Silverthorne to move forward with Shops at Smith Ranch development
SILVERTHORNE — Silverthorne is moving forward with the conceptual site plan for The Shops at Smith Ranch, a development area that would serve the Smith Ranch neighborhood and surrounding residential areas. The development area is a 9.4-acre property owned by the Silverthorne Urban Renewal Authority at the corner of Ruby Ranch Road and Highway 9. The plan is to build a small-scale commercial center based around a grocery store.
The town hosted an open house on Oct. 15, which can be viewed virtually on the town’s website at Silverthorne.org/shops-at-smith-ranch. Community outreach of the project was discussed at Silverthorne’s Town Council work session on Wednesday, Oct. 28. Planning Manager Lina Lesmes said town staff have been meeting with Continuum Partners, a Denver-based company the town has a memorandum of understanding with to discuss the development of the project, on a weekly basis.
Lesmes added the town has held stakeholder meetings with the neighboring Catholic church, neighboring HOAs and other community members. Lesmes noted that a survey asking people for their thoughts on the development had received 40 responses and is open on the webpage until Nov. 6.
Council member Amy Manka commented that prior to the open house she had received negative feedback on the project, but has heard more support after the event.
“I would agree that everybody is getting excited about it so I think it’s good steps going in the right direction,” council member Tanya Shattuck said.
Council member Mike Spry said that the town has committed to making sure there is a lot of community dialogue as Silverthorne moves through the development process. He said the town needs to be going “full speed ahead” on the project, so there needs to be strong community awareness of the plans.
Town Manager Ryan Hyland said staff feels things are going smoothly and plans to, with council’s approval, move into a predevelopment agreement drafting stage, bringing the draft back to council before the end of the year. Hyland noted that at this point, council is discussing a concept and as the town moves forward through predevelopment, a site plan would be developed. Then, there would be further opportunities for public input on the specific site plan.
“These are early days and we will have continued opportunities for the public to comment as this gets more specific and moves through the process,” Hyland said.
Manka pointed out on social media, people are posting links and showing interest in the store Trader Joe’s, as a grocery outlet for the site has not yet been selected. Hyland said he wanted to manage expectations by saying that the town doesn’t control the grocery market.
“We know the desire is there, we know that Continuum is a great partner in helping us have conversations with grocers to see what we might be able to do there, but we just want to temper those expectations because the grocery market is very, very challenging. … We’re early on and we’ll remain optimistic but we can’t guarantee anything,” Hyland said.
Frank Cannon, development director at Continuum Partners, said he was impressed with the turnout of the open house, which amounted to roughly 50 attendees, and commented that things are starting to “take shape.” Cannon said the company received feedback that residents in the area want a place where they can, at a reasonable price point, purchase fresh produce, quality meat and dairy products and quality prepared food to grab on the way home from work. He said that these priorities seemed to be more important to residents than the size and scale of the store, which gives flexibility to the project.
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