Dillon eyes changes with ‘urban renewal’ plan | SummitDaily.com

Dillon eyes changes with ‘urban renewal’ plan

CAITLIN ROW
summit daily news
Dillon, Colorado

DILLON ” Town council is poised to move forward on an urban renewal plan touted as the breath of life Dillon’s town center needs to generate more revenue.

A Leland Consulting Group representative led council through a power-point presentation at Tuesday’s work session, listing “blight” findings and fielding questions for a project that started more than three years ago.

According to Mayor Barbara Davis, discussions on economic development have been going on since 2002, or earlier.

“Nothing was decided,” said Devin Granbery, Dillon’s town manager. “Council can give us direction. … It was an opportunity to begin to familiarize council with an urban renewal plan in all wide-ranging aspects.”

The purpose of an urban renewal plan is described with four broad components: Eliminate blight conditions, stimulate growth and development, advance the policies of Dillon’s comprehensive plan and promote local objectives.

“We’re at the cusp of moving forward,” Mayor Barbara Davis said. “I’m hoping that it will bring us good projects. It’s a wonderful way that we can partner with developers to bring vital community growth and develop the esprit de corps.”

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Many questions still need to be addressed, such as who’s going to sit on an urban renewal authority board? What are the boundaries of the urban renewal area? What types of public improvements will be done? Will the authority use property and sales tax? Will the urban renewal authority use eminent domain? How much authority does the authority have? What will the authority be called?

Dillon officials have already contemplated one option for an urban renewal ” turning “old” Dillon into an active-senior community as a way to invigorate its struggling town center. The move could attract more full-time residents to Summit County’s sleepy burg after the town itself hobbled retail business in the core with creation of the Dillon Ridge shopping center.

Dillon doesn’t have any specific proposals at this point, but town officials say they are open to all possibilities. One thing appears certain: Dillon needs more warm bodies, residents that are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Council will continue its discussion at the April 21 work session. The town will participate through public forums, and stakeholder groups ” such as Colorado Mountain College and the Dillon Business Association ” will be included in plans.

“Now we’re in the process of going over our plan and introducing it to the public,” Granbery said. “It’s very long term. It can take upwards of 25 years for financing urban renewal projects.”

But the town is taking definitive steps toward its long-term project ” the actual formation of an authority will be done at an upcoming meeting.

Caitlin Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at crow@summitdaily.com.