Grand Lake hikes price of parking for developers, revisits center leases, plans for April election
The cost of under-parking a new development in Grand Lake is about to explode with the board of trustees unanimously backing a resolution Monday raising the town’s fee from $1,000 to $20,000 per missing space.
Generally speaking, towns and cities have set formulas based on things like the size and intended use of a developer’s project to decide how many parking spaces the municipality should require the developers to build. However, a number of Colorado municipalities also allow developers to under-park their developments by paying fees in lieu of building those parking spaces. Grand Lake is one of them.
Before Monday’s board meeting, Town Manager John Crone made no recommendation for a new fee as he offered a comparison of other Colorado towns that also allow fees in lieu of parking.
In the comparison were fees assessed by Breckenridge ($20,511), Central City ($30,504), Steamboat Springs ($25,000), Telluride ($20,00-$38,000), Louisville ($20,898), Glenwood Springs ($8,000) and Winter Park, which charges developers based on the actual cost of replacement parking.
During Grand Lake’s discussions, it was said the national average for building a single parking space was over $20,000, and that seemed to be one point of contention for the town, that anything less would essentially be subsiding developers who under-park their projects.
In passing the steep increase, board members were eager the increased fees could drive these developers to seek negotiations with the town, perhaps leading to deals that could bring Grand Lake some desired amenities, like more open space, in exchange for reducing the fee.
For one board member, the new fee didn’t go far enough. However, the seven-member board was unanimous in supporting the increase to $20,000.
The measure won’t take effect until a 30-day waiting period has passed. Even though Grand Lake increased its fee by 20 times, the town’s assessed fee remains below every other city and town in Crone’s comparison, save Glenwood Springs.
In other business:
• The board agreed to have town staff send out notices to existing lease holders at the Grand Lake Center informing them that their leases will not be automatically renewed this year.
Based on discussions, it appears the center’s leases lack uniformity, and the notices are an effort to bring all of these leases in line with each other and state requirements. Because many of the leases have automatic renewals, the town decided to send everyone with an existing lease notices to force everyone to update their leases for the center.
• The board discussed problems with the town’s Pay As You Throw program, and town staff are preparing to move the drop off location to the town owned lot next to the carwash this spring or summer.
• Board members supported new requirements on STRs mandating inspections by Grand Lake Fire and making the units come with lockable, bear-proof trash containers. Further discussion on new STR requirements in Grand Lake are expected to come up at future meetings.
• Board members discussed setting up a handful of topics for the board with special attention to April’s municipal election, in which there are two vying for the mayor’s job and five people going for four open seats on the board.
Running for mayor are Steve Kudron and Robert Canon. The five board candidates are Tom Weydert, Ernie Bjorkman, Jonah Landy, Melissa Ratzmann and Michael Arntson. The top three vote-getters will be elected to full four year board terms while the fourth place vote-getter will fill the two years remaining in the term vacated by Phyllis Price in November.
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This summer’s potential for record-breaking recreation in Grand County comes down to simple math.