Review of Copper proposal nears end |

Review of Copper proposal nears end

COPPER MOUNTAIN – It’s been more than a year since the Ten Mile Planning Commission began reviewing Intrawest’s long-term build-out proposal for Copper Mountain. Though the review process is not yet complete, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Provided the process rolls smoothly for the next six commission meetings, Intrawest’s proposal – known as the CDS or Comprehensive Development Strategy – might move to the Board of County Commissioners by the end of August, said Chris Hawkins, Summit County’s manager of current planning.

The CDS is an amendment to Intrawest’s current planned unit development approval and includes a performing arts center, a large hotel and about 1,244 single-family, duplex, townhome and condominium units.

On Thursday, commissioners, Intrawest officials, planning staff and citizens rehashed the issue of parking at Copper Mountain – one of the more difficult and controversial facets of Intrawest’s proposal. Unlike the previous parking discussion in January, however, Thursday’s meeting reaped some results.

Hawkins offered a variety of options to provide for future day-skier parking needs. One option – the county’s planning department preference – would require Intrawest build sufficient parking to meet its needs on peak days, when the resort parks more than 4,300 cars. Another decreased the number of spaces required to 3,882 by taking an average of the top 10 busiest days.

Intrawest based its preferred option on an average of weekend and holiday weekday counts from Thanksgiving through March – about 3,100 permanent parking spaces.

Officials finally agreed on a compromise. Intrawest will provide 3,400 permanent spaces – about 500 more than Copper Mountain’s current supply – and 900 spaces for overflow parking.

Commissioners also discussed whether or not to allow Intrawest to continue parking along Copper Road, the county right of way, when the demand so necessitates.

Several homeowners and commissioners said they were opposed to parking on Copper Road because it is a safety hazard.

“In my opinion, I don’t think there should be any parking on any county road,” said Copper Mountain homeowner Tom Malmgren.

“I say there should be no parking on county roads, anywhere,” said Commissioner Michael Miller.

But Intrawest officials said they plan to build sidewalks and delineate parking spaces when the road is realigned, which would reduce – if not eliminate – any associated safety issues.

Commissioners agreed to allow parking on Copper Road after the realignment but remained undecided on the policy until then.

Hawkins recommended the commission require Intrawest hire a third party to perform an annual parking study. Though commissioners agreed they’d like a third party – rather than Intrawest – to perform parking studies they agreed a yearly study might place a financial burden for the company. They didn’t reach a final decision on the topic.

Commissioners, Intrawest officials and planning staff also debated whether or not Intrawest should be allowed to use future development sites for temporary parking, how to enforce parking at Copper Mountain, and whether the resort should be required to provide additional commercial parking.

The Ten Mile Planning Commission will continue its parking discussion at a special meeting, Thursday, March 27, when it also will discuss infrastructure issues such as fire and police protection.

Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or

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