Best use is no use, Upper Blue commissioners say
BRECKENRIDGE<Wetlands, an illegal subdivision, wildlife corridors, flood plains, density issues, county code conflicts: In the community development world, the home Marty and Jeanne Getz want to build has all the elements of a good suspense novel.It1s got so much of everything wrong, Upper Blue Planning commissioners agreed Thursday the 10-acre parcel between Tiger Run RV Park and Agape Outpost might not be a suitable site for any development.The property, owned by Frank Bydlon, is under contract to the Getzes, who would like to build a house, caretaker unit, barn and corral on the east side of the Blue River, which bisects the property. Although the property on the west side of the river is larger, neither the Getzes, county planners nor commissioners said they want another house to be visible from that part of the Highway 9 corridor.Numerous issues plague the proposal, starting with the fact that it is an illegal subdivision. The Getzes1 3subdivision was never platted.To make the subdivision legal, the couple would have to rezone the property, then apply to resubdivide it. The Getzes also need development rights to build, and they proposed purchasing a development right from the county1s new Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) bank. The TDR program was implemented last year to bring density out of the backcountry and into the more urban core of the valley. Developers who find they don1t have enough density on their land can purchase TDR units for $30,000.3Just because this property exists does not mean we have to put development on it, said commissioner Leigh Girvin.3I remember when (realtor) Keith (Schaefer) stood in front of us a couple of years ago and we told him there was no density on that land, said commissioner Mike Turek. 3Now we have this new gimmick: TDRs. Here1s a new way to rejuvenate the project. I don1t believe the TDR program is to be used in this fashion. I, in no good faith, could allow the use of TDRs to put development in this area<particularly if the house and leach field are in the flood plain.Neighboring property owner Sam McCleneghan, who spoke out against the project, said he tried numerous times over the years to purchase the property to preserve it as open space, but was turned down. He said he believes nothing should be built on the site.According to Craig, the 14,000-square-foot building envelope in which the Getzes want to build includes within its boundaries about 2,000 square feet of wetlands, and half of the envelope is in the 100-year flood plain.County codes say no development can take place within a flood plain. And commissioners said they doubt a leach field could be built there, either. But architect Bobby Craig said proper engineering can alleviate concerns regarding those issues.McCleneghan disagreed, saying the 75-year flood of 1995 should be reason enough to abandon the project.3Everything there is wetlands, he said. 3It looks like wetlands, it squishes like wetlands<all except for a 25-by-30-foot rectangle at the south end. Water flows through this every year. There is a seasonal pulse of water in the middle of the proposed building envelope.The site also is prime elk habitat.3They need this connection, McCleneghan said. 3The land needs to remain open. No houses, no fencing, no barns, no corral, just open.Commissioners agreed, saying they didn1t like development on either the west or east side of the river.3The code is very clear you can1t have residential development in a flood plain, said commissioner Rodney Griffin. 3And a house and a leach field is residential development.The proposal was continued to the June 27 meeting.
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