Are Crested Butte’s scenic snow banks safe? |

Are Crested Butte’s scenic snow banks safe?

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

CRESTED BUTTE, Colorado Town officials in Crested Butte are having a spirited conversation about whether the banks of snow lining the towns main street, Elk Avenue, should be removed.The 8-foot-tall banks were left up in mid-December when Crested Butte hosted a television show called Good Morning America. And the mayor, Alan Bernholtz, rather likes the looks of snow banks in main street.But the town staff, reports the Crested Butte News, is adamant that the snow must go for safety reasons. Its a matter of public safety, and the argument of ascetics over safety is not acceptable anymore, said Susan Parker, the town manager.Town officials worry that a pedestrian emerging from behind a snowbank will get clobbered by a car in the narrow street. As well, the snowbanks are causing snow to tumble in front of businesses, creating icy sidewalks.

JACKSON, Wyo. A major story of 2007 in Jackson as it has been for several years was the town conversation about redevelopment. Developers want to build taller and denser projects in the downtown area, and town authorities are agreeable to a point.But the general public seems to be less certain, reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide.One such redevelopment plan would raze the Painted Buffalo Inn to make way for a 144-room luxury hotel. The development representative, S.R. Mills, told planning commissioners that the intent is create a four-story hotel, replicating what has been done at Teton Village, at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.Instead of people staying out at Teton Village and coming into town to shop or recreate, we want to reverse that, and really have town as the home base, he said.At issue, at least in part, are the dimensions of the building 46 feet tall, and four stories. But the architect, John Carney, has designed the building so that the top two floors are moved in from the edge, so that the building doesnt seem so tall from the street.This is not the first such proposal in Jackson. Something similar has already been approved under new regulations. Councilors, says the newspaper, have at times praised the regulation as a way to encourage urban-style housing development while revitalizing the downtown area. But others say the projects are too large and out of character with their surroundings.Opposition has surfaced. A new group called Save Historic Jackson Hole is asking for a prohibition on four-story buildings. The firm contracted for a survey of 400 people, and about half said that two-story buildings best represented the desired character of downtown. Many also disagree with the idea of creating more affordable housing by allowing developers to put up bigger buildings.

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