Dillon considers requiring more parking for condos, hotels
Whether its parking for short-term rentals or parking overnight in town lots, Dillon Town Council has been studying and tweaking parking regulations frequently. Another possible parking change relates to regulations for new multifamily residential properties, such as condominiums, and hotel developments.
The council reviewed a parking study done by Walker Consultants in July 2019, potential code amendments were talked about in July 2021, and council discussed it once again at a work session Tuesday, March 1.
The main reason the issue came back before the council was because a November planning commission meeting denied a resolution based on public comment in order to receive further direction from Town Council.
“The planning and zoning commission are very new, many of the members are, and they didn’t know what to do, and they didn’t want to basically anger the Town Council by making the wrong decision,” Town Engineer Dan Burroughs said.
Town Council agreed Tuesday to send the resolution back to the commission since council was already in favor of addressing the town’s parking issues. The proposed resolution would potentially require new, larger developments to create more parking.
Burroughs explained the reasoning is that many Summit County residents and guests have vehicles. He said multifamily workforce housing often has at least one car per bedroom, personal vehicles are preferred to go to a trailhead or load recreational gear, and public transit isn’t widespread or reliable.
“If you work in Breckenridge, I think you have to take three buses to get there,” Burroughs said. “You have to take one (from Dillon) to Silverthorne, Silverthorne to Frisco and Frisco there. It’s not super streamlined and easy.”
Burroughs noted that parking is also an issue for cleaning companies, deliveries or service people. One example he gave is a plumber arriving to a unit late at night for an emergency only to find the parking lot full because all of the residents are home after work.
Currently, 1.5 spaces are required for one-bedroom or studios of multifamily residential complexes, and only two spaces are required for two-bedroom units or greater. Hotels and other lodging properties must have one space per bedroom.
The proposed new requirements change the ratio so that it is one space per bedroom for the larger multifamily developments, meaning that a three-bedroom unit needs three spaces and a four-bedroom unit needs four. The amendments would also create a provision that has an additional 10% of total spaces set aside for guest and overflow parking. Burroughs said it would round up, meaning the 2.2 spaces required for a two-bedroom unit would in reality be three parking spaces.
Later in the evening, during the public comment portion of the regular meeting, Eddie O’Brien of O’Brien & Associates Real Estate voiced his opposition to the potential changes because of the cost of additional parking.
“As a developer, because I have been in the past and still am, the idea of using up that space and that dollar for parking, I’m sorry, it just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
O’Brien argued that the other Summit County towns have codes that align with Dillon’s current ones. He said some towns such as Frisco or Basalt — which was referenced in the Walker study — are even considering reducing the parking space requirement.
“Why is the town going the wrong direction? There is more homework that needs to be done before you move forward with adding another hurdle in the requirements for the developers, especially in the core area.”
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