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County Planning Commission signs off on Cypress Slate River development

Lots could be for sale this summer

by Mark Reaman

The Gunnison County commissioners will consider a recommendation from the county Planning Commission to approve the Cypress Foothills, Slate River Development proposal in June.

The Planning Commission reviewed a draft recommendation on May 19 and while making a few edits to the 16-page draft, the commission was in favor of approving the proposal and passing that recommendation on to the county commissioners.

The 44-acre development located just north of Crested Butte across from the Gas Café is a hybrid development involving both county approval and ultimately annexation of 14 acres of land into the town of Crested Butte. There will be 23 home sites located on the 30 acres that remain in the county. Each site can have a house no larger than 5,000 square feet and an accessory dwelling no larger than 750 square feet.

There will be six home sites located on the 14 acres west of the Slate River that will be annexed to town.

Approximately 11 acres will be given to Crested Butte to be used for public amenities ranging from trails to a potential school site and affordable housing.

“We have worked hard to address all of the town’s concerns and I think we have up to this point,” said Cypress attorney Marcus Lock.

Crested Butte town planner Michael Yerman confirmed that was the case to the Planning Commission.

While the Planning Commission accepted a couple of more letters citing concerns about the proposal, no members of the public attended the May 19 meeting and the public hearing was closed.

Lock did make a point to respond to a letter from Crested Butte resident Fred Sandusky, who asserted that “the winners are the development and Town of Crested Butte, [but] locals get very little except more second homes, traffic, wildlife and wetland impacts.”

Lock read off a list of about two dozen public benefits that come with the development and its agreement with the town. His list included things like cleaning up part of the old town landfill; trails; potential affordable housing; a transfer fee on future sales; public access to the Slate River; and “drought-proofing of the town’s water supply through the conveyance of senior McCormick Ditch water rights.”

“Cypress has worked very hard to include many, many public benefits with this project,” Lock said.

As part of the approval, Yerman asked for and received assurances from the developers that the “Homeowner’s Cottage” would not be used for sleeping. It would instead be used more like a clubhouse for homeowners. The structure will be built on a common lot to be used by the 23 homeowners in the new subdivision.

The Planning Commission came up with 16 findings supporting the recommendation that the county commissioners approve the Preliminary/Final Plan with 11 conditions ranging from the construction of a southbound left-turn lane on Gothic Road to Pyramid Avenue, to making sure the development “shall not be a gated community.”

It is expected that the Board of County Commissioners will review and consider the recommendation at the June 6 meeting.

If approved, Cypress plans to start cleaning up a portion of the old town landfill this summer.

“The goal is to begin cleaning up the dump and begin installation of roads and utilities in July,” explained Lock. “Under the county process, lot sales can begin upon recording of the final plat and execution of a development improvements agreement.”

“Lots will be available for sale this summer pending BOCC approval,” confirmed Cypress Vice President Cameron Aderhold.

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