Largely devised to dissuade fans who don’t have tickets for two concerts being played by the popular jam band Phish this summer from coming to town in hopes of securing spots to the sold-out shows through professional ticket resellers – however largely inflated the prices – the measure failed after a lengthy council discussion and brief, but impassioned public comment.
“I think it’s naïve at best to think we’re going to stop scalping” with the ordinance, said Travis Julia.
“We’re a capitalistic society,” he continued. “This isn’t water during a hurricane or plywood to board up a window during a tornado.”
The ordinance proposed to crack down on anyone found to be reselling a ticket within municipal boundaries for any of Telluride’s numerous festivals and other special events at more than the 10 percent above face value already authorized to local ticket distributors.
A search on the online auction website eBay on Wednesday found buyers of tickets benefiting the voter registration non-profit HeadCount willing to pay upwards of $1,100 each for the two-day passes donated to the cause by the band. Those same tickets sold to non-local audiences via online lottery for about $110 each when they went on sale.
A female “phan” was offering “hot sex” in exchange for tickets to the shows before her posting was removed from the classified advertising website Craigslist.
“This whole statute is an assault on the Libertarian spirit,” said Eric Jacobson. “This is an important visitor service you’re walking on,” he continued, asking how marking up the price on a concert ticket was any different than, say, bolts at the hardware store.
“Where is the great public harm that rises to the level of we need to criminalize this,” he asked. “Let’s not legislate such things where nobody can cite a harm.”
While Councilmember Thom Carnevale and Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Saunders originally moved to approve the ordinance, they later rescinded the motion. Both changed their positions to join councilmembers Chris Myers and Brian Werner in defeating it after Councilmember Ann Brady made another motion to approve.
Kolar seemed unconcerned by the failure of the ordinance.
“It’s OK,” he said, indicating that while the ordinance could have been a useful tool, he dislikes proposing unnecessary legislation.
“If they want to pay $1,500 a ticket – it’s a free market.”
Historic Preservation Awards and Other News
Local architect Peter Lundeen of Smart Living Designs, LLC, came away from this year’s annual Preservation Awards the big winner, taking four of seven prizes given by the town’s Historic and Architectural Review Commission to projects that help preserve Telluride’s historic resources and traditional character.
Each of the projects was evaluated by the HARC according to its adherence to federal standards designed to promote responsible preservation practices, the town’s Design Guidelines, and by the scope and complexity of the project.
Lundeen won multiple awards for his work on the West Pacific Campus on Pacific Avenue between South Davis and South Townsend Streets including the Compatible Addition award for the old Tavern and three separate Rehabilitation and Restoration awards for the old Tavern and neighboring the License Plate Shed and Log Cabin.
Applicant Narcis Tudor and Tommy Hein Architects also won a Rehabilitation and Restoration award for work on the old China Rose building at 205 S. Oak St.
Architect Eric Cummings won the Compatible Infill award for his work on the Olympic Penthouse at 150B W. Colorado Ave., while Isabel Werner and Scott Andrews of Telluride Trading and Construction won the Continuing Preservation Award for work done on the Miner’s Union building at 107 W. Columbia Ave.
In other town Planning Department news, 12-year part-time local homeowner Bob Mather was recently named the town’s new Historic Preservation Architect replacing Michael Davenport after the latter’s promotion to Planning and Building Director in January.
An architect for the past 32 years, he told council on Tuesday that he has spent most of the past 10 years working on historic preservation projects including historic theaters around the country.
“My wife and I are very excited about moving here permanently,” he said.
No New Zoning For Hillside Development
The treatment overlay on a hillside property located near the Manitou and Riverside condominiums will not be changed after the applicants, represented by attorney Nicole Pieterse, withdrew their application as council contemplated the third reading of the rezoning ordinance at length on Tuesday.
The ordinance would have changed the treatment overlay from Transitional Hillside, which requires development be aligned with town’s historic grid, to Developing Hillside, which would allow it to be developed according to the parcel’s topography.
While council during the second reading of the ordinance last month had put conditions including the full respect of the town’s 25-foot wetlands setback on any subsequent development as well as open space preservation, the sticking point for the applicant was a condition limiting overall site coverage to not more than 22 percent.
The applicant took issue with the creation of site coverage restrictions that were not tied to a specific development plan, while council remained insistent that the number be a requirement, not a recommendation.