Pitco takes up Redstone Inn plan
A plan to renovate and expand the historic Redstone Inn comes before the Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday, nearly two years after it was first proposed.In its distilled version, the plan calls for the addition of 15 guest rooms, 10 resort cabins, a new swimming pool and a platform tennis court. Owner John Gilmore has also agreed to build three duplexes that would be used for employee housing.The application, which first showed up at the county courthouse in the summer of 1997, includes a provision that would require creation of a new zoning district to give owners of historic properties more flexibility in redevelopment.The Redstone Inn, not to be confused with the Redstone Castle up the hill, is located on the east side of the Crystal River and the south end of the village of Redstone. It has been owned for nine years by hotelier Gilmore, who says he has yet to realize an operating profit from his investment.The proposal, scheduled for first reading before the commissioners this week, has changed dramatically from its original form, which sought to nearly double the size of the inn, currently 38,743 square feet. The latest request calls for 55,000 square feet of buildings and recreational facilities on the four-acre lot the inn sits on.Under the proposal, Gilmore would replace the greenhouse and fitness center with a three-story building that would include a meeting area and a new fitness room on the first floor, and 15 new guest rooms on the upper floors. Four of the resort cabins would be built near the inn.The other six resort cabins and the employee units would be built on a 17-acre lot across the Crystal River, currently the site of two trout ponds. A foot bridge would connect the parcels.While most of Gilmore’s proposals for the east side of the river can be accommodated with the current “village commercial” zoning designation, the 17-acre lot across the stream has proven troublesome. Existing zoning allows for the resort cabins to be built, but specifically bans the employee housing.To get around that problem, Gilmore and the planning staff have proposed a historical overlay district which would permit the employee housing. The proposed rezoning has been discussed since the application arrived at the planning department two summers ago.Although it has yet to be drafted, the planning staff has said the new zoning could be written to the advantage of both the county, which wants to preserve historic properties, and the owners of historic properties who would like to realize a profit from their investments.Redstone-area residents have generally been supportive of the proposal during three public meetings with the county Planning and Zoning Commission, although they’ve been consistent with their worries about parking for the entire project and access to the employee units and resort cabins across the river. The county planning staff is currently recommending a new driveway be built off Highway 133.Gilmore’s application has been reviewed twice by the Redstone Historic Preservation Commission and four times by the P&Z.
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