Ski town cracks down on hot tubs |

Ski town cracks down on hot tubs

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

CRESTED BUTTE ” It looks like Crested Butte will follow in the tracks of neighboring Aspen and Pitkin County with setting a higher hurdle for those who want to install snowmelt systems or outdoor hot tubs.

Since March, the town has had a moratorium on new snowmelt systems. But the proposal expected to be reviewed would require that energy for all new outdoor snowmelt systems, such as for driveways and sidewalks, be produced by a renewable energy system, such as a solar collector, or a ground-source heat pump.

As an alternative, a payment-in-lieu fee could be paid to the town, with that money then being used to implement energy-efficient measures in publicly owned facilities.

The ordinance proposes to handle outdoor hot tubs of 64 square feet or more in the same way, reports the Crested Butte News

The proposed law is modeled upon the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program in Aspen and Pitkin County, which was adopted in 2000. Since then, more than $2 million has been collected as payment-in-lieu fees and used for such things as solar collectors at the local recreation center in Aspen.

In the last several years, however, more homebuyers planning “outdoor extravagances” are choosing to create their own renewable energy sources.

TELLURIDE ” Telluride has made permanent its ban on new banks, real estate and other offices at ground-floor locations on the town’s main street, called Colorado Avenue. Such a ban had been in temporary effect since December.

In doing so, Telluride follows in the steps of Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs and, most recently, Crested Butte. But Park City has taken several hard looks at a similar ban, but concluded it would be ill-advised there.

In Telluride, real-estate agent George Harvey isn’t affected directly. His real-estate office is already on the strip, and as such, will be grandfathered in. But he tells the Telluride Daily Planet that he thinks the ban is unnecessary.

“If the idea is to promote diversified businesses on main street, this is probably the silliest way to do that I’ve ever seen.”

He told the Planet that the town failed to offer proof that it worked elsewhere, and he just doesn’t see it creating more retail business.

Currently, 20 percent of the total frontage on the main street is occupied by real-estate businesses, whereas restaurants have 12 percent and assorted retail makes up 49 percent.

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