A roof too far? Breckenridge town council debates merits of parking garage topper | SummitDaily.com

A roof too far? Breckenridge town council debates merits of parking garage topper

This artist’s rendering shows what a new parking garage at the Tiger Dredge parking lot in Breckenridge might look like with gable roof from the west. Breckenridge Town Council originally decided to go with a barrel vault but has since revised that decision in favor of a gable rooftop at the recommendation of the town’s planning commission. These designs are preliminary.
Breckenridge Town Council Agenda Packet |

Breckenridge Town Council has heeded the recommendation of its planning commission by backing off an earlier decision to cover a new parking structure at the Tiger Dredge parking lot with a barrel-vaulted roof.

The revision in favor of a more traditional design stems from concerns a barrel vault would be too unique and unlike anything else in the area, especially considering the new parking structure’s proximity to the downtown historic district.

As such, the town has shifted to a gable-style roof, consisting of two roof sections sloping in opposite directions for a classic style that’s common in parts of the world known for colder climates and heavy snowfall.

The revised rooftop is a turnaround from Sept. 26, when town council held a work session with designers from Walker Parking Consultants regarding various design elements for the new parking structure.

Initially, council was split on the structure’s design, but ultimately decided to go with a barrel-vaulted roof, a modern style featuring a single curve that gives the overall design a semi-cylindrical appearance.

The rooftop decision followed council’s identifying the Tiger Dredge parking lot — with some spillover into the adjacent F-Lot — as the best possible place to build the new, roughly $9 million parking structure.

The project stands as a top priority for town government with parking, or the lack thereof, being one of the most pervasive issues plaguing Breckenridge today.

Town staff has been adamant construction needs to begin this spring, and it’s likely a ground breaking could come early next year.

The new structure is expected to add almost 300 new parking spaces in the downtown core, but many of the details, such as the final design and overall cost, are still being hammered out.

After settling on the barrel vault, council sought a second opinion and kicked the issue over to the planning commission, which is tasked with weighing various construction projects in Breckenridge based on a variety of factors.

In deciding whether to recommend approving a project, the planning commission will assign points — either positive or negative — based on a variety of things.

A project could incur positive points, for example, by adding additional elements of landscaping or including workforce housing.

On the flip side, a developer can be penalized for things like submitting an architectural plan that’s incompatible with the surrounding area.

Also referred to as a “tunnel vault” or “wagon vault,” the barrel-vaulted roof raised planners’ concerns because of its contemporary style, with the commissioners noting that a barrel vault would basically introduce a new style into an area of town where no others like it are known to exist.

As such, the commission could have dinged the project -3 to -6 points for the barrel roof — architectural incompatibility warrants a deduction in multiples of three — but council also could have ignored the planning commission’s rooftop assessment altogether, regardless of the points assessment.

That’s because the final say in any planning matter belongs to town council, and the elected body can approve a project if it so choses, regardless of a commission’s recommendation or without a recommendation at all.

Additionally, Breckenridge assistant director of community development Mark Truckey said he believes the negative points weren’t really a factor. The project, even if it were assessed -6 points, he said, would have likely made up enough positive points to offset the penalty, especially considering its potential to impact the community for the better.

“Town council can approve a project without a passing point analysis,” Truckey said, explaining that’s been codified because a situation may arise where town council will allow something that doesn’t necessarily meet town code. “Nevertheless, it’s always been the council’s desire to have a passing-point analysis.”

Truckey can’t remember a project ever being approved by town council against the recommendation of the planning commission, but, “theoretically, if town council wanted to, they could still pass that project,” he admitted.

“They could,” he continued, “but they like to try to play by the same rules.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User