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Bulldozers threaten Smith Ranch with new Silverthorne Safeway store

Mary Ellen Gilliland - Silverthorne

Bulldozers could begin tearing into the pastoral Smith Ranch meadow as early as late October if Silverthorne approves the Safeway strip mall there.

Today at 6 p.m., the town planning commission will review the Denver developer’s project. Stakes and red tape already outline the retail footprint on the proposed 11-acre commercial site.

People who care about Silverthorne’s last pristine view corridor being sacrificed to increase sales tax revenues should express their opinions to town elected officials.

What’s more, they need to act quickly. The final decision may be made in the next nine days. The developer has requested that the project be fast-tracked, eliminating time for public input.

Developer Kornfeld-Kozlosky wants the town to combine the normal preliminary and final hearings for the project, shortcutting the approval process by many weeks and short-circuiting the citizen comment period.

This strip mall project is the most controversial to hit Silverthorne since the Wal-Mart Supercenter, a decision which threw the town into an uproar. To shortcut this approval process now is almost unthinkable – but the town’s planning department has recommended that the planning commission today, and town council next week, should do just that.

Most everyone supports a supermarket for Silverthorne and would like to see Safeway be that grocery retailer. Citizens view the town as on the right track there.

The problem is the location. Despite the developer’s protests to the contrary, land in the town business core does exist for this project. Reaching outside the town core to disrupt ranchlands valued by the community as a prime aesthetic resource is easy and cheap for the developer but a poor choice for the Silverthorne community. Speak up at the planning commission today at 6 p.m. and town council Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 6 p.m., both meetings in the Silverthorne Town Hall.

Mary Ellen Gilliland

Silverthorne


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