Breck gateway proposal finds no friends
BRECKENRIDGE The latest proposal for a gateway development project near the 7-Eleven (at Highway 9 and County Road 450) garnered only a luke-warm response during a town council work session this week, as elected officials called for more affordable housing and a bigger cash contribution toward community benefits.I hope we can find a way to do business, but I dont think this is it. I think thats what you’re hearing across the board, said Mayor Ernie Blake, referring to the proposal, dubbed Entrada by developers Kurt Ave and Kirk Michelson. Earlier in the session, Blake said the town desperately needs something done on this property.As reviewed during the Tuesday work session, the plans called for 23 townhomes and two professional buildings on the site, with about 33 percent of the residential square footage dedicated to affordable housing for residents with incomes at or below 80 percent of the average median income. The proposals also included a $50,000 contribution toward childcare, as well as another $115,000 for pedestrian paths in the area.The town has looked at several other development proposals for the site in recent years, including a gas station bid by Kum & Go. The 4.13-acre parcel is currently a trailer park, with only four of the trailers occupied, according to Ave and Michelson. The land is in Summit County, and the developers hope to be annexed to the town of Breckenridge, tapping into municipal water supplies.While town council members appreciated the office space proposed on the land, they want to see significant changes to the plan before considering annexation, especially with regard to affordable housing. The towns annexation policy specifically calls for catching up and keeping up with affordable housing needs, according to planner Laurie Best.We have a significant deficit of affordable housing. We dont want to get farther behind, Best said.Newly elected Councilmember John Warner echoed Best.I dont see how 33 percent does it, Warner said. I think this site works for economy type lodging, said Councilmember Rob Millisor. Were losing all that business to Frisco right now. Thats why it was zoned that way, he added, suggesting that the parcel, with its Highway 9 location, would perfect for a budget motel, along with the proposed commercial component.I dont like townhomes on that site, and 33 percent just doesnt do it for me, Millisor said. I dont get the logic that its good enough for townhomes but not for affordable housing, he added, referring to the view that the site on the highway is not ideal for affordable housing.That was a point of debate for the council. Eric Mamula said he doesnt think the site works for affordable housing. Instead, he suggested a significant cash donation to fund affordable housing or other community needs elsewhere in town. Mamula said he was thinking about $250,000 to $300,000.I think it does work as affordable housing, and I dont know that theres a shortage of townhomes in Breckenridge, said Councilmember Jeffrey Bergeron. Based on the wide range of opinions they heard from elected officials, the developers will have their hands full trying to revamp their proposal before coming back for another review.
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