Mt. CB approves Prospect preliminary plan

Water and San capacity still in question

By Kendra Walker

In a 5-1 vote, the Mt. Crested Butte town council approved the major alteration preliminary subdivision and preliminary planned unit development (PUD) plan for the Upper Prospect subdivision during their May 21 meeting. Councilmember Roman Kolodziej voted against approval, and councilmember Michael Bacani was not in attendance.  

The proposed plan by owner Crested Butte Land Holdings, LLC, represented by GCM Squared and Huckstep Law, creates 52 single-family lots over approximately 42 acres of unplatted land within the Prospect Subdivision in north Mt. Crested Butte. It proposes single-family homes, accessory structures, open space and recreational uses in Development Area E, and allows single-family homes, accessory structures, accessory parking, pump house and recreational uses in Development Area F. 

The plan subdivides Development Areas E and F with densities and lot configurations consistent with the 2001 Subdivision and PUD approvals. The properties were never subdivided but previously entitled under the Prospect PUD, which expired in 2018.

With approval, the council included two additional conditions related to water and sanitation and maximum gross residential floor areas (GRFA).

As previously reported in the Crested Butte News, the Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District has raised concerns that its main sewer line for the town is nearing maximum capacity at certain times of the year and might not be able to handle a major increase in wastewater flows. The district has asked that no building permits be issued for major developments coming down the pipeline, including the Villages at Mt. Crested Butte and Prospect, until it has rectified the capacity issue. 

“You all are very aware that the district has indicated volumes of flow in the main line are nearing capacity. What the district has requested is to require their sign off before any permits are issued,” said attorney for the applicant Aaron Huckstep. “We believe that would always be the case. That is what we believe is proper with regard to this application.”

“I understand the struggle between what the district is working on and what is before you tonight,” town attorney Gerald Dahl told the council. “Overall what the district is going to do with the planning of their system, the town has separate obligations. The town is in charge of reviewing land development.”

The council agreed to the requirement that the town will not issue any construction, excavation, land disturbance or building permits for the project until the developer obtains written approval from the Mt. Crested Butte Water and Sanitation District of the developer’s final engineer stamped and construction-ready water and wastewater utility plans.

“Water and San has got some serious homework to do,” said councilmember Dwayne Lehnertz. 

“It’s still to be determined who will foot the bill for service,” said Kolodziej, expressing concern that residents will experience an increase in their water bills to help the district pay for the main sewer line upgrade. 

Regarding maximum GRFA, the council agreed to the condition that no residence should exceed 8,500 square feet or 25% of the lot, whichever is less, when two lots are combined. Dahl further clarified that the combination of lots should be consistent with the entitlements available to the individual lots separate and apart from being combined.

The council also asked about the realignment of trails currently going through the property. 

“The applicant does not control the trails outside the proposed subdivision area. Getting Vail’s agreement on where exactly a trail realignment would go is not easy,” said Huckstep. “We will work with CBMBA (Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association) to see what they think will be a proper realignment. We’re engaging in this issue about trails and will continue to engage with Vail about where those trails get relocated.”

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