Slight changes include “growth” versus “development”
by Katherine Nettles
The Mt. Crested Butte town council has updated its Three Mile Boundary Plan, in order to provide a more definite guide for future development of property on the fringes of the town’s commercial and residential areas. The last time the plan had been amended was 1998.
Community development director Carlos Velado presented a draft version of the update from the planning commission to the council for consideration at a work session on August 21, along with other Three Mile Plans for the towns of Rico and Minturn for comparison, as well as a build-out summary of platted lots within the town limits. He reported that of those lots that could be built upon, about 64 percent of them have been.
The council discussed several approaches to the update, such as whether changes would be major or minor, before ultimately deciding to fine-tune the existing document. “Our plan is incredibly detailed, and visionary compared to some of these others…let’s work with what we have,” said council member Dwayne Lehnertz.
Town manager Joe Fitzpatrick gave his perspective as well. “The three mile plan just focuses on your immediate boundary…what areas you might want to annex to bring into the town area…given our uniqueness of where we are, just like Minturn, we’re very limited on areas of expansion to begin with,” he said.
Town attorney Kathleen Fogo suggested that the council could keep it as general or specific as they wanted. “I think a lot of the specifics would fit more into a comprehensive plan, which is something that the town needs to do as well, rather than putting all the pressure on the Three Mile Plan that is going to have to be looked at annually,” said Fogo.
Velado and the town attorney worked to amend the details most important to the council, which fell into the Section Growth Areas/Future Development.
“The changes were pretty subtle,” said Velado of the final draft approved September 4. “Mostly, council wanted to differentiate between areas identified for potential growth…and parcels among those areas that they do not want to see used for residential or commercial development.”
“This plan is meant to be a guiding document,” said Velado, to be used when considering any future annexation requests. He described annexation as “fairly simple… and [any individual request] can be passed by the council.”