Breckenridge Town Council concerned about rooftop deck proposal at downtown bar
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the indoor capacity of Rocky Mountain Underground.
Breckenridge Town Council called up a development permit application from Rocky Mountain Underground — better known as RMU — to build a rooftop deck and bar, with council members expressing concern over the idea of a rooftop deck in general.
The application calls for the addition of a deck and a bar area to a portion of the flat roof on the 112 S. Main St. building directly north of RMU, a popular bar and retail concept business at 114 S. Main St. The rooftop deck would have an 88-person capacity, a number of particular concern to council considering the planning commission minutes state the indoor occupancy is 24. The Summit Daily later learned the true indoor capacity was 48 and that planning commission minutes were incorrect.
The deck would be set back 24 feet from the front facade of the building and would include 3-foot tall guard rails, an exterior staircase and an exterior lift providing access to the second floor and roof.
Council member Dennis Kuhn was concerned that the application didn’t include plans for an additional restroom, as the rooftop deck significantly increases the business’s current capacity. Planner Chapin LaChance said restroom requirements would be considered in the building code but not in the development permit application process, which is all that the planning commission — and council — bases its decision on.
“The council can call up an application just because they want to make their own decision on it,” town attorney Tim Berry said in the meeting. “But at the end of the day, after a call-up, the decision has to be based on development code.”
Mayor Eric Mamula voted against calling up the application because he said the planning commission did its job of making sure the application was in line with the town’s development code. He said there are problems within the code that need to be addressed.
“I don’t see any way forward to denying this application based on what the planning commission did, so I will vote against the call-up,” Mamula said in the meeting.
Council also expressed concern over the possibility of live music and amplified speakers, which is also not part of the development code. Should the project be approved and built, Berry said it would have to comply with the noise ordinance.
The development application did not include any proposals for exterior speakers, but because of concern that it could come up in the future, a condition was added stating that the applicant would need a separate approval to install any exterior speakers.
When the project was presented to planning commission for its final hearing Aug. 3, the commission received a letter with about four pages worth of signatures from Breckenridge Historic District neighbors opposing the project as well as two other letters of opposition. The biggest concern was in regard to noise.
“There is obviously consternation in the community about a rooftop deck,” Mamula said at the meeting. “The problem is we didn’t see this coming, and now we have, I think, some things we need to fix in the code to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Mamula said he could not comment any further on the matter since the application will return to Town Council at its Sept. 14 meeting for a new hearing.
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