An expansion of the Corn Lot, east of Highway 91, was delayed slightly, so Copper Mountain will seek permission from the Summit County commissioners to park vehicles along county roads at the resort for one more year.
SUMMIT COUNTY — Copper Mountain Resort will ask the county commissioners for permission to park cars along county roads at the base of the mountain for one more year.
As one of the conditions for a base area redevelopment project, Copper committed to ending the practice of parking cars in county rights-of-way, something the ski area only does on peak days, when all the lots are full.
The expansion of an existing parking area — the Corn Lot, east of Highway 91 — was to have resolved the parking crunch, but the approval and design process for the parking expansion took longer than expected.
Copper now plans to build the new parking area in the spring of 2010, in time for next ski season.
As a general rule, the county discourages parking along roads, based on concerns about access and egress for emergency vehicles, according to Summit County Sheriff John Minor.
But the issue hasn’t been high on the radar screen at Copper, Minor said. There haven’t been any incidents of emergency vehicles being blocked at the resort, he added.
County Commissioner Thomas Davidson said Copper has fulfilled all its other obligations under the development approval so far.
The Corn Lot expansion, on U.S. Forest Service land under permit to the resort, would add several hundred new spots.
The federal agency completed an environmental study and approved the conceptual plan in September 2008, according to Joe Foreman, winter sports ranger with the Dillon Ranger District. But some of the final design and engineering steps are still under review by the agency.
Copper has all the needed approvals from other agencies for the expansion, including the Colorado Department of Transportation, according to spokeswoman Lauren Pelletreau.
“From a timing perspective, the necessary items did not come together. Copper has been working with County Planning staff and is meeting with the BOCC to discuss the delayed expansion of the Corn Lot and the parking guidelines established in the recent PUD amendment,” Pelletreau said.
The county commissioners will discuss the request at their Dec. 7 meeting.
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