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Pine Creek Lodge expresses concern over proposed parking ordinance

Pine CreekLodge .jpg
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-25 12:03:16-05

A proposed ordinance in Park County that would affect parking near Pine Creek Lodge brings concern to the owners of the lodge and the patrons on what the future could hold.

“We rely on parking at least along the east river road,” said Jenny Arr, owner of Pine Creek Lodge.

Dozens of people turned out for the Park County commissioners meeting Tuesday in person with hundreds more online.

Many in the room were there in opposition to a proposed ordinance that would ban parking on roads near Pine Creek Lodge. Those who turned out in support of the proposed ordinance say it’s about safety.

“We've had six days to prepare just came out of left field,” said Chip Hurt, owner of Pine Creek Lodge.

Many who came to support Pine Creek Lodge say this happened too fast and is targeting the business. The county says it's been a long time coming.

“Safety concerns have been on the radar of locals, and I believe they're business owners in the area as well as law enforcement, emergency medical, and fire personnel for years,” said Park County Commissioner, Bill Berg.

The county’s ordinance proposal would ban parking on roads in the area of Pine Creek, on Pine Creek Road, Frelich Lane, Luccock Park Road, Deep Creek Bench Road, Deep Creek South Fork Road, and East River from stretching from Deep Creek Bench Rd to Barney Creek Road.

“It's a tool that we have that we can use to mitigate this, this hazard," said Berg.

Many agree about the need for parking and increased safety in the area.

“Roads are not designed to be alternative in parking lots. So it's on us to keep the public safe,” said Berg,

The owners say they are in a time crunch if the ordinance passes ahead of the busy summer season.

“What we're hoping to get out of this is something that allows some parking in a safe way and that will allow us to keep operating,” said Arr.

They do say that their ultimate goal is to provide a concrete solution.

“I think we still feel rushed. Clearly, we want to purchase a parking lot but that is not an easy and quick thing to do,” said Arr.

With the vast amount of public comment, Tuesday’s first hearing was recessed. The first hearing will continue next Tuesday, January 31. The location moved to the Park County Fairgrounds at 5 PM. A second reading of the ordinance will still need to take place after that.