Minturn council set to take action on downtown plan, short-term rental allowance
Council to consider final reading of ordinances for code modification, new development guidelines on 100 block of Main Street
After a lengthy discussion on July 6, the Minturn Town Council wasn’t quite ready to come back to 100 block of Main Street right away at its next meeting.
There was a lot to take in at the first reading of an ordinance to create new design guidelines for the historic downtown area — the discussion lasted hours and included numerous comments from locals who brought up much for the council to consider.
In returning to regular session on July 20, Minturn Mayor Earle Bidez said there were remaining issues “that we’ve got to figure out” and said the council will be more ready to discuss on Wednesday.
Bidez said a major issue is simply communicating to the community what a design guideline ordinance entails.
“I talked to a few people later and they said, ‘Don’t knock down those buildings,'” Bidez said. “They were afraid this was a scrape-it-and-start-over thing.”
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Bidez said the ordinance sets guidelines on what can be built in the small amount of space available to be developed in the 100 block, and existing buildings can maintain their current use regardless of new design guidelines.
Bidez said he hopes to have a robust meeting Wednesday. The meeting is set to begin at 5:30 p.m., with a few presentations on the agenda prior to the action items.
“That was a very productive meeting last time, and I think we’ll have a really good discussion as well (on Wednesday),” Bidez said.
Keeping it 100
The 100 block runs along either side of Main Street in Minturn from Rail Road Avenue near the Minturn Saloon restaurant to Toledo Street near the Holy Toledo clothing store and includes many structures considered vital to the character of the town.
The 100 block design guidelines discussion has overlapped with other discussions brought before the council over the last year, including the redevelopment of the 151 Main Street building, the creation of a historic preservation commission, a downtown economic model and parking study commissioned by the town, a community plan update being written by the town, and an ordinance modifying the Minturn’s short term rental code.
The short-term rental code modification will also be considered on second reading Wednesday after passing the first reading on July 20. If passed on Wednesday, it will remove restrictions on 100-block buildings that have sales-tax generating businesses on their ground levels which prevent them from operating short-term rental businesses on their second levels.
The action is being considered at the request of a property owner in the area, Town Manager Michelle Metteer said at the council’s July 20 meeting.
“This goal was identified as serving multiple purposes including increasing lodging in town, which is something Minturn is currently short on,” Metteer said.
In passing the first reading of an ordinance modifying the short-term rental code, the council suggested the code should also explain that the ordinance only applies to properties on the 100 block.
“The discussion centers around the community plan, which is to create a tourist base in the downtown area,” said Council member Terry Armistead.
Metteer said that explanation could be added to the code before Wednesday’s second reading.
Metteer also encouraged residents to visit ImagineMinturn.org where they can review “some of the very first documents being rolled out” on the community plan update.
ImagineMinturn.org visitors can view the plan update in its current form and submit comments regarding the town’s visions, themes and goals.
One of the plan’s goals is to create “A thriving 100 block,” which “reflects community input, identifies suitable residential and commercial uses and opportunities, and addresses key transportation issues.”
Implementation of that goal includes crafting new development standards which “address parking and circulation issues and support the historic character of the 100 block,” according to the community plan update.
The community plan update will have a booth set up at the Minturn Summer Concert Series on Thursday night at Little Beach Park, where attendees will be encouraged to provide input on the plan’s major themes and ask questions about the project.