Defunct HOA offers to gift Breckenridge, Summit County 20 acres of land in Illinois Gulch | SummitDaily.com

Defunct HOA offers to gift Breckenridge, Summit County 20 acres of land in Illinois Gulch

A mountain biker riders though Aspen Alley in Breckenridge in this file photo. A defunct homeowners association has offered to give the town of Breckenridge and Summit County almost 23 acres of open space in Illinois Gulch that town staff say could lead to new trail connections to Aspen Alley.

A homeowners association that disbanded 20 years ago but still owns eight parcels of open-space land has offered them to Breckenridge and Summit County free of charge.

All the town and county would need to do is cover title insurance and closing costs, said Scott Reid, the town's director of recreation. Last week he described the deal, which could boost the public's open-space portfolio, to the Breckenridge Town Council.

Town manager Rick Holman put the price tag at just a few thousand dollars, and considering the cost, the town's elected officials were all-in.

"I think this is a no-brainer," said Mayor Eric Mamula.

The board of county commissioners also gave county staff the green light to enter into negotiations with the defunct HOA after discussing it at an executive session Monday, said Julie Sutor, a county spokeswoman.

"They are definitely interested in acquiring those properties," she said of county commissioners.

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The Woodmoor at Breckenridge Association was dissolved in 1998 but maintained ownership of its parcels of land in Illinois Gulch, near Boreas Pass, after the dissolution of the organization, Reid said.

The disbanded homeowners association's assets continue to be managed by the remaining board of directors, which would essentially sign the land over to the town and county should the deal go through.

The defunct HOA could hand the county and town seven parcels totaling almost 23 acres altogether.

Some of them already have town-owned water towers on them, Reid said. Because of the water towers, the town already owns small portions of the land, but not the full parcel.

From an open-space standpoint, there's some added value to these properties, such as view corridors and watershed features. Also, the land could come with the option of some additional trail connections from, perhaps, Aspen Alley to the Baldy area, Reid told council.

Citing fears over mining remnants on one of the parcels the defunct HOA is offering to turn over, the town declined to take ownership of it. Reid said staff felt that it would be too problematic to assume the liability.

Because the land was designated as open space, there are no developable density rights associated with it, and the deal would not affect the town or county's transferrable density rights programs.

"No, it will not seed the TDR bank," Reid said.

Rather, the single biggest benefit of the town and county taking control could be bringing privately owned open space into the public sphere and under the management of the town and county's open-space programs.

The Breckenridge Open Space Advisory Commission fully supports accepting the donation, Reid said, and Sutor explained that any potential transaction would be handled through the town and county's open-space committees.

If everything goes through, the town and county would split ownership and title insurance and closing costs.

Efforts to reach the defunct HOA's board for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.

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