Public gets another look at Silver Mountain Village
SILVERTHORNE – An increase in the number of affordable housing units and substantial architectural improvements to the proposed Safeway highlight recent changes made to the Silver Mountain Village plans.
Developers presented those alterations to a mostly silent audience during a Thursday community meeting on the project. About 60 people attended the meeting, but few asked questions or commented on the proposal.
The village is planned at the base of Ruby Ranch, south of Willowbrook. It includes 182 residential units, a school site, day-care site, and 11 acres of commercial that includes a Safeway grocery store and seven retail pads.
While the residential and school portion of the plan has gone relatively unchallenged, several people – including mayoral candidate Sheila Groneman – have criticized the commercial segment. Opponents believe the grocery store, and other retail projects, would be better if placed further south in what is now considered the core of Silverthorne.
Land planner Dick Marshall said Thursday he hoped to clear up any concerns people had before Tuesday’s election, during which Mayor Lou DelPiccolo will face off against Groneman in a runoff election. DelPiccolo favors the project, including the 11 acres of commercial development.
Developers had previously promised 92 of the planned 183 units would fall into the affordable category. They’ve increased that to 107. Those units will be a mix of single-family, townhomes and apartments.
Recently, Summit Housing Authority director Gordon Ferris had said the SHA hoped to price single-family homes in the village starting at $160,000 and apartments under $100,000.
Shopping center developers also showed a far more aesthetically pleasing Safeway Thursday, with wood timbers and stucco added to the formerly plain exterior.
Previously, some residents had expressed concern about store delivery trucks driving too near the planned elementary school. Developer Brad Kornfeld said that won’t happen.
“Access (to the store) is separate from access to the school and day care,” he said.
“We think Silver Mountain Village really does represent smart growth,” Marshall said. “We think it will encourage people to work, live, recreate, educate their children and shop all in one neighborhood.
“It’s unfortunate there isn’t an 11-acre (commercial) site further in that’s affordable. There isn’t. Our understanding is land that’s closer to I-70 is twice as much. We think this is the only available site you’re likely to get a grocery store within town limits.”
Marshall said estimates show Safeway will generate $4.4 million in sales tax revenue for the town in its first 10 years of business.
It’s also a critical part of the plan.
“Silver Mountain Village will not succeed without a grocery store to anchor the commercial portion,” he said.
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