The Crested Butte Town Council passed an ordinance that restricts the types of businesses that can operate along Elk Avenue, the main drag, but some think it’s too much, too soon. About 60 people showed up at last week’s council meeting, and many of them were opposed to the new ordinance.
The goal of the new “horizontal” zoning ordinance is to add more sales tax to town coffers by encouraging retail businesses, while discouraging businesses on the street that collect no sales tax.
The ordinance would only affect ground-floor businesses and those below street level with display windows on the street, but would not affect businesses on upper floors. Existing businesses would not be affected until they change hands and businesses set back from Elk Avenue more than 40 feet are exempt.
Mayor Alan Bernholtz, said the ordinance is needed because the ski town has a tourist-based economy.
“It’s not a unique issue. Every resort town is dealing with it, and many have enacted similar regulations,” he said. “When a town like ours runs off sales tax, that money is what we need for our services. We are just trying to stimulate that, and this is just one piece of the puzzle we’re working on.”