The town of Palisade will use grant money to purchase a dirt lot on Kluge Avenue to use as parking for the Palisade Plunge Trail.
The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize Town Administrator Janet Hawkinson to close on the purchase by the end of April.
“It was realized that there really is not trail head parking, or enough parking for this trail,” Hawkinson said. “So it was discussed to purchase this parking lot.”
The money for the purchase was included in the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant that covered phase two work on the 32-mile trail, Hawkinson said. The town has a contract to purchase the lot for $100,000.
The town had sold the lot in early 2017 for $140,000 to Palisade Brewery owner Sean O’Brien.
O’Brien will retain ownership of a portion of the lot on the north side.
Colorado Plateau Mountain Biking Trail Association President Scott Winans told the board that parking for the Palisade Plunge was always part of the plan when they were writing the GOCO grant.
“We certainly have planned all along that this is going to be a highly used trail, beneficial to town,” Winans said. “We anticipate a lot of visitation downtown, both while folks are being shuttled to the top of the Mesa and riding back down, but also while they are enjoying their time to eat and partake in our other retail establishments.”
Board member Susan L’Hommedieu questioned how the parking could be restricted to people using the trail and whether there was enough space on the lot, which is currently used for parking.
“So will this parking lot primarily be used for the plunge?” L’Hommedieu asked. “Right now it gets filled up and we don’t even have the trail open.”
Hawkinson said they had not determined how the lot might be restricted. She said it would have 75 and 80 spaces and there would be space for shuttle buses servicing the trail to pick up passengers.
Winans also gave the board an update on the progress the trail crews have made. Nearly 11 miles of trail between Lands End Road and the Palisade Rim Trail has been completed.
The total mileage in the phase one construction will be 16 miles and Winans said it should be completed in mid-summer. Phase two work, which is primarily on top of Grand Mesa, will begin this year.
The Board of Trustees approved a zoning change for a lot at 105 Main St. from Town Center to Mixed Use. It also approved a variance to allow two townhomes on the 0.14 acre lot.
The board unanimously approved the zoning change, noting that there were residential units on the other three corners at the intersection of Main Street and First Street. The Town Center zone does not allow for residential uses.
Mayor Roger Granat was the only trustee opposed to allowing for increased density on the property, citing a recent decision by the board to not allow a large housing development on G Road last September.