Home Depot submits third building proposal to Silverthorne | SummitDaily.com

Home Depot submits third building proposal to Silverthorne

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SUMMIT COUNTY ” Home Depot has renewed its proposal to build a big box in Silverthorne, modifying its plans to include a “boulevard” entrance intended to ease the concerns of officials worried about access over a narrow bridge.

The building-supply chain wants to build a 100,000 square-foot store just south of Interstate 70 near the outlet stores at the base of the Dillon Dam.

Home Depot developers now propose extending South Adams Avenue to address traffic and safety concerns raised by the original plan to build a bridge over the Blue River to access the site.

The boulevard will provide two lanes on each side of the road with a center median, essentially allowing for two lanes of traffic if one side is blocked, and it wouldn’t require a bridge over the river.

Still, the Colorado Department of Transportation will need to approve the access, as South Adams Avenue is in its right of way and the road also provides access to CDOT’s maintenance yard.

Developers also propose to fill in wetlands near the river and create a new wetland area in Cottonwood Park, said Mark Leidal, Silverthorne director of community development.

Both the town and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will need to approve Home Depot’s proposed wetland-mitigation plan, he added.

“We’re very optimistic about the proposal,” said Mike Ciletti, spokesman for Home Depot.

Though in early stages of town review, Ciletti hopes that the plan will move forward, “ensuring that we are meeting the town code and the guidelines that we laid out.”

The town and emergency-service departments require that Home Depot have two lanes of access to the proposed store to aid in emergencies and traffic control, Leidal said.

The boulevard approach, instead of the bridge proposal that was nixed by CDOT, allows for two lanes of access.

Early traffic studies commissioned by both Home Depot and the town showed potential problems with the site’s original single access off of Wildernest Road.

The revised proposal with the boulevard expansion and a wetland-mitigation plan has been submitted for review to agencies such as the county, CDOT and Xcel Energy, Leidal said.

CDOT’s earlier decision to nix the bridge occurred in part because of the site’s proximity to I-70.

Last spring, Home Depot announced plans to close 15 existing stores and scrapped plans for 50 new stores. But because of Colorado’s relative prosperity, the company continues to persue a store in Silverthorne.

The company hasn’t yet provided the town with an economic-impact analysis, but Leidal expects one if the development concept is approved.

Though several Silverthorne residents and business owners have expressed concerns about economic and environmental issues created by having a giant retailer set up a home in Silverthorne, community comment has so far been limited because no formal public meeting has been held.

The town welcomes all public comment on the proposal and will hold meetings on the proposal in the coming months, Leidal said.

Because the site is a commercially-zoned property, Home Depot is allowed to ask for use of the site, he added.

“As long as they can meet our requirements, they can move forward,” Leidal said. “We have a long way to go and many more meetings to get a building permit.”

“We’ve done this a couple times now, so the plan keeps getting better,” he added. “We’ll see if they’ll have to make any more changes … We’re only at the beginning. It’s just a concept.”

Home Depot is putting together a community meeting in which residents will be able to react to the proposal. The meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28 at the Silverthorne Pavilion. The time has not yet been determined.

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

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