Breckenridge amenity club ordinance tabled
After hearing concerns from a local business owner, council plans to spend more time drafting the ordinance
Breckenridge Town Council on Tuesday struck down an emergency ordinance intended to regulate amenity clubs.
The subject has been a topic of Town Council meetings for nearly a year, and while it seemed an agreement was reached at the last council work session, five council members voted “no” on a proposed amenity club ordinance at Tuesday’s council meeting after a lengthy public comment from Breckenridge Grand Vacations opposing the ordinance. While two council members stated that they didn’t agree with much of the comment, council members said they wanted to take more time to adopt an ordinance.
The emergency ordinance regarding amenity club policy proposed by town staff established a town definition for “recreation and leisure amenity clubs” that included a requirement for commercial density, provided a new timeshare definition, and required that amenity clubs limit day visitors to the number of vacant units or parking spaces, whichever is fewer.
“These are clubs in different developments like condominiums, hotels — things like that — where a fee is charged for a day user to come in and use some of their facilities,“ Community Development Director Mark Truckey said. ”It also applies to timeshare interests, like a condo project, where a fee may not be charged, but the owners of those timeshare interests are allowed to utilize those when they don’t have an overnight stay.”
During the public comment period for the ordinance, Breckenridge Grand Vacations CEO and co-owner Mike Dudick read from a statement he wrote “strongly” objecting to the ordinance. Dudick spoke for about 15 minutes.
“This ordinance … is targeted directly at BGVs business model and will dismantle a product that has served this community and its guests in a manner of excellence for over 30 years,” Dudick said. “Although this ordinance will harm BGV, it does not address the problems the town aims to solve.”
Town planner Chris Kulick wrote in his memo to council that the emergency ordinance was proposed because there is not enough time to go through the normal ordinance adoption process and have the regulations take effect before the amenity club moratorium expires May 26. Dudick objected to the nature of the ordinance as an emergency ordinance, stating that the accelerated action is directed against his developments.
Dudick also stated that the code change is unnecessary and said day visitors of Breckenridge Grand Vacations properties make up a minuscule amount of traffic. He listed several other reasons why he was objecting to the ordinance, including that he believes the code change is inconsistent with town goals of creating a year-round economy, is confusing as written and diminishes the value of planned development by the company, which is working through the planning process to build residential units and a parking structure on the North Gondola, North Gold Rush and South Gold Rush lots.
“The message you are sending is unequivocal — that you will publicly acknowledge the 143 (single-family equivalents) on the gondola lots but will do everything possible to diminish their value to the point at which they become economically unviable to develop,” Dudick said.
Following Dudick’s statement, Mayor Eric Mamula suggested that council table the amenity club conversation and extend the moratorium for a few months. He noted that he found the ordinance as written “sloppy” because it included old code language, which would need to be fixed prior to adoption.
“There may be some other issues we should work through, and I’d like to make sure we have enough time to do that and do it correctly,“ Mamula said. ”I don’t agree with everything that Mr. Dudick said … but I still want to make sure we’re on the right path.”
Council members Erin Gigliello, Dennis Kuhn, Dick Carleton and Carol Saade agreed with Mamula, opting to extend the moratorium. Council member Kelly Owens said she was comfortable with the ordinance but was also OK with taking more time to work on it. Council member Jeffrey Bergeron said he was willing to make a motion to pass the ordinance and stated that he was “personally offended by the combative nature” of the topic.
“No one’s trying to screw anybody,“ Bergeron said. ”We’re trying to do what we think is best for the community and want to cover all the bases.”
Bergeron made a motion to pass the ordinance as a nonemergency ordinance, which was seconded by Owens. Remaining council members voted “no.” Town attorney Tim Berry said an ordinance to extend the moratorium could be brought to council at the next meeting April 27 and that an amenity club ordinance could be further discussed in a future work session.
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