Council to consider shifting Slate River access by Rec Path bridge

Keeping the area simple and natural…but dogs not allowed

[ By Mark Reaman ]

The town of Crested Butte is preparing to make some changes to the river access at the Rec Path bridge in Paradise Park. A boat launch is being constructed in the Aperture subdivision to move the spot where most paddle boarders will enter the Slate River in the spring and summer. The west side of the river where most people access and hang out in the river will be closed as of next summer for restoration as it is owned by the Martens family. Staff presented a conceptual plan to council on Monday, October 4 that outlined a way for ADA access to the water on the east side of the river. A gravel path would be constructed and some wetland restoration work would be done on the far bank across from the neighborhood.

“The neighbors in the area said they wanted any improvements to be simple and natural,” said town Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails director Janna Hansen. “We hope to apply for a GOCO (Great Outdoors Colorado) grant to help pay for the work. Construction in 2022 is the goal.”

The idea is being pitched in coordination with a plan for Paradise Park subdivision lots 1 and 2 that includes improved ADA parking, a snowcat barn with public restrooms on a town-owned lot for CB Nordic and a triplex to house town employees. Town planner Mel Yemma said neighbors that attended a recent meeting on the changes were in favor of most of the proposals and she too emphasized their desire to keep the area simple and natural.

Councilmember Jasmine Whelan asked if dogs would be allowed since so many are currently brought to the area by their owners. Hansen made it clear that dogs are not allowed under the previous annexation agreement so the town planned to make that more clear through increased signage and enforcement in the future.

Staff will bring a final site plan for the council to consider at the October 18 meeting.

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