Breck rejects developer’s attempts |

Breck rejects developer’s attempts

BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge Town Council members Tuesday night again applauded developer Gene Gregory’s attempt to provide affordable housing, but reiterated that his proposal is not what they’re looking for at the entrance to town.

The land, which Gregory would like to annex into the town of Breckenridge, is currently zoned for lodging and commercial uses.

Gregory would like to erect 50 prebuilt duplexes at the corner of Highway 9 and County Road 450, across from the 7-Eleven, but council members and town planning commissioners agreed in the past month that the proposal is too much for the four-acre site.

Additionally, they said they didn’t like the looks of the proposed units, which would each be about 750 square feet and similar to homes at Tiger Run RV Park.

This summer, he presented the general idea to the town council, which encouraged him to begin the process with the town’s planning staff. The planning commission, however, said it didn’t think housing was appropriate at the prominent intersection, nor did they think the appearance of units there was what the town is looking for in affordable housing. The council agreed.

“We support virtually every site for affordable housing,” said Mayor Sam Mamula. “There is a higher standard for design at the gateway than an area with relative seclusion.”

Elected officials also questioned the affordability aspect of the project. Units are proposed to be sold for $162,000 to $187,000, which, even after Gregory’s proposed financing plan and rent credits for residents who live in existing trailer parks, is still too steep for many.

Gregory hopes to meet demand for households making 65 percent to 85 percent Area Median Income.

The AMI is the amount of money at which half the people earn more and half earn less. A household of four in Summit County needs to make $58,160 to qualify at 80 percent AMI.

Gregory said the land cost is to blame for the higher prices, and if he reduces the number of homes in the development, the price would go up even higher. Already, he noted, each lot costs him $45,000.

“You’ve taken it out of the area in which we want to focus,” said Councilmember Larry Crispell of the AMI goal. “By the time you’re finished, the costs will be at 120 percent AMI – guaranteed. The reason we address affordable housing is because we want to build community. I don’t see it here. By the time you’re done, you’re not going to meet the criteria.”

“I’m doing something I thought was good for the town,” Gregory said of his efforts to garner approval for the project. “I’m bending over backward. I’m a businessman. At some point, I have to say I can’t do this and I have to let McDonald’s in. Unfortunately, I may have to do that.”

– Jane Stebbins

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