Breckenridge Town Council wishes it got a better deal in CMC housing deal
Call it a case of sellers’ remorse, but if the Breckenridge Town Council had a do-over, the agreement approved unanimously Tuesday night to lease Colorado Mountain College 20 town apartments might look very different.
In the deal, the town agrees to lease CMC 14 studios and six one-bedroom units in two buildings built by the town for up to three years. The agreement also comes with an option for CMC to buy the apartment buildings at any time during the terms of its lease.
Councilman Mike Dudick wasn’t completely happy with the agreement, and he said that given the chance to go back to when it was first agreed upon, he would look to get Breckenridge taxpayers a better return on their money.
“I think the return that we get on it is not relative in terms of our investment,” he said, adding that he would begrudgingly vote for the plan. “It’s not horrible, but it’s a great deal for CMC and not a great deal to the return of our capital.”
Councilwoman Wendy Wolfe echoed Dudick’s statements, but both council members expressed feelings that it was important to honor the deal to which the town had already agreed. Council members used the word “integrity.”
The buildings are at 45 Denison Placer Road and 61 Denison Placer Road, and the lease includes the subdivided lots upon which the buildings were built.
For rights to occupy those apartments, CMC will put down a $50,000 security deposit and pay $20,600 a month in rent the first year — a total of $247,200 — with that amount scheduled to increase annually based on Annual Median Income adjustments, but not to exceed 3 percent in any given year.
Free to determine the terms of the rental agreements it offers, CMC will in turn sublease the apartments itself, but must give priority to its students and employees, Upper Blue employees and then Summit County employees, in that order.
With the lease, the town is projected to gain $174,000 in additional revenue.
Additionally, the agreement comes with an option for CMC to buy the apartment buildings anytime in the next three years for $5.8 million. That amount would cover the town’s construction costs.
In voting for the proposal, council members said they can take some comfort in knowing the agreement pertains to a larger issue — the lack of housing for local workers — and Dudick added that he’ll have to “rest with the social value of it and next time be more diligent about the works of a deal like this.”
The measure passed 7-0 on first reading and has to pass on second reading before it becomes final. All council members were in attendance.
In other business
• Council passed on first reading a measure instituting term limits on members of the Breckenridge Planning Commission and the Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission. The plan also initially called for term limits on the Liquor and Marijuana Licensing Authority, but that was nixed after some council members expressed fear the move could deplete the authority of some of its most experienced membership.
“I understand we’re trying to get new people on there, but imagine the ramifications if you’re taking off your super experienced commissioners all at once,” Councilwoman Elizabeth Lawrence said.
• Council tabled voting on second reading of an ordinance requiring short-term rentals, defined as anything less than 30 days, to include their business license number on all advertisements. The move is designed to help reign in short-term renters who aren’t collecting the town’s sales tax on their transactions.
• Council approved on second reading a rewrite of the town’s building code appeals process, making the board that hears appeals one that’s created on an “as-needed basis,” rather than having it be a standing body.
• The town approved transferring housing density allotments from the Carter Museum property to the Denison Placer 2 Attainable Workforce Housing Project. The move is the result of a 2011 rule that requires the town transfer development rights for town-owned property as it builds workforce housing. The goal is to help mitigate the impacts of new density.
• In his first council update as the director of Breckenridge Public Works, James Phelps received a round of applause. Among other items, he told the council about a plan to fix concrete curbing at the skate park at a cost of $5,000.
• Mayor Eric Mamula announced the creation of a new recognition from the town, a citizen’s leadership award, and bestowed it on longtime member of the planning commission Dave Pringle. Mamula noted that Pringle has served on the commission for 40 years, a feat the mayor said he bets “will never be rivaled,” especially since they passed term limits for the commissioners Tuesday. A plaque with Pringle’s name in the first slot will hang in chambers, and Pringle took home a glass sculpture. After their remarks, Mamula gave Pringle a hug as the gallery gave him a standing ovation. Nomination forms for the award are available on the town’s website.
• Council discussed proposals pertaining to setting up rules for a new workforce development neighborhood and on adopting a Public Arts Master Plan but took no action on either measure.
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