Copper development decision postponed |

Copper development decision postponed

Bob Berwyn
Summit County correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit Daily NewsCopper Mountain wants to shift development capacity around its base area.

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colo. ” Summit County commissioners this week put off a final decision on Copper Mountain’s application to amend the resort’s base-area development plan.

A third hearing has been scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Peaks Room in the Mountain Plaza building at Copper Mountain.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the commissioners heard public comments on parking and transportation, as well as environmental and recreation issues associated with the plan to redistribute about 420 units of unbuilt density at the resort.

Commissioner Thomas Davidson asked the resort and county planners to provide assurances that could be used by future commissioners to ensure that resort lives up to its intentions to provide parking for all of its guests without affecting county roads.

“Is there a mechanism … to make sure that (resort) parking doesn’t become our traffic problem?” Davidson asked, suggesting there might someday be a need for a parking structure at the resort. “What happens if, despite all your best efforts, 6,000 people show up on the same day?”

Davidson’s concern was that future parking issues could arise once the resort has been developed completely, after all county building permits have been issued.

Copper Mountain vice president and general manager Gary Rodgers responded: “It’s not part of the PUD, and I’m not sure it should be.”

Rodgers said the resort might be open to discussing some sort of trigger that would require a parking structure at some point in the future.

If business at the resort grows to that extent, the economics of a parking structure could make more sense than they do now, he said.

Davidson also expressed concern about the timing of construction of a recreational path segment from Copper toward Fremont Pass. The path initially was envisioned as part of a plan to develop national forest land east of the resort for parking.

“I think we need to figure out the Fremont Pass recpath before we finalize this PUD … Saying we’ll we’ll figure it out later isn’t good enough for me,” Davidson said.

Rodgers said the resort is willing to partner with Summit County to study an alignment for the Fremont Pass recpath in an effort to resolve that question.

Several Copper residents and property owners spoke in general support of the revamped development plan, while other expressed concerns about development in the A-Lift neighborhood, and about the 135-foot height of a proposed hotel on the Chapel Lot.

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