Mt. CB finalizes Nordic Inn development agreement

Half-baths added to four affordable housing units

By Kendra Walker

The town of Mt. Crested Butte has agreed to a two-year extension to an existing planned unit development (PUD) approval for the Nordic Inn, and in exchange for town-owned property, developer Pearls Management, LLC (Pearls) will provide community housing as part of the Nordic Inn redevelopment. 

The Nordic Inn, which has gone through several proposed iterations for a major alteration PUD, has a new proposal that would give the existing building a makeover and add cottage-style lodging to the property. Per the agreement with the town, Pearls will provide eight community housing units in the development, four of which will be constructed on the town-owned ROS-1 property adjacent to the Nordic Inn and conveyed to the town. 

The agreement also requires that the town’s community housing units be constructed at the same time as the rest of the development. In the event that construction does not commence before the expiration of the PUD, Pearls shall pay the town $1.05 million.

The two-year extension was sparked by the town council requesting additional half bathrooms in each of the town’s four community housing units during agreement negotiations. The original PUD was set to expire March 4, 2025. Pearls attorney Aaron Huckstep explained the reasoning behind the two-year extension request during a public hearing and town council meeting on February 6. 

“I think we’ve thought of every single possibility we can here and have been working on this agreement for quite some time,” he told the council. “The reason why we want two years is because won’t know how long it’s going to take for this PUD to be processed. It’s very easy for me to see how quickly that time can get eaten. I don’t know how to predict the way meetings will fall over the next 10 months and I don’t want to put my client at risk. I want to make sure you all understand our full intention is to get this major alteration into the process, get your review and get it approved and start moving dirt.”

“I want to make clear that this agreement does not and is not intended to circumvent the PUD process,” town manager Carlos Velado told the council. “We have to go through that process. This agreement puts guidelines in place for that but does not force any decisions for approval on the town.”

The town council expressed concern with a PUD extension possibly pushing the project, and therefore their community housing, back even farther. 

“All it does is that the approvals of the existing PUD will remain in place until 2027. But if we can approve a new PUD, that will replace it,” said Velado. “If we get this resolved then we can move forward with this process. It’s the intent of both parties to get started on this process immediately.”

With the new extension, the existing PUD will now expire on March 4, 2027. As part of the pending development agreement, Pearls shall submit a new PUD application with a different development plan. The existing PUD would be replaced by the new application, if approved, or after the existing PUD expires, whichever comes first.

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