The August 7th Town Council meeting opened with a Fraser Winter Park Police Department Promotional Ceremony. Chief Glen Trainor promoted Donnie Ransom to Commander/Assistant Chief of Police and Paul Finley to Patrol Sergeant. During the ceremony, the two also reinforced their oath of office. “We appreciate your professionalism in everything you do”, said Mayor Jimmy Lahrman.

In unscheduled public comment, Cornerstone Winter Park Holdings’ representative, Clark Lipscomb, told the Council he was there to deliver the thirteenth invoice to the town for their portion of costs related to the Underpass project. He told the Council that the project was going well and offered to answer any questions from the Council or the public. With no questions, he handed the invoice in the amount of $1,898,425.23 to Town Clerk, Danielle Jardee.

Old Town representative, Gigi Dominguez, told the Council that the Old Town projects were moving along really well. She said they’re hoping the streetlights will be up by the end of August. “The Bus Shelter is up and it looks great!”, said Dominguez. “Bike riders are able to get through much better now.” She told the Council that they are looking forward to street lights and signage, which complete the slated improvements.

Special Permit applications approved

The Council approved permits for the 21st annual WP Craft Fair Special Event permit, in the park by King’s Crossing which was held August 10-12th, and, FallFest, a Winter Park Fraser Chamber of Commerce event, which will be held from noon – 5 pm on September 15th at the Rendezvous Event Center.

Town Code update moves to second hearing

On first reading, Ordinance 513 was passed to make some updates to the Town Code around alcohol and marijuana. The adjustments are based on changes made to State of Colorado statutes. A public hearing and second reading of this ordinance will take place on Tuesday, August 21 at 8am.

Roam Special Districts approved

Council approved Resolution 1629, formally allowing for Special Districts within the new Roam development. These districts are independent forms of government that will aim to serve the future residents of Roam and provide improvements to this area as it grows. This resolution reconfirms Town Council’s initial approval of Special Districts in March 2018 when the Roam development was also approved.

Idlewild FDP Amendment moved for final review at September 4th meeting

Community Development Director, James Shockey presented an overview to the council. He told them “This is an amended FDP” (the original Final Development Plan (FDP) had been approved in 2007). He clarified that, since there was no development agreement yet, that the purpose of tonight’s meeting was to review the FDP amendment and hear public comment, but no decision could be made.

“The Idlewild development has existing entitlements which allowed for 319 residential units, 70 accommodation units and an undetermined amount of commercial space”, said Shockey.  It is a 22 acre site, with slopes up to 20% on the eastern side, and land to the south and west with more gentle grade. The property has no ridgelines with the majority of the area below the top of the ridge. It is currently zoned for a variety of commercial and residential uses and is currently allowed 35’ and 50’ height maximums.

The developer, WP Idlewild LLC, has requested to amend the FDP to increase the proposed  lodging facility from 70 to 150 units accommodation units and change it to a condo/hotel. They have also requested increases in building height to construct below-building parking in the condo and hotel structures and for some single-family homes built along sloping grades; a change from $2/square foot affordable housing fee to a .25% RETA; and changes in density, from 17 to 20 per acre.

Initially presented to the Town’s Planning Commission in May, the amendment had since been discussed at several meetings in an effort to find a way to come to an agreement on terms. At the July 24th meeting, after hearing from many members of the public, the amendment was finally approved, with conditions, and sent on to Town Council for consideration.

Shockey went through the developer’s response to each of the Planning Commission’s conditions, based on the FDP received earlier in the week. Next, Gale Schrag of WP Idlewild LLC told the Council “We are here to present to you what we presented to the Planning Commission – what we consider the great Idlewild Village”. Dave Williams of DTJ Design, Inc, presented development concept plans to the Council and members of the public in attandance.

During public comment, a number of residents, many of whom had also attended the July 24th Planning Commission, addressed the Council on the development.

Many spoke in support of the potential for a major hotel and conference facility, saying this is one amenity the Town is missing. They told the Council about past challenges they’d experienced trying to find one location to house large groups in town for weddings and other events and felt a full-service hotel would benefit the town greatly.

Some of the concerns expressed during the meeting were whether the developer would be able to secure an agreement with a national hotel chain (the developer has letters of intent from Hyatt Place and IHG’s Hotel Indigo); whether it would be a true full-service hotel and conference center; the developer could potentially develop individual parcels at approved height variances without the guarantee of a full-service hotel; that granting the requested height variances would open the gate for more developers to request same; adjacent property owner easements and access; and, pedestrian safety and traffic congestion on Ski Idlewild Road and within the development as planned.

Council discussed the project at great length, giving the developer direction on how to prepare for the next meeting, scheduled for September 4th at 5:30 pm. The Town wants a definition of a full-service hotel added to the FDP; and, for staff to investigate traffic study needs. Shockey added that if a traffic study is required, the timeline for consideration could be changed.

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