Permit Status Update for Apogaea

photo by Angelle Kingston

photo by Angelle Kingston

This week Apogaea appeared in front of the Park County Planning Commissioners to review our Permits for Apogaea and Safetygaea. The intent of this meeting is for the Planning Commissioners to make recommendations to the Park County Board of County Commissioners before our final public hearing with them next week. At that time, we expect to have clarity around the final resolution of our permit status.

The Planning Commission, after our lengthy presentation and Q&A session, plus being subjected to the public comment period, made the following recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.

The permit for Apogaea was recommended for approval, unanimously, with the following conditions:

• Our contract with Park Co Fire District is executed

• Our contract with Park Co Public works for road maintenance on County Road 68 is executed

• Flagger at the gate at Cty Rd 68 to manage traffic flow

• We must submit plans for all structures to be built on site for review with the Planning Department, which at this time we do not feel is going to have a large impact on the event.

• All statements made to the effect of how we operate our event are enforceable

• The event duration be 24 hours of set up, 48 hours for the event, and 24 hours for strike.

The permit for Safetygaea aka work weekend was recommended for denial.

• This is based on the concern that all of the participants of Safetygaea are ticket holders so the event really starts on June 5th and runs until June 15th. The planning commissioners feel that Safetygaea:

• Should not be it’s own event

• Construction of the event site should be held as part of Apogaea

• Training could be held at anytime prior to Apogaea and would not need a permit

The discussions around these permits reflect the fact that we meet all of the criteria for approval, actually doing an immense amount of work to meet the standards in the new regulations, but the perception of the intent of the County in crafting the new permit regulations to limit the event duration was the main stumbling block. A few of the commissioners expressed that it is normal for events to have a pre-event build the weekend before; that it is hard to know how many people it takes to build a large event safely; that we need to have a sizable number of people on site to maintain the infrastructure of the event site.

The vote went down 4 in favor of denial and one against. The Commissioner against the motion said that it is better for us to have a permit on the books for Safetygaea than having the event producers doing their own thing under the radar. This is a reference to that work can still happen at anytime on the land if there is under 150 people on site.

So where do we go from here? The Board and all of the Department Leads are looking at all of our options ranging from changing how we build our event to our approach with the County Commissioners. I implore everyone who is interested in working with us to find the creative solutions which I know our community can craft, to come the Board Meeting on Sunday, 1pm, at the Fusion Factory.

I know that this year has been fraught with challenges and I so appreciate everyone working together to insure that this will be an Apogaea that we will never forget. If you have ideas, comments or concerns around where we stand, please feel free to email 2015permit@apogaea.com where our public outreach team will be compiling and responding to these emails.

I look forward to seeing you at the Board meeting on Sunday.

Michael Moss

President, Apogaea Board of Directors

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