Access to Telluride’s North Hillside Advances… A New Venue in Tents Gains Approval…
by Thomas Wirth
Jul 17, 2011 | 5311 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Neighbors Disagree About the Process

Access to property on Telluride’s north hillside, eventually enabling the construction of homes there, could come by way of a new road off of Road Hawg Circle in East Telluride just west of the Lone Tree Cemetery.

Property owners in the area and representatives for the owners of the adjacent hillside met with the Telluride Town Council last week to review the options for accessing the hillside. The preferred option for access, according to a working group made up of town officials, town staff and the involved property owners, would require the approval of many property owners in the Primrose Subdivision because it would encroach on their property.

In exchange, the town would deed some property in an easement to the subdivision, allowing more off-street parking. While some of the affected property owners characterized the exchange as a “win-win,” helping the town access the hillside while creating a safer road in the Primrose subdivision, which becomes a “luge run” in winter, they said, others expressed concerns.

Paul Major called the process “fundamentally flawed,” because the town would be “allowing a developer to ask for access without a development plan.” Windhorse representative Jane Hickcox replied that there are no development plans at this point because ensuring access to the property is a necessary prerequisite to making such plans.

After hearing the arguments, council scheduled another work session for Aug. 2, following a site walk, to review engineering plans.

An ‘Attractive Indoor-Outdoor Campus’

Telluride could have a new events venue next summer housed in semi-permanent tents on a vacant lot just north of the Telluride Post Office.

Harley Brooke-Hitching of the Telluride Mountain Institute last week was awarded a temporary use permit for the tents from the Telluride Town Council, good through the summer of 2013.

Brooke-Hitching told council she hopes to attract “medium sized events” of between 150-200 people, but said that she would consider all events, regardless of size, as long as they could be comfortably accommodated while adhering to safety codes. Tents and a tipi, along with landscaping, could provide an attractive indoor-outdoor “campus” atmosphere, according to a town staff report, while the commercial location was deemed by staff to be appropriate for the proposed uses, ranging from weddings, music events and symposiums to sit-down dinners, fundraisers and professional arts and cultural exhibits.

The approval follows a work session last month when Brooke-Hitching was encouraged to pursue the possibility her business concept and applauded for her entrepreneurial spirit. Although members of council and the public have expressed differing views as to the likely success of the venue, and the need for it, the permit was ultimately approved, with a portion of town permit fees waived in exchange for allowing several days of free use of the facility by local nonprofits.

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