Thursday, July 12, 2007

Breckenridge Restricts Main Street Development

The Breckenridge Town Council recently passed the first reading of an ordinance restricting future residential uses on the ground floor of Main Street and some adjacent streets.

"The real issue is the vibrancy of Main Street which is what this ordinance is trying to protect,” one councit member said.

Previously, the council studied other communities that put similar restrictions in place and saw the benefit of doing so. Last April, they reviewed recommendations by the Breckenridge Economic Development Advisory Commission (BEDAC) about limiting first-floor residences, sending those recommendations on to the planning commission that explored the issue at meetings in May and June.

At the time, councilmembers said they wanted to protect the core shopping and dining area from becoming condos in the future since there is a high demand and a high price for in-town condos.

Three years ago residential space could be purchased for $300 per square foot — a number that has climbed to almost $1000 today.

The ordinance that passed first reading included revisions the council discussed earlier. The revisions that took place came from councilmembers’ concerns about making sure residential uses currently in place are protected even in the case of a fire so they can rebuild. Another revision included the Wellington lot in the restricted area. As a result, the Downtown Overlay District included is Main Street from French to Ridge streets, properties backing the Riverwalk, one-block sections of Lincoln, Ridge and Washington streets, and the Wellington lot area.

Thehe ordinance is expected to come back to the Town Council for a second reading vote in August following a public hearing.

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