments to this section of the code and possibly allow them year-round, so while we’re working on it, we’re asking the council to suspend current regulations that prohibit them during the winter months,” he said.
“Right now we are not enforcing the code, so we’re basically going to lift them temporarily until we can come up with a set of rules we can enforce,” added mayor David Clayton.
Councilmembers did raise some concerns. Councilmember Danny D’Aquila wanted to ensure that any code regulated the quality of the signs, and Councilmember David O’Reilly wanted to know if the need for directional signs could be addressed. Town manager Joe Fitzpatrick said that CBMR is currently evaluating base area signage, and that directional signs could be added to the base area if the code allowed for it. The council supported the idea to suspend regulations until all those details could be sorted out.

Time Warner agreement extended
The town of Mt. Crested Butte will extend its current service agreement with Time Warner Cable Television System in order to finish negotiating a new agreement. A four-month extension will last until June 30, 2015.
“We are moving forward, but moving forward slowly,” said Fitzpatrick, “so in order to give us enough time to get everything lined up for updating and the new franchise agreement and getting everybody happy, we just need more time.”

Frustration over Metro Reserve District 2
Robert Orlinski, president of the property owner’s association in Metro Reserve District 2 which includes the platted portions of Prospector Park, appeared before the Town Council on February 2 to express his frustration and anger over redistricting that occurred in 2010, instigated by Crested Butte Mountain Resort and approved by the council. He alleged that it financially ruined property owners in District 2 and resulted in a loss of income for local taxing entities to the tune of $2 million.
“They broke us, we’re destitute,” he said, referencing a $45,000 tax bill.
Orlinski stopped short of making a request of the council but did suggest it had not been forthcoming with information about its approval of the redistricting.     In response, mayor Clayton said property owners attended two public meetings regarding the resolution, and no concerns had been raised. Fitzpatrick added that county reclassification of some of the land had a bigger influence on tax income.
Not satisfied with the council’s response, Orlinski will return before the council on February 17.

DDA revenue projections on the rise
Councilmember Gary Keiser confirmed that 2014 revenue for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is higher than anticipated. The DDA is projected to receive $51,000 in sales tax revenue for 2014, though that figure will not be final until December sales tax is in.
“And then there were some mill levy increases by taxing districts, which flows them into the DDA, so revenue in reference to projections is looking a little better,” Keiser said.
Property tax revenue is expected to be $489,154.83.
Concern over performing arts center
Councilmember D’Aquila raised a concern over the Biery Witt Performing Arts Center at the latest Town Council meeting, referencing the need to raise at least $7 million to build the facility. “Are we going to stall out on the performing arts center or do we have a new plan?” he wanted to know.
Town manager Fitzpatrick assured D’Aquila that the board for the performing arts center was evaluating the best way to go about raising the funds. Mayor Clayton also added that a joint committee is being formed between the Biery Witt Center and the Center for the Arts to see how the two organizations can work together.

Kudos for the Police Department
Members of the Town Council made a point of thanking police chief Nate Stepanek for the service of the Mt. Crested Butte Police. “In light of activities in other parts of the country, I would like to thank the chief and the department for the great job you’ve done,” said councilmember Gary Keiser.
“I would concur,” said mayor Dave Clayton. “You do a great job and keep situations from being a problem and we appreciate everything, because you never know what you’re going to run into.”

Open space belongs to Wildhorse
Community development director Carlso Velado let the council know that a discrepancy had been found on the plat of the Wildhorse development. Declarations ceded open space to the developer, but the plat dedicated it to the town. “We believe this was done in error,” Velado said, indicating that the open space should indeed have gone to the developer. The council gave town staff the go-ahead to fix the situation.

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