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Friday’s Brush Creek public hearing: all day affair in Mt. CB

Gatesco not giving up with county review

By Mark Reaman

There should be plenty of opportunity to comment on the controversial 240-unit Brush Creek housing proposal before the Gunnison County Planning Commission this Friday, February 16. The Planning Commission is setting aside an entire day in Mt. Crested Butte to take public comment on the proposal for the sketch plan phase of the review process.

The Planning Commission meeting will start at 8:45 a.m. at the Lodge at Mountaineer Square Ballroom. The agenda calls for adjournment at 7 p.m. with several breaks along the way. The public hearing begins at 10:30 a.m.

The now 26-building proposal submitted by Gatesco Inc. includes building 240 rental apartments in three phases on the 14-acre parcel at the Corner of Brush Creek Road and Highway 135. Of the 240 units, 150 would have a deed restriction that caps income for residents to less than 180 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

One hundred of the units would be dedicated to households making less than 80 percent of the AMI, which is currently $45,360. The number of bedrooms has been reduced from 408 to 362. The plan also calls for a bus stop, transit center, wastewater treatment plant, 400 residential parking spaces, open space and a trail. The developers say they expect between 500 and 550 people to live on site with the first residents moving in in 2020/2021.

While a vote last week from the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council threw a wrench into the transfer of the land by not garnering enough council support for the sale of the property, the developers have vowed to push on despite the lack of support for the sale from both Mt. Crested Butte and the town of Crested Butte.

“While the tie vote by the Mt. Crested Butte Town Council last week, which resulted in a decision to not sell the land, was disappointing, based on conversations we’ve had, we haven’t heard that it was a signal to kill the project,” said Gatesco’s John O’Neal. “We were just one vote away from the three parties deciding to sell the land. Based on that and the support that is coming, we feel we need to keep moving forward through the county review process.”

According to the public hearing agenda, the developers will have from 9 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. to present additional information about the project. It is expected there will be new visual renderings, updated information on parking and a computer-generated video of what the proposed development will look like from various perspectives along Highway 135.

The public comment will start at 10:30 a.m. and there may be a time limit imposed on each individual.

Gunnison County community and economic development director Cathie Pagano explained that there would be a break between 1 and 2 p.m. instead of noon “to enable anyone on their lunch break to participate.” Similarly, there will be another break from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. with a resumption of the hearing at 5:30 until 7 p.m. “to allow for anyone who would like to participate after the typical work day schedule.” People should not expect to make more than one comment.

No action will be taken by the Planning Commission or county commissioners at the meeting on February 16. Pagano said there is a work session scheduled for February 23 for the planning commissioners to provide direction to staff on how they would like to proceed. That normally comes in the form of recommendation of approval of the sketch plan, approval with conditions, or a denial of the sketch plan.

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