Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Final approval for the redevelopment project that will fill the space of what was formerly the Thunderhead Lodge (at the base of Mt. Werner) did not pass at last night’s City Council meeting. The feelings of most parties involved going into the meeting was that the approval for several variances would be granted and a stamp of approval would be issued. This was not the case however, due to what sounds like a use of outdated review criteria. The review criteria were previously set by City Council with a ranked order of importance when discussing new development. The biggest factors included are such things as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and the creation of “hot beds” which are lodging properties that are most often full.
The Atira Group, the developers involved in this project, claimed that their plans were sufficient to achieve both benefits. Atira was asked on Tuesday night however to provide more public benefits in their plans in order to off-set or justify the requested variances on current building guidelines. As the fate of the new project remains in limbo, the decision has been tabled until April.
If the outcome of this postponement means that a better LEED certified building with increased public benefit will be constructed at the mountain base, The Boyd Team is happy with the decision. However, I think we’re all ready to see a new building start construction to fill the current void at the ski base.