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Group files appeal against mountain coaster in Estes Park area

Town previously approved development plans
Posted at 9:15 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-05 01:00:05-04

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ESTES PARK, Colo. -- Development plans for a mountain coaster have been approved but a group of residents is still hoping to fight it through an appeal.

The ride would be located in unincorporated Larimer County and would be similar to other mountain coasters located at popular ski areas. According to paperwork filed with Estes Park, it would run from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. from May until October and on the weekends in the winter with reduced hours. The coaster would be less than 2,000 feet long.

"So we would prefer not to have it," said Graham Russell, a nearby resident.

Russell would have a clear view of the coaster from his property. He's concerned about the noise and parking but most of all he doesn't think it should be an allowed use under the current zoning. 

"There’s a very convoluted interpretation of the code being made to justify a commercial project in residentially zoned land," said Russell.

A man named Cody Walker is behind the project, he's also the Mayor Pro Tem for Estes Park. Denver7 reached out to Walker for comment but an auto-reply email message said he is currently unavailable.

"The real heart of things is in our table in the code that says here's all the different uses that could be done and there's a good couple dozen of those for various uses and one of them is this recreational facility," said Randy Hunt with the Town of Estes Park.

Residents who are opposed to the project fear it will pave the way for more rides and similar development in the future. 

"You know you could have a Ferris wheel next door, you could have a go-kart track," said Rebecca Urquhart, a land use attorney. 

She said fundraising is currently underway to pay for the appeal process.