Small piece of town property to accommodate extending Eighth Street
By Mark Reaman
Cypress Foothills developers hope to begin work this summer to clean up portions of the old town landfill just north of Crested Butte. As part of the process to utilize a state voluntary clean-up plan (VCUP), Cypress has asked the town to enter into a license agreement that would permit the developers to clean up a small portion of the dump that sits beneath town property on the Eighth Street right of way that could eventually provide access to the development. The council was amenable to the idea and will look at a proposed agreement at the May 15 council meeting.
Cypress Foothills attorney Marcus Lock said when he reviewed the amount of paperwork that accompanied a VCUP project he thought it wise to see if the town wanted the developers to include that small portion of the property in the Cypress application.
The developers agreed to cover the costs of that part of the clean-up and build the road to town specs.
“Doing this would ensure another artery into the development,” noted mayor Glenn Michel.
“The biggest reservation is the risk of potential liability issues if something is dug up that requires a bigger clean-up,” said town planner Michael Yerman.
Town attorney John Belkin concurred. “If anyone disturbs the old landfill and locates hazmats [hazardous materials], it could bring liability that the town doesn’t have right now,” he said, “and it could bring responsibility to do something to protect the town and the neighbors. No one knows what is there. If you decide to go forward and in the unlikely event something is found, the town could be liable.”
Lock said test holes indicate little chance of hazardous materials buried beneath the soil in that area.
“Having Eighth Street is good for the town and good for the development,” said Lock. “The acreage we are dealing with on the town property is very small. Time is of the essence. Cypress wants to do the VCUP this summer and turn ground in July.”
The development proposal is currently working its way through the Gunnison County review process. A public hearing is scheduled for this month on Friday, May 12 at 1:30 p.m. in the Crested Butte council chambers.
“The question for us is whether having Eighth Street is a benefit to the town. That’s the basic discussion point. If it’s not, the discussion isn’t needed,” said town council member Chris Ladoulis.
“If a school is out there, the street becomes more important. It is a safe route to school,” said Yerman. “If an emergency services center is out there, it could be a quicker way for emergency vehicles to get to the northeast part of town when needed. Plus, the recreation amenities such as the trails and river access would be easier to get to with Eighth Street. But the potential school probably has the most merit, especially since a school for younger students is being contemplated there.”
“I think it’s important to have Eighth Street access to the town land in that development,” said Michel. “I say let’s go for it.”
The rest of the council agreed and instructed the town manager to come back to the council with a license agreement to consider at the May 15 meeting. Belkin said he would have the town’s environmental attorney render an opinion on the proposal for the next meeting as well.