CB Council considers request to extend business parking fee payments
Written by Mark Reaman   
Wednesday, 30 January 2013
Charming parking spaces?

The Crested Butte Town Council will consider allowing businesses to take up to 10 years to pay off parking-in-lieu fees. Currently the town allows businesses to pay the fee over a five-year span with a 5 percent interest rate.


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The issue came to the council when local entrepreneur Kyleena Falzone asked the council to extend the payment plan. She and her partners are currently renovating the Company Store. Part of the renovation involves turning what was retail space into restaurant space. That upped the ante for required parking spaces. Nine such spaces are required with the remodel and will cost the Company Store $117,000. If a new project doesn’t provide physical parking spaces, developers may pay a parking-in-lieu fee for each space.
“Extending the payments to ten years makes the monthly payments easier on us,” Falzone told the council at the Tuesday, January 22 meeting. “Of course I’ll want to pay it off as fast as possible but this was almost a deal breaker for the whole project. Making it ten years might encourage some people to build. The economy is a little weird right now. Ten years makes the payments more reasonable.”
Town finance director Lois Rozman expressed some discomfort with the extension request. She said the town shouldn’t be a lending agency. “The five-year plan gives the business a lot,” she said. “We don’t want to turn into a bank.”
“The detriment to the town is that it doesn’t have money to, say, buy physical parking spaces,” said Councilperson Glenn Michel. “Plus we already have business owners that have bought parking spaces and by stretching out payments to ten years we aren’t creating any more parking. So the parking that’s out there would get squeezed.”
Interim town manager Bob Gillie said the town would prefer to receive actual parking spaces from businesses. The town parking-in-lieu fund currently has about $180,000, which isn’t enough to do a lot with at the moment. Gillie did say the town was preliminarily exploring land in town for parking.
“This is a huge fee,” said Michel. “But that is a whole larger discussion to have when talking about attracting business to Crested Butte.”
“The charm of Crested Butte has nothing to do with its parking spaces,” said Mayor Aaron Huckstep. “The parking payment plan is made to assist businesses in their start-up phases.”
The council asked town attorney John Belkin to draft a change to the parking ordinance to allow a ten-year payment plan. The council will discuss the issue further at its meetings in February.