Contested Silverthorne development sells out first phase
2001 — Silverthorne Town Council amends comprehensive plan, sets density limit at one unit per 5 acres
2005 — Town approves first South Maryland Creek Ranch proposal for 71 units on 355 acres
2007 — Town approves revision to SMCR proposal after addition of 61 acres, bringing density to 84 units on 416 acres
2014 — Town hears second revision to SMCR proposal, calling for 240 units on 416 acres
March 3, 2015: Silverthorne Planning Commission forwarded recommendation of approval for PUD major amendment application to council.
June 10, 2015: Town council approves ordinance on second reading, thereby increasing maximum allowable density from 83 to 240 units on 416 acres
Sept. 23, 2015: Planning Commission forwarded recommendation of approval of SMCR preliminary plan for subdivision
March 1, 2016: Planning commission forwards recommendation of final plat approval for phase one cabins
Source: Town of Silverthorne
Just months after the first phase for Summit Sky Ranch received final approval, the entire swath of 46 single-family homes sold out this spring. The long-contested development has been in the works for over a decade, with nearby residents raising concerns about the project’s density last year.
On March 9, 2016, the town approved the final plat for a cabin area, rounding out the first phase of 63.5 acres. At build out, the development will feature a total of 240 units on 416 acres.
“The final plat is a big deal. It represents a tremendous amount of work for town staff as well as our team,” developer Tom Everist said before council shortly before they voted in approval. “We’re excited. We have five professionals moving in (to Summit Sky Ranch) involved with our project. To me, that says something very special.”
By the end of the first quarter of 2016, the development reported 19 new sales contracts for $17 million. Since sales opened on Sept. 19, 2015, Summit Sky Ranch sold 48 single-family homes and cabins for a total of $54 million.
The development features a smaller cabin section, with homes ranging from 1,550 to 2,150 square feet starting in the low $600,000s. It also includes several single-family homes between 2,250 and 3,400 square feet in the $800,000s. Each home features three to five bedrooms.
“Three bedrooms and a two-car garage is a really livable space,” said director of development Joanna Hopkins. “Our sales so far are half full-time residents, half second-home owners. They’ve been really popular with both.”
The project also has a limited number of “estate lots,” larger pieces of land where families may build their own custom home. To wrap up the first phase, developers will construct a community center called the “Aspen House,” pending final approval by the town in July.
FROM MARYLAND CREEK TO SUMMIT SKY
Longtime local businessman Tom Everist obtained the property, known as Maryland Creek Ranch, in 1995. He originally purchased the land for his family’s gravel extraction and processing business, Everist Materials.
“There are several lakes in Silverthorne, and most are from previous Everist operations throughout the years,” Hopkins explained.
Maryland Creek Ranch is located north of Silverthorne, and features Everist Materials operations and local ranches north of the housing development. Hopkins said with the southernmost 415 acres dedicated for Summit Sky Ranch, the remaining 640 acres are home to Everist’s business, hay meadows, cattle and horses.
When the first proposal for the development, then called “South Maryland Creek Ranch” was sent to the town, it called for 71 units on 355 acres of land. Shortly after, the area was expanded to 84 units of 416 acres. But in 2014, local citizens were shocked when the requested number of units nearly tripled to 240 for the planned use development.
Hopkins explained the property was originally intended for 70 larger, custom home lots.
“With the recession and the economic downturn, the demand for that type of product really went away,” she said. “So, we took a hard look and wanted to design something that would work well in the new economy.”
With several Silverthorne residents voicing their concerns about the change in density, the approval of the parcel was postponed. Town council finally approved it on June 10, 2015.
“At this point, the density was already decided,” said Marty Richardson, executive director of Friends of the Lower Blue River. “That’s a done deal. There’s nothing we plan to do at this point.”
Right now, the developer is looking at four to five phases to build all 240 units, projecting build out in five to seven years. The developer will submit phase two approvals to the town next week, with limited releases of those homes planned for this summer into fall.
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