Silverthorne’s border extended | SummitDaily.com

Silverthorne’s border extended

NICOLE FORMOSAsummit daily news

SILVERTHORNE – Silverthorne’s town boundary grew by nearly 3,000 feet Wednesday night as the town council readily approved the annexation of a chunk of land on Highway 9 to allow for the development of high-end homes.As soon as the council voted congratulations and handshakes passed between developers and town council members, offering proof of a predominately non-controversial 15-month annexation process. Maryland Creek Ranch owner Tom Everist filed a petition in June 2004 to annex 355 acres of his 1,053-acre ranch into the town. Wednesday, the council accepted his request and awarded Everist the zoning necessary to build 71 homesites, a 20-acre public park, a private lake and a nature preserve on his land.In exchange for accepting his property into Silverthorne, Everist pledged a host of benefits to the town, including about $1 million in improvements.An emotional Council Member Peggy Long thanked Everist for keeping intact the environment she holds “near and dear” to her heart, having spent weekends and holidays on the ranch as a child when it was owned by her relative.”To have somebody as sensitive to the land as you, Tom, makes you feel good about how it is going to play out. This is going to be a top-notch development,” Long said.Council Member Karla Trippe commended Everist and his eight-person team for their help in creating an annexation deal that went much smoother than a previous annexation in which she was involved.In 2002, the council nixed a contentious request to include 53 acres of the Smith Ranch into the town in order to develop a village with affordable housing, a new elementary school and a grocery store.”Yes, there’s been some bumps in the road … but the fact that it’s gone through as well as it has, as professionally as it has, as smartly as it has, I think is a testament to the maturity of our council,” Trippe said, adding that other towns in the county should use this annexation as example, particularly due to the community support.Though the meeting was also a public hearing on the topic, the room was silent when Mayor Lou DelPiccolo asked if any citizens wanted to comment, similar to earlier public hearings. Everist credited the lack of controversy to three well-attended community meetings held over the past year to field questions and concerns.”I think (the meetings are) a large part of the reason this has been relatively painless, as far as the process,” Everist said.The town began requiring community meetings following the failed Smith Ranch annexation. The annexation agreement between the town and South Maryland Creek Ranch outlines $500,000 for a new public works facility in Silverthorne, $200,000 per year through 2010 for parks, recreation and trail improvements and $100,000 to install a stage and handicap-accessible elevator at the Silverthorne Pavilion.Additionally, the developers agreed to build six to 11 units of affordable housing on a town-owned lot on Anemone Trail by December 2008.On Wednesday, the town also approved the formation of a General Improvement District to facilitate a property assessment on the area. The money collected from that assessment will offset the town’s yearly costs for providing services such as water and sewer to the property. A representative from South Maryland Creek Ranch will be the sole voter on the district in April.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 13625, or at nformosa@summitdaily.com