Breck issues stop-work order at Shock Hill site |

Breck issues stop-work order at Shock Hill site

summit daily news

Summit County, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” Town planning officials red-tagged a Shock Hill construction project late Friday, halting work on a pair of observation platforms overlooking Cucumber Gulch near the Shock Hill gondola station.

“They got ahead of the permit process,” said town manager Tim Gagen, explaining that the project is associated with a lodge slated to be built on the site in 2008. Hoping to complete the decks before a planned June 24 party, builders poured several sets of concrete pylons before completing the required paperwork with the town.

Gagen said no more work will be permitted on the site until the permits are finalized. The platforms are intended to give potential buyers an idea of what their view would be like from one of the units at the lodge.

Developer John Niemi said he regrets the error and understands how much trust the town placed with him in developing the sensitive site.

“It pains me if we did anything wrong,” Niemi said, adding that he plans to sit down with community development director Peter Grossheusch Monday to discuss the issue and go over the plans.

Niemi attributed the unauthorized work to miscommunication and the fact the contractor was out of town late last week. The June 24 party is to be held in conjunction with a Summit Foundation event and is intended to give the community and guests an idea of what the development will be like, he said.

“We were building platforms for people to sit on so it’s safe,” Niemi said, adding that work on the lodge itself won’t begin until 2008. The unauthorized work was strictly related to the temporary observation platforms, he said.

Additionally, some road-bed material on the site was improperly contained, according to Breckenridge Town Councilmember Dave Rossi, who expressed concern about potential spillage into the treasured Cucumber Gulch wetlands below. On Saturday morning, workers were putting up a silt fence around the material.

“In a big rainstorm, some of that stuff could go down into the gulch,” Rossi said. “It’s not a huge, huge thing ” but they did the work before they got the their permit. Staff did a great job of whipping out their red tags,” Rossi said.

According to Gagen, two separate permits are at issue; a Class C permit for a temporary structure that can be approved administratively, and a Class D permit for long-term structures that requires planning commission approval.

The Shock Hill lodge was approved several months ago amid a somewhat controversial process that saw some neighbors objecting to the increase in density from what was previously approved at the site under plans for multi-family units. The developers said they needed the additional density to make the financing end of the project come together. They also deeded part of their property to the town as open space, and decreased the overall building footprint on the site.

Breckenridge also recently adopted a new ordinance that beefs up enforcement and penalties for development code violations, making developers more responsible for making sure they are abiding by the town’s rules. Gagen said it was too early to say if the new ordinance might come into play in this case.

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