Private Minturn ski resort takes ‘baby step’
MINTURN – If Minturn wants a private ski resort and golf course in town, it must first expand its borders south to Battle Mountain.Developer Bobby Ginn’s wish to add skiing, golf and 1,700 homes to Minturn was officially recognized last week by the Town Council, which voted unanimously to acknowledge the company’s annexation request. The vote kicks off the town’s review of Ginn’s application to become a part of Minturn and the scheduling of public hearings, which could begin in February. Interest at the council meeting among the public was lukewarm. Vail resident Andy Wiessner asked the council if development plans would be available for residents during the public-comment period. A concrete answer was not available for him.”So it may occur with or without a specific plan?” he asked.”We’re in the same place as you,” Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty said.Ginn spokesman Cliff Thompson said it was common in other annexations for planning and the comment period to run concurrently.Town staff members now must review Ginn’s petition, and then recommend the council accept or decline the petition based on whether it meets state laws. Dozens of maps and legal descriptions of the areas to annex must be considered.”It’s just a checklist to make sure it’s all there,” Town Planner Wiley Smith said.The check must take place within 60 days. Smith said he expects the council could accept the bid sometime in February and possibly set public hearings for later that month.”It was a baby step,” Thompson said about the council’s decision. “This is a year-long process. We’ll make sure the public has the maximum opportunity to review and comment on the proposal.”Ginn’s request covers 4,300 acres of land on and around Battle Mountain, though his company owns 5,000 acres. Colorado law limits Minturn from annexing more than three miles in one year. Ginn will ask the town to annex the remaining acreage if and when this initial annexation is finalized, officials said.
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