Grand Lake officials rezone Rapids Lodge and Restaurant property to match its use

The sun shines on Grand Lake Town Hall and the flag hanging outside it. The town's board of trustees meets every second and fourth Monday of the month.
Kyle McCabe/Sky-Hi News

Although trustee Baxter Strachan and Mayor Steve Kudron missed the the Oct. 24 Grand Lake Board of Trustees meeting due to personal issues and a scheduled vacation, respectively, the meeting occurred and trustees held two public hearings.

The first hearing had to do with a resolution to rezone the Historic Rapids Lodge and Restaurant parcels at 240 and 300 Hancock St. from a multifamily residential zone to a commercial transitional one. Town clerk Alayna Carrell explained the situation to the board, saying that the area used to be commercial transitional before the town’s comprehensive plan changed it to multifamily residential in 2007.

Property owner James Martell, who applied for the zoning change, told the board about the property’s history. 

“In 2007 with what was going on in the real estate market at that point, (the owners) looked at sort of changing some things and switched it to multifamily,” Martell said. “That project never came to fruition.”

Town Manager John Crone said the hotel’s owners asked for a zoning change in 2007 so they could sell some of their buildings to be used as apartments or condominiums, but that sale never happened and the buildings are still part of the hotel.

Martell said the property has continued to operate as a hotel since 2007 and he wants the zoning changed so that the hotel will be in compliance with town law. Natascha O’Flaherty spoke as Martell’s legal council, pointing out that Martell received a business license when he bought the property but was denied a renewal in June, which is what necessitated his application for rezoning.

Max Ludwig, the former owner of the Rapids, spoke to voice his support for the zoning being changed back to commercial transitional.

After further discussion, the trustees approved the resolution on the basis that the 2007 rezoning was in error and that the area “has changed or is changing to such a degree that it is in the public interest to encourage a redevelopment of the area or new approach to development.”

Other business:

  • Grand County Commissioner Merrit Linke visited the board to give updates from the county, including updates on short-term rentals, the county budget, independent plowing contractors, personnel shortages, the election, the Windy Gap Connectivity Project, wolf reintroduction and water.
  • Megan Ledin, the executive director of the Grand Foundation, gave a report to the trustees about philanthropy funds the foundation manages for Grand Lake and other recent work from the foundation.
  • DiAnn Butler spoke to the board about the Grand Lake Creative District and its financial request for next year and plan for the future.
  • Crone talked about winter driving, snow storage and other winter preparations as well as the town’s Creepy Crawl event Friday. He also went over the hiring of Matt Reed as the town’s public works director, the town’s marijuana ballot issue and the budget finalization at the next meeting.
  • Trustees approved the meeting minutes from Oct. 10 and the Oct. 24 accounts payable.
  • The board approved a resolution to offset parking in lieu fees that Grand Sunset LLC and Majestic Corner LLC paid for their Boardwalk Plaza and Portal Crossing projects after the developers ended up building all the required parking.

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