Parking, traffic concerns raised as Summit County commissioners approve One River Run hotel development exemptions
BRECKENRIDGE — At a contentious Summit Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, officials approved two exemptions requested by One River Run Acquisitions, the developer of a proposed hotel at the former Keystone Resort Hunki Dori parking lot site.
The proposed project features a 107-room RockResorts hotel and would include a spa, restaurant and banquet space that would be managed by Vail Resorts’ hospitality division. The project also includes about 95 residential condos and 12,000 feet of commercial space.
At Tuesday’s meeting, county commissioners approved an amendment to convert the originally planned multifamily units to lodging units and approved an exemption that requested a portion of the parcel be carved out for River Run Gondola.
These requests initially were brought to the board at its Oct. 8 meeting, but after three hours of deliberation, commissioners asked the developers to gather additional information before the board would make a decision.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Summit County senior planner Dan Osborn presented some of the requested materials, including showing that the proposed hotel falls within the River Run Village boundary, and explaining the trails and parking plans. The trail plan showed paths would be built around the project so people can access the gondola.
Commissioner Thomas Davidson questioned whether the paths would be accessible to pedestrians or if they would be full of people waiting to get into the River Run Gondola.
Concerns also were raised at the Oct. 8 meeting about whether Keystone had met the requirements of its planned unit development, which includes an annual parking study.
“We do feel that they have met that requirement,” Osborn said. “In an ideal world, there would be more parking out there.”
Davidson asked what would happen if Keystone breaches its requirements.
“At this point, we have not commenced any enforcement on compliance,” Summit County attorney Jeffrey Huntley said.
Davidson said he was concerned about Hunki Dori Court becoming a “traffic jam” with skier drop-off, adversely affecting neighboring communities. He asked for some sort of written agreement to give the county the authority to address this potential issue if “all else fails.”
“It seems like what we need to do is issue a (planned unit development) amendment to look at all of these global parking and traffic issues,” Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said.
Elena Scott, an architect for the developer, said there would be valet parking to make parking more efficient in the hotel garage, which includes 184 spaces primarily for hotel and restaurant customers and does not allow skier parking. Scott said the hotel operator would be requesting one car per hotel reservation.
Stiegelmeier said she would like to see those plans added to the development permit.
Osborn said the valet plan is a condition of the planned unit development, and that they would look at adding it to the site plan. He also said the county document requires employee parking.
“I want to make sure that the employees working here, if at some point this project is not operated by Vail Resorts or a subsidiary of Vail Resorts, still have a legal place to park,” Davidson said.
The Hunki Dori lot previously held 179 public parking spaces that now will be moved to the Powerline parking lot, where Keystone Resort will increase capacity by 270 spaces as part of its agreement with the county.
The meeting then became a public hearing where neighboring residents expressed concerns about the proposed hotel, such as encroachment onto Red Hawk property, excessive traffic on Hunki Dori Court, pedestrian obstacles and noisy delivery trucks.
“Our owners are worried about what’s going to happen, so we’re asking the board to help address these issues,” Red Hawk Lodge board President Scott Sober said.
Davidson said many of the concerns brought up by residents are not part of the exemptions being requested and suggested the speakers attend the site plan hearing at the Snake River Planning Commission meeting, tentatively scheduled for November.
“As part of the subdivision, I do have concerns about how Hunki Dori Court will work or won’t work,” Davidson said. “I do want to know that eventually, if things are not working, that we as the county have some way of requiring something to be done.”
Davidson requested the following conditions before the board would vote:
- Operational procedures must be put in place to ensure the smooth flow of traffic, restrictions on skier drop-off and pedestrian access. There also must be mechanisms put in place for enforcement by the owners, operators and the county.
- There must be a binding and enforceable agreement for the provision of adequate employee and overflow parking for all uses on the property — residential, commercial and lodging.
- The applicant and the resort operator must work together to create a design and management plan for public spaces (i.e. line queues, lift corralling, ticket windows).
Once the developers accepted the new conditions, the commissioners passed the requested exemptions.
The developers now need a stamp of approval on their site plan from the Snake River Planning Commission, which is expected to meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at Dillon Town Hall. The meeting will be open for public comment.
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