Dillon continues discussions on paid overnight parking ahead of winter season | SummitDaily.com

Dillon continues discussions on paid overnight parking ahead of winter season

Cars sit parked at the Dillon Amphitheater July 6. Dillon Town Council recently discussed possible rates for parking overnight.
Luke Vidic/Summit Daily News

Dillon Town Council is continuing its discussion on narrowing down prices for overnight parking in town.

Throughout the summer, the town has discussed how to tackle paid overnight parking in town lots ​​as a solution to its parking deficiency. Hours of any parking enforcement would likely be from 2-6 a.m., and the town has approximately 550 spaces distributed among 12 lots.

“(The discussion is) not to try to force (council members) ultimately to make the decision in one way or another on this, but it’s to give (them) all the facts to be able to make that decision,” Town Manager Nathan Johnson said.

Draft rates were initially established at $15 per night Sundays to Wednesdays and $25 per night Thursdays to Saturdays. For local, full-time residents and property owners, that price would be $25 per quarter or $100 per year to use the lots. For businesses who park vehicles in the town core, it would be $300 per year.

In July, the council heard a presentation from Interstate Parking, which manages parking across Summit County, including at the Frisco Bay Marina and in Breckenridge. If the council were to decide to make any changes to overnight parking, Dillon would need to modify town code to allow for a third party to enforce parking regulations in the town. Currently, parking overnight is permitted only in the town’s rotating lots as posted on the regulatory signs at the entrance to those lots. There are at least two parking lots available for anyone to leave a vehicle overnight on any given night, but camping in vehicles is prohibited.

Some council members argued for a lower starting parking rate in town lots overnight, since starting low would garner more public support and the rates could always be raised if necessary in the future. The tentative agreement with Interstate Parking allows for rate structures to be changed at any time by the Town Council.

Mayor Carolyn Skowyra said that raising the prices on busy event nights would affect more visitors than locals or people staying in Dillon. She said that she would be in favor of starting the paid overnight parking before the winter season to see how larger crowds handle it rather than waiting until next summer.

“It could just be one rate most nights and then it goes up to $25 on, like, event nights,” Skowyra said. “If (the Dillon Amphitheater) has a big concert or something — or maybe on a big, paid concert night — it goes up to $30 a night, and if it’s a free concert it goes up to $20.”

Some council members agreed that rates starting at $10 per night from Sundays to Wednesdays and $20 for Thursdays to Saturdays would avoid “sticker shock” for residents.

In previous discussions, council members talked about the issues caused by congestion due to a lack of parking when larger events like concerts happen in Dillon. People drive downtown looking for empty spots where there are none while surrounded by pedestrians headed to the event, creating traffic jams. In previous meetings, council members and staff expressed a desire for more signage around town directing people to spots and perhaps digital signage to alert drivers when parking at certain lots has reached capacity.

“This is building up revenue so that eventually we can have a parking garage or parking structure … so that if someone says ‘I want to do workforce housing, but I’m short on parking. Can you work with us?’” Skowyra said. “Then, we have some sort of key to move around. Otherwise, it’s just straight up to the taxpayers’ dollars to do anything like that.”

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