“Hiking, greenery, lakes, parks—those are things that excite us”
By Kendra Walker
The new owners of the North Village property in Mt. Crested Butte, Dr. Claudio and Mrs. Yvonne Alvarez, were in town this past week from Florida for several meetings concerning potential design plans for developing the 140-acre property located at the base of Snodgrass at the northern edge of town.
“We’ve had some initial plans, but like anything, it’s just initial,” said Claudio Alvarez. “We’ll make a decision once we’ve intellectually looked at it from all angles,” he noted on hiring a team to help with the design, including a project manager, a local architect and a local lawyer.
The North Village is currently approved for what was at one time expected to be a second base area serving a Snodgrass ski development. Ultimately the U.S. Forest Service rejected the idea of lift-served skiing on Snodgrass. The approved Planned Unit Development (PUD) included approximately 1,800 residential units along with commercial buildings.
Indications are that Alvarez plans to significantly reduce the density of the site. Of the 140 acres now owned by Alvarez, 62 acres are separate from the North Village PUD. The town also owns 17 acres in the North Village.
Alvarez told the council at the August 20 meeting that he is excited about possibly including trails, hiking, greenery, lakes and parks, and he relayed that RMBL executive director Ian Billick has been very much involved. “We are local folks in the last 12 years. We own a ranch locally and we are very into nature and conservation,” he said.
He stressed the importance of the town’s involvement as well, and he is working on reaching out to other entities such as the Forest Service and Vail Resorts. “We’ll present all of these [ideas and designs] to you but we ask that you be proactive in getting these things moved,” Alvarez said. “I think that property is the last piece of property left here to do something that will make this a town, a village, a community.”
Town community development director Carlos Velado said while the town is aware of the incoming proposal, nothing formal is in the pipeline. “There has been no submittal to the town,” he said. “Staff has met with Claudio and Yvonne and members of their team to discuss their vision for the project. The process will be a new PUD application. There is no timeline at this time.”
“Thank you for your vision that you have obviously had for developing this,” said mayor Janet Farmer at the meeting. Addressing the council, she added, “From what I’ve heard so far, [Alvarez] really has some exciting ideas moving forward and I think it’s going to be an exciting project.”