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Grand County wants more information from developer before granting tubing hill permit

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News

Clark Lipscomb of Byers Peak Properties was given two weeks to provide county commissioners with information that might allow a special use permit for a proposed tubing hill business just outside of Fraser.

Until then, it had appeared the commissioners were going to deny the permit on Tuesday.

The permit would grant permission for Byers Peak to install a lift on property adjacent to the existing Fraser Tubing Hill. A parking area at the base of the hill already has been prepared, raising concerns about the disturbance to possible wetlands.

Lipscomb says any wetlands there were created by irrigation and that he is working with the Army Corp of Engineers on the issue.

Concerned about the possible wetlands, Fraser Valley resident Carol Sidofsky attended the county meeting to reproduce evidence to commissioners, saying that Nick Mezei of the Corps relayed to county planner Brandon Smith that the Corps “has to assume that the wetlands vegetation is caused by naturally induced sources until proven otherwise.”

This means the issue cannot be resolved until the ground thaws and vegetation grows.

Commissioners hesitated to grant the special use permit on two fronts Tuesday: the wetlands issue and Lipscomb’s admission that the property is part of a future Fraser annexation.

In regard to the former, commissioners told Lipscomb he was “piece-mealing” the project through two jurisdictions.

“When it comes to the impact of this to their town,” said Commissioner Nancy Stuart, “it should be the town of Fraser hearing this and not us.”

After telling Lipscomb that he is not partial to Grand Park billboards along the Fraser bicycle path, Commissioner James Newberry wondered if such billboards would be requested via the county if the tubing hill were to gain approval. When told they wouldn’t be, the commissioner went on to say that he agreed with Stuart’s point about the annexation and doesn’t feel there is adequate need for another tubing hill.

Commissioner Gary Bumgarner disagreed about the need, saying competition is healthy. However, he too thought the permitting was premature during the process of annexation.

A letter from the town of Fraser states its board does not have a position either way.

“It’s unfair to take the potential annexation with Fraser that may not occur,” then apply it to a decision, Lipscomb told commissioners. “That (annexation) could take three years or 10 years, or it could never happen. Right now, we’re in the jurisdiction of the county. We can’t go to Fraser and ask for this.”

Lipscomb was advised to get proof of the Army Corp’s position on the potential wetlands, as well as a more substantial opinion from the Town of Fraser about annexation.

The county hearing was continued to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.


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