Town in negotiations, not litigation
[ By Kendra Walker ]
During the June 7 Mt. Crested Butte council meeting, several community members expressed their concerns regarding the pending Homestead affordable housing project. Since November Lance Windell, the developer of the 22-unit project, has been in default of his contracts with each of the homeowners and the construction project has been at a standstill. The town is consulting with a Denver-based attorney to determine the next steps forward, however, the homeowners who had anticipated to be moved into their new homes by now still feel in the dark with the situation.
LaDonna Garcia said she had heard the town was now in litigation. “I’m hoping now that we have a different town manager we can move forward with moving Homestead on the agenda,” she said.
Garcia continued, “We’d like to know if you could provide to the community the name of your counsel and the status of litigation. I’d also like to know what options the town has considered as an alternative to the Homestead project and for those of us who have been waiting almost three years for a home.”
Mt. Crested Butte communications and marketing officer Marisa Maudsley confirmed with the Crested Butte News that the parties are not in litigation and town attorney Kathy Fogo has shared that the town is working with Joe Rivera of Murray Dahl, Beery & Renaud.
Andre Garcia also spoke. “I think it sucks because you guys aren’t really doing anything to help anybody with affordable housing. There’s a lot of second homeowners that live there and not a lot of people that actually live up there that are part of the community,” he said. “There are 20 different families that are without anything right now. Right now, I am homeless and just dealing with it. I would like to see if we can get this put on the agenda moving forward so we can get more information right now…nobody is communicating with us on the status on this. We haven’t heard anything since November.”
Mark Fontenot lives on Deer Creek Circle next to Homestead. “My biggest concern is right now Homestead is not safe. Twenty feet from my front yard is a hole 20 feet down the ground that’s not protected. The wind slaps the construction materials. I cannot sleep up there. I’ve moved out. I want to know what’s going on up there and when I can expect to live in my house again. I’d love to live there, I want to live there, that’s my home but right now it’s unlivable.”
“Currently, the town has hired legal counsel and is negotiating with the current developer to find an amicable solution regarding the Homestead project,” Maudsley shared with the News. “We are aggressively pursuing a timely resolution that is satisfactory to all parties. Due to the sensitive nature of negotiations, and under guidance of the town’s attorney, we are unable to share more information at this time but are hopeful we will come to a resolution soon.”
The council went into an executive session during their June 21 meeting to discuss Homestead negotiations with Rivera.