Plan for new hostel hits a wall; master facilities plan OK’d by Winter Park |

Plan for new hostel hits a wall; master facilities plan OK’d by Winter Park

The Winter Park Town Council denied a special use permit Tuesday for a parking variance for 40 North Hostel. While the council likes the idea of a new hostel in town, issues with parking and snow removal have stalled the project indefinitely.

The proposed upscale boutique hostel would take the place of the current Winter Park Chateau bed and breakfast at 405 Lions Gate Drive, but the current parking at the property conflicts with town code over how many beds the hostel would house.

Current plans for the hostel allow for up to 48 occupants at a time, requiring at least 17 parking spaces of which only 20 percent can be compact spots. The property currently has only 10 spots, though Kevin Bowen, the potential owner of the hostel, said that it could fit 16 if they were all compact spots.

The council continued talks last month in order to give Bowen time to resolve the parking situation. Bowen suggested introducing a valet service to the property to maximize parking options, and promoting the use of public transportation through marketing. The council found the solution unsatisfactory, and siding with a 3-2 recommendation from the planning commission, decided to deny the special use permit.

Bowen is expected to continue negotiations with the current owners of the property, as well as nearby neighbors to find parking solutions, and reapply at a later date.

Council approves property tax mill levy

The council also approved a resolution levying property taxes for the year 2017 to help defray the town’s costs for the 2018 budget. The mill levy will remain at 3.765 mills, with 1.765 as a general operating mill and 2.0 as a natural resources and forestry mill, consistent with the previous year’s levy.

The Grand County Assessor certified the total valuation for the town at $105,709,390, and the estimated revenue generated from the mill levy will be $397,996.

Mountain Park Electric to relocate overhead electric lines

The council approved a resolution approving an easement along Lions Gate Drive from Rendezvous Way to Rosie’s Way for a three-phase, underground electric line installment from Mountain Park Electric.

The purpose of the installation is three-fold, according to Tom Sifers, general manager at MPE. First, to replace old cables that already run along Lions Gate Drive; Second, to prepare cables for the eventual Arrow at Winter Park development; And third, to replace overhead cables running over Highway 40. Sifers noted that the decision to move the cables underground was largely aesthetic.

The project will begin in early spring, though there is no timetable for its completion.

Master facilities plan gets OK

The council approved the 2017 Facilities Master Plan on Tuesday after an extensive evaluation of the town’s current buildings. The town hired the SGM Engineering Team in 2016 to evaluate the needs of existing facilities.

The plan focused primarily on Town Hall, the Cooper Creek Parking Garage, chamber building, police station, public works building and transit facilities. The approval paves the way for the eventual construction of a transit/fleet maintenance facility at the Grand County Road and Bridge complex on County Road 5.

Once land is secured for the new facility a formal design and build request for proposals will be issued in hopes of constructing the facility in 2019.

Ribbon cutting for new development to be held next Thursday

The town will be hosting a dual ribbon cutting ceremony at Fireside Market & Eatery and the Hideaway Station Apartments at 11 a.m. Dec. 14.

Hideaway Station is only a working title for the apartments, and the official name will be selected based on recommendations from the tenants. Whoever’s name gets picked will receive a half month’s rent for free. The new name of the apartments, along with the contest winner, will be announced at the ribbon cutting.

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