Breckenridge rolls out blueprint for town’s future |

Breckenridge rolls out blueprint for town’s future

BRECKENRIDGE – On the heels of a community debate over the installation of solar panels in certain locations, the Town of Breckenridge released the first summary of its “Sustainable Breck” action plan, a project that could include, among other things, a community solar garden, town-subsidized attainable rental properties and solutions for skier parking.

“It’s intended as a quick summary,” assistant community development director Mark Truckey said of the document presented to town council Tuesday. “We’re excited because we’re ready to release our proposed actions to the public. We’re getting close to actually adopting this, and then we’re going to be working on implementing it right away.”

The plan was developed through extensive input collected last summer from Breckenridge residents and sets out current and long-term actions and measures to be taken in the next year to help further the goals set out in the town’s vision plan.

Community members said they are still committed to the goals of the Sustainable Breck plan, despite the recent controversy over proposed solar arrays at the Riverwalk Center and Breckenridge Golf Club. Some town council members expressed concern that lack of support for those solar placements might mean soft support for the Sustainable Breck plan.

Bonnie Smith, a Breckenridge resident active in the Sustainable Breck public processes last summer, said she still supports the plan in the right contexts.

“I think that saving energy and trying to be sustainable is critical,” Smith said. “But there’s a cost. We really have to make sure that everything we do is keeping with the town character.”

The Sustainable Breck action plan covers economic and social sustainability projects in addition to environmental sustainability, but the summary released Tuesday describes a number of short- and long-term commitments to renewable energy and energy reduction strategies for the town. The town does intend to place solar panels on nine public facilities within the next year.

The Sustainable Breck plan summary highlights current, one-year and long-term actions that will be taken to improve sustainability in a number of categories and ways the outcomes of those actions will be measured.

Proposals for the next year include a tree replanting program, the possible removal of “unsustainable” trails and paths through “sensitive” areas such as Cucumber Gulch and a green business certification program. The Sustainable Breck plan also suggests Main Street improvements for pedestrians and packages to provide low-income rental housing opportunities as town projects for the next year.

In reviewing the plan summary, town council members said they did not want Sustainable Breck to micro-manage town economic initiatives and that they wanted to back off of town subsidies of new affordable housing.

“They wanted us to take a look at (whether) we are achieving the goals we have for housing,” Truckey said. “(And) how we can add to our housing inventory with the least amount of town subsidy.”

The summary also mentions a push for reusable bags or an all-out ban on disposable bags for Breckenridge in the near future.

The plan will be presented to the public in an open house in the next few months, Truckey said.

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