Corkscrew a step closer to annexation |

Corkscrew a step closer to annexation

Jane Stebbins
Special to the DailyIt's taken almost two years, but developers of the Corkscrew property, between French Gulch and the Weisshorn subdivisions, is one step closer to being annexed into Breckenridge. Development plans call for 39 homes.

BRECKENRIDGE – Breckenridge Lands representatives will go back to the drawing board for the sixth time, but only to iron out details in the proposed Corkscrew subdivision project.

Despite the minor clarifications the Breckenridge Planning Commission requested, they did give approval for the project to proceed through the annexation process.

The project is located on a swath of dredge rocks and forested land between French Creek and the Weisshorn subdivisions north and east of downtown Breckenridge. Developers propose to build 39 homes there, none of which will exceed 3,800 square feet, not including garages.

The project has not been without controversy.

The property, currently in the county, is zoned for one unit per 20 acres, meaning the developers could only build one house on the 35-acre parcel. Under the town’s master plan, if the property were annexed, it would fall into Land Use Districts (LUDs) 1 and 14.2, with a total of 9.26 units of density.

LUD 1 is for recreational and residential uses, but only is permitted to have .1 units per acre of density. LUD 14.2 is zoned for residential uses and allows up to four units of density per acre.

Developer Tom Begley propose to purchase 29.74 units of density from the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) bank. The TDR process moves density from the backcountry to the urban core to prevent sprawl and protect the rural character of the land.

The Joint Upper Blue Master Plan discourages upzoning, except for affordable housing or to transfer density in from the backcountry.

Each unit of density costs $34,000, meaning Breckenridge Lands will pay more than $841,000 into the town’s open space fund.

The original proposal called for 45 homes on lots averaging .39 of an acre, which neighbors and planning commissioners agreed was too dense. Now the proposal calls for 39 homes, each on lots averaging .43 of an acre.

Begley presented five site-specific sketches with the maximum density allowed to show how they would fit on the lots. That so-called “fit test” is one criteria the developers must meet before proceeding to annexation.

“We feel we’re doing this project one better than the surrounding properties,” Begley said, referring to the Weisshorn and French Creek neighborhoods. “We’re providing a buffer neighborhood between the higher density neighborhood (French Creek) and the lower density neighborhood (Weisshorn).”

The Weisshorn is an eclectic subdivision comprised of various-sized lots and homes of different styles and sizes – from A-frames to trophy homes. French Creek was built as a vacation getaway and is comprised of smaller manufactured homes on lots of about a third of an acre in size.

Commissioners said they were concerned about four of those homes because they will abut LUD 1, and it will be difficult to keep construction out of the district. Begley agreed to provide maps with disturbance and building envelopes for each property to show how that would be addressed.

Neighbors who originally expressed concerns about trails, traffic and density said they are satisfied with the changes made to the plans.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or

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