Six affordable housing projects in Summit County are on their way to getting developed

Summit County Housing Director Jason Dietz provided an update on these projects to county commissioners on Feb. 8

The Village at Wintergreen apartments at Keystone are pictured on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The project’s developer, Gorman & Co., is planning a second phase, called Wintergreen Ridge, which will add 46 more rental units to the market.
Jason Connolly/For the Summit Daily News

Six affordable housing developments in Summit County are moving right along as county and town leaders work to bring about more rental units for the local workforce. During a Summit Board of County Commissioners work session meeting Tuesday, Feb. 8, Summit County Housing Director Jason Dietz provided the commissioners with an update on each development.

The projects discussed include Lake Hill near Frisco, the U.S. Forest Service compound in Dillon, the Justice Center parcel in Breckenridge, Wintergreen Ridge in Keystone, the Soda Creek Parcel in unincorporated Summit County and Bills Ranch in Frisco.

Lake Hill

The proposed 436-unit development called Lake Hill near Frisco is finally gaining traction. The project has been in the works for more than 20 years, and recently, it’s picked up some steam as the county’s severe housing shortage drags on.

Dietz noted the county held a few virtual open houses to gather public input about the project and his team is also close to reaching an agreement with the Frisco Sanitation District to provide sewer service.

Dietz noted in these virtual open houses, many residents who live close to the planned site for development have expressed concerns about traffic impacts, and his team is considering options.

“One of the things that the adjacent owners brought up was our traffic study,” Dietz said. “The data collected was in 2019, pre-pandemic. The pandemic caused a delay in our project so we were thinking about updating that traffic study with traffic counts this summer during peak season.”

U.S. Forest Service Compound

The county is also working on a plan to lease around 9 acres of land in Dillon from the U.S. Forest Service that could offer a range of 120 to 300 mixed units.

Dietz said there was a lot of predevelopment work being done for this project currently, and the Forest Service has issued its first right of refusal to the county, which allows the county to pursue a lease for this property. Dietz said the county has 90 days to respond, which will then launch lease negotiations. Steps have also been taken to work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to improve the intersection at Lake Dillon Drive and Summit County Road 51.

Dietz said his team is drafting up a request for proposals from developers who can help with some of this predevelopment work. Other items that need to be completed include entering into an agreement with the town of Dillon, finalizing how much density the land could hold, determining next steps for two roundabouts on U.S. Highway 6 and approaching Denver Water about using a part of their property for access.

Justice Center parcel

Work on the Justice Center parcel in Breckenridge, the modular home project featuring either two- or three-story buildings that will contain up to 54 units, is also well underway.

Dietz reported that the county has already entered into an agreement with Breckenridge. His focus now is working with energy consultants to see if solar energy could be incorporated into this project. While Summit County Commissioner Josh Blanchard said he was supportive of this, Summit County Commissioner Tamara Pogue said she didn’t want to push the project back to make it happen.

Dietz said he’s working to finalize an application in hopes the project will receive funding from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. He said it’s likely this project could get funding if the eligible area median income was limited to 80% or less.

The team had originally debated what kind of area median income cap there should be for the units. Pogue was in favor of keeping these below 80%, especially if members at the town of Breckenridge were in favor of this, too.

“Given the findings in the last housing needs assessment around lower (area median income) rentals and the availability of state funds if we keep it at 80% below, that seems to be something that everyone can get on board with,” Pogue said.

Wintergreen Ridge

The second phase of the Wintergreen development in Keystone is moving forward, too. Likely to add 46 units to the market, Dietz reported that developer Gorman & Co. will likely submit its site plan application for Wintergreen Ridge in April. Next steps include completing a traffic study and deciding whether a day care facility should be built on the site, which all commissioners supported.

Dietz noted that Gorman & Co. plans to host a community meeting Monday, Feb. 14, where the company will reveal more details about the project to the public.

Soda Creek parcel

One of the smallest projects the county is tackling is a 0.75-acre development on its Soda Creek parcel located in Summit Cove. Dietz’s presentation said this site will hold three duplex units for a total of six units. Dietz said he hoped to start the entitlement process for this site “relatively soon.”

Bill’s Ranch parcels

The county owns two parcels in the Bill’s Ranch neighborhood. Both sit adjacent to one another, and Dietz reported Denver-based consultant Norris Design has been contracted to produce three potential conceptual layouts for the site to determine what would fit and potential layouts. County staff is currently reviewing the layouts in house.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.