“Rest assured that the time has not been wasted”
By Kendra Walker
The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council has decided not to participate in the North Village Planned Unit Development (PUD) application process with North Village Associates LLC and the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), making the decision after an executive session on Tuesday, August 4 discussing financials and negotiations surrounding the development.
The council does hope to continue their involvement in the project once the PUD is approved and there’s a better sense of what the development will entail and the potential resources the town could utilize.
The council’s reasoning for opting out included the town’s financial situation due to the pandemic, making it difficult to support the PUD costs, as well as not feeling comfortable being a partner in a project that they would then be reviewing for approval as a council.
The 150-acre parcel located on the north end of Mt. Crested Butte has been a high priority topic for the Town Council over the past year as they’ve looked into potential town amenities the development could include in addition to property owner Dr. Claudio Alvarez’s plans for housing, open space and RMBL facilities.
“We all seem to be on the same page of how grateful we are to Claudio and the North Village team in even looking at doing this project,” said Mt. Crested Butte mayor Janet Farmer. “It’s something we are totally behind and something we want to happen for our community.”
Farmer continued, “We will not be part of the PUD process in discussion or financially or in any other way but we have expressed to them that we hope what they submit for the PUD includes the bus depot and the parking for Snodgrass and some space for affordable housing, and we’ll continue to work together on that. When the PUD is approved and we start moving into the design phase, hopefully the town will be able to have a more interactive role at that point.”
The town will also then decide whether their adjacent 17-acre Parcel F will be incorporated into the PUD.
“The council isn’t shutting the door on participation. It’s just the timing right now,” said community development director and assistant town manager Carlos Velado. “Once we get through the PUD approval process, then we can potentially be a partner on some level with some of the aspects of the PUD.”
Council member Roman Kolodziej, who has also participated in the weekly North Village subcommittee meetings all year, added, “While we can’t make promises of our involvement at this point, we hope it gives a strong indication of what we want and what the citizens want. Hopefully the fact-finding of the last several months pays off.”
Alvarez addressed the council, saying, “It’s been a great year of learning. I think this has been a great process. I want to thank you guys for the time you have given us.”
Because the North Village team has the funds to move forward with developing the PUD, Alvarez assured the council, “This doesn’t go to waste because we know what you guys want. It’s time for us to move forward on this project and you have our commitment that we will be faithful to all the statements that we have made to you. We’ll move forward and we’ll move some way or another with you. We will still be working together and our plan is to maintain ourselves pretty close to what we have already committed in terms of what we like and the layout. Rest assured that the time has not been wasted.”
North Village project manager Crockett Farnell added, “We appreciate everything you all have done. It clearly is going to make the public participation of the PUD process vastly easier. Thanks for the effort.”
Alvarez also noted that he would still like to invite Kolodziej and council member and North Village subcommittee member Nicholas Kempin to specific North Village meetings that may be pertinent to the council and the town. In the meantime, the Town Council also plans to look into grant opportunities that could potentially help fund the development phase of the project further down the road.