Sundeck plan still needs OK
Demolition of the Sundeck restaurant is scheduled to start inless than two weeks, but Pitkin County has not yet approved theconstruction management plan for its replacement. The Aspen Skiing Co. expects to start construction of the newrestaurant and club atop Aspen Mountain on about April 15, andmust have the demolition completed by then. But because changesmust be made to the Skico’s construction management plan, theBoard of County Commissioners, in a special meeting Tuesday, agreednot to rule on the plan until March 30. “We’re getting down to crunch time,” said Skico planner Bill Kane.Construction of the building must proceed on a very tight schedulein order to finish the new restaurant, as the Skico hopes, bynext Christmas. Kane told the BOCC the Skico has purchased four work carts forthe Silver Queen Gondola and intends to use the gondola extensivelyboth for personnel and materials during the construction project.”We think this can literally reduce the VMT [vehicle miles traveled]by thousands of miles,” Kane said. He also said the company hastentatively decided to limit materials deliveries to between 9a.m. and 4 p.m. The plan, said Kane, is to grind up large portions of the oldbuilding and, after mixing the material with compost from thecounty landfill, spread it on top of the mountain to grow flowers.”We believe in the reincarnation of this building,” he said. Because Little Annie Road on the back of the mountain will beone of the important routes for hauling materials to the constructionsite, the Skico has requested permission to plow it before itmelts off this spring. But because the road lies in the county’sRural and Remote zone district, county regulations forbid plowing.Commissioners agreed to allow the plowing by amending the land-usecode to permit plowing between specific dates for this seasononly. But Little Annie Basin residents took issue with that exception.Attorney Tom Smith, representing the Little Annie Homeowners Association,complained that there is no precedent for the early snowplowing.Neither the county nor the Skico has made preparations for thesafety issue that is sure to arise with large trucks using theroad, he continued. With pedestrians, bicyclists and motoristsusing the road, Smith said, conflicts are sure to occur. He askedthat the BOCC not approve the construction management plan. Little Annie homeowner Randy Gold continued the attack. “We can’tsupport something that’s so outrightly prohibited,” he said regardingthe plowing. He said the Skico is trying to construct the buildingtoo quickly and intensively. Commissioner Mick Ireland disagreed, noting the quick constructionschedule would minimize the time the neighbors would be affectedby construction inconvenience. The BOCC and county staff had not had time to look at the Skico’sfinal version of the construction plan, which was distributedbefore the meeting. For that reason and because of the requiredchanges, commissioners agreed to continue the issue until nextweek. David Bellack, a Skico attorney and vice president, was heardto remark to attorney Boots Ferguson, “Justice delayed is justicedenied.”
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.