Friday, August 23, 2019

CB council wants to put Brush Creek plan on the front burner

Town will ask that the public hearing be in the north valley

By Mark Reaman

The Crested Butte Town Council members feel it is important they write a response letter to the Gatesco development team thanking them for participating in a work session concerning The Corner at Brush Creek on November 30 and make clear council concerns that were brought up at the work session.

“I am grateful for Gary Gates and the Gatesco team for coming to meet with us and think it is important to give them a clear and simple response to the project from the council,” said councilman Chris Haver.

Haver would like to see more units dedicated to low-income workers and, while he thought added density was appropriate for affordable housing projects, he seemed to indicate the current proposal being reviewed by the county was probably too dense for the space and wanted real comparables for the 14-acre site.

Haver also wanted to make sure the county planning commission was not cherry picking certain elements of the Land Use Resolution and suggested the town bring up points in the LUR that weren’t being thoroughly discussed at the county review meetings.

Councilman Kent Cowherd suggested the town have an official representative to represent the town at LUR review meetings over the project; he volunteered to be the person. Councilman Paul Merck said he would prefer that the staff represent the town and was not ready for Cowherd to speak for the Town Council.

Cowherd and Merck will help the staff draft a response letter to Gatesco that will be brought to the council for consideration at the December 18 meeting.

The next county planning commission meeting on the 240-unit project is scheduled for December 15 and will address transportation and water issues. A public hearing is tentatively being set up for January 19. The council, led by councilwoman Laura Mitchell, wanted to push for the meetings, especially the public hearings, to be located in the north end of the valley. “These meetings should be taking place up here,” she said.

The council will formally ask that the public hearing take place in Crested Butte.

Cowherd said the county LUR calls for changes to be considered during the sketch plan phase of the review and wanted to make sure the town was deeply involved with the process.

Town community development director Michael Yerman said the town had already submitted a good number of comments but recommended that the most important time to comment was at the public hearing when the comments would formally be entered into the record.

Town manager Dara MacDonald asked Haver and the council for assistance in compiling a letter pointing out elements of the LUR that were not being adequately addressed. “We can supplement our comments asking the planning commission to make sure they address issues not yet brought up,” she said.

The staff will also begin compiling detailed comments from the council for the January public hearing.

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