County open space for Fishhook parcel rejected |

County open space for Fishhook parcel rejected

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY ” A $1.2 million dollar bid by the county to buy the 35-acre Fishhook property as open space has been rejected by owner Mark Thaemert, who currently is considering a higher offer from a private development interests.

The Fishhook parcel, located on the east side of Highway 6, at the Swan Mountain Road intersection, is zoned for low-density residential development. Under the existing zoning, one residential unit would be allowed on the parcel, said Snake River planning commissioner Craig Suwinski.

“This is something the community needs to be involved with,” Suwinski said, explaining that the planning commission took a very close look at the parcel during a master plan update. The current zoning rests in large part on the community input received during the master planning, he said, adding that any potential plan for commercial development would require rezoning, and should be subject to public scrutiny.

The question of commercial development on the property came up two years ago when Dillon tabbed the parcel for potential annexation. At least two public meetings ensued, and Suwinski said that, as he remembers, there was very little support for commercial development on the site.

The county has long eyed the parcel as a potential open space acquisition, based on its value as an undeveloped “buffer” between Dillon and Keystone and as a view corridor from U.S. Highway 6. An earlier county offer on the property was also rejected.

“It meets a lot of our criteria,” said open space and trails director Todd Robertson, explaining that there is potential for river access on the property, and that it’s adjacent to other county owned land, specifically the landfill and related facilities.

At the crux of the latest activity are two competing appraisals that are far from being on the same page, said Open Space advisory board member Turk Montepare. The county’s offer was based on its own appraisal, while the appraisal done by Thaemert came up with a much higher value.

Thaemert’s appraisal was much higher, in the vicinity of about $1.8 million.

There was some discussion among open space board members as to just how high the county should go with its offer.

Montepare said there’s no acrimony in the county’s dealings with Thaemert.

“Mark is a pretty fair guy … We just can’t get together on price,” Montepare said.

Thaemert bought the property in in 2004 for $875,000. He wouldn’t elaborate on any other pending offers of the Fishhook parcel.

“Everything I’m doing is either too preliminary or I can’t comment,” Thaemert said.

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