Jill Beathard

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December 18, 2012
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Council denies parking request

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - The Town Council on Dec. 17 unanimously voted against a resolution that would have allowed the Roaring Fork Mountain Club to lease parking passes in the upper numbered lots.

The Roaring Fork Mountain Club, which formerly operated out of the Silvertree Hotel and offered valet parking there, initially presented an application on Dec. 3 to continue its business at Timberline Condominiums. That application included a request for 30 permits in the upper numbered lots, normally sold to individuals, for its guests' vehicles and four spaces in lot 13 to be set aside for valet parking.

The applicants twice modified their request after receiving feedback from council and having the officials give them a continuance. Last week, the club offered to only utilize four spaces in lot 13 for valet parking and shuttle cars down to the Snowmass Chapel lot. Council members Fred Kucker and Jason Haber still saw problems with the plan: Kucker with the flow of traffic in lot 13 and Haber with the multiple trips that would be made by the vehicles.

The club offered another new proposal Dec. 17, this time requesting either 15 employee passes or 15 transferrable gold passes, which are sold every year to no more than 100 individuals, and offering to move the valet operation to the back of the lot where there is more space.

"When we left off our last discussion and followed on Fred's considerations ... we left off in an area in which there was no valet and all the cars were stopping at the chapel lot and the valet was going back and forth to the Timberline," said Councilman Chris Jacobson.

"I was surprised that we were going back this way," he added later. "Frankly I think we got a little fuzzier rather than more specific."

Mountain Club co-creator Jim Light said that he didn't think the members would be receptive to parking in the chapel and shuttling up, which was the only alternative Kucker would be responsive to.

However, Haber had concerns with that plan.

"Presently the chapel has an approval to have a building and a use there and a certain amount of parking," he said. "Can we document somewhere that there is additional capacity ... to allow use by another use?"

Butler suggested letting the club try one alternative for the season and evaluate its success.

"One of the reasons why this village has worked for years and years and years ... is we've learned how to work together across the aisle," Butler said. "What I'm hearing tonight is there are people on our council who want analysis and a lot of analysis and a lot of analysis. ... Why is it we can't take a little tiny piece of risk for this season?"

In the end, the council voted unanimously in opposition to the resolution as presented.

The officials also approved a resolution expressly denying the request at the end of the meeting. Mayor Bill Boineau had suggested another alternative, but he said he saw problems with the resolution.

"I think that this, my direction I was trying to go, would alleviate a lot of those issues," he said. "I think this resolution sets us up for trouble."


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 18, 2012 05:55PM Published Dec 18, 2012 05:53PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.