Breckenridge residents concerned over East Peak 8 development project
BRECKENRIDGE — On Jan. 7, the Breckenridge Planning Commission approved the East Peak 8 Hotel development. The proposal for the hotel project was originally presented in October of 2018 and includes 49 for-sale condominiums, a 137 guest room hotel, amenity spaces, private club spaces, back of house support spaces, guest services areas, common areas, a restaurant and bar, commercial kitchen, pool and spa, ski lockers, outdoor dining and seating and drainage improvements and infrastructure added to the Cucumber Gulch Preventative Management Area.
In October 2019, the developers, Lionheart-LH Mountain Ventures, presented the additional element of a club membership program. The club membership would provide up to 150 people with day-use access to certain hotel facilities, including parking.
The project was approved by the planning commission, but was called up by Breckenridge town council on Jan. 14. Breckenridge Community Development Director Mark Truckey said it is fairly rare for town council to call up a project that has been approved by the planning commission.
“If they don’t call them up they’re automatically approved,” Truckey said. “We don’t have a lot of items that go to the council in terms of development review.”
Truckey explained that high-profile items are more commonly called up by council. In this case, the council had several questions about the project and raised concerns about the club membership aspect. There have also been several letters to the editor submitted to the Summit Daily with concerns about the project.
At the Breckenridge town work session on Jan. 14, council members posed their questions to staff regarding the development.
“I’m a little concerned with the impacts it will have on parking,” council member Wendy Wolfe said, speaking about the club membership piece.
Chris Kulick, senior planner for the town said that the project encompasses roughly 19,000 feet, 12,000 of which is available to those who purchase a club membership and 7,204 is unavailable to members and is only available to owners and hotel guests.
Richard Himmelstein, a residential board member of One Ski Hill Place, expressed concerns over the membership piece of the development and the distance between the development and One Ski Hill Place.
“There was a year and a half of planning and all of the sudden when they’re up to final approval, they slip this in,” Himmelstein said. “The issue with the memberships are, once Ski Hill Road has 150 parking places if they have 150 memberships, that could be a big problem. They’ve really went away with what the masterplan was supposed to be.”
Himmelstein noted that if there aren’t parking spots built for these members, there might be even more of a traffic problem with people circling for parking or cars dropping off and picking up members who store their ski equipment in the lockers.
“You could have four times the traffic if someone comes up, drops off, picks them up again,” Himmelstein said. “It’s going to incentivize people because their ski equipment is there.”
Himmelstein also had concerns about the distance between One Ski Hill Place and the East Peak 8 Hotel. He said that while the developers have claimed that there will be 47.1 feet of space between the two buildings to protect the view corridor that is part of the area’s development master plan. Himmelstein claims that the blueprints to the project do not accurately display the distance between the two buildings, which he calculated as approximately 20 feet when measuring the most outward facing feature of the building.
“The planning department really needs to have the proper plans to make sure it meets the master plan,” Himmelstein said.
Nancy Pierce, who spoke at planning commission meetings wrote a letter to Breckenridge town council expressing concerns, particularly about the club membership.
“I believe that allowing Private memberships of an additional 150 spaces for day skiers at the East Peak 8 development will greatly impact the traffic on One Ski Hill Road, in addition to the increased traffic from the building of a new Hotel and Condominium project. I strongly suggest that a new traffic study be performed,” Pierce said in her letter.
On Tuesday, Jan. 28, there will be a de novo hearing regarding the proposal at the Breckenridge regular town council meeting. While the information shared will essentially be the same information that was provided to the planning commission, citizen comments can be submitted to the town. Those who would like to make a comment to council can email executive administration assistant Peyton Rogers at email@example.com.
Truckey said that the council should take action and either approve the application, deny the application or request changes to the application at the Jan. 28 meeting.
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