Trailer residents in uproar over proposed development
BRECKENRIDGE – To many people who drive along County Road 450 in Breckenridge, the Peak 8 Trailer Park is an eyesore.
Abandoned cars are parked haphazardly in the trees, couches and refrigerators litter the landscape and dogs tied to stakes run circles in the hard-packed dirt on which 16 trailers sit.
But to Bob Allard, who with his wife and two sons recently purchased a home there, the trailer park is home.
He and others showed up at a Breckenridge Planning Commission meeting this week to ask the commission to consider their plight: Developer Gene Gregory wants to build 59 affordable housing units on the parcel, effectively forcing the residents to move.
“Management said it (the land) wasn’t to be sold, and now we’ve got until May to move our trailer,” Allard said. “There are no trailer courts. The only thing we can do is sit there and let the trailers be demolished. We can’t afford to rent. The only choice for people like me is to get out. This will throw us on the streets.”
Commissioners told residents that at the planning level, they can’t take the human, emotional factor into consideration when weighing the merits of a project. Additionally, they reminded them that they should have known for quite some time that the owner was trying to sell the four-acre parcel.
Neither argument matters in the minds of those who stand to lose their homes, however.
“If this goes through, we’re all out,” said resident Bryan Vye. “I don’t have the money for (Gregory’s project). I live day to day.”
So does Tim Tedore, who works four jobs – as a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Frisco, at Tiffany’s and Salt Creek in Breckenridge and at the bowling alley in Dillon.
As a real estate agent, he said he knows how hard it would be to sell his unit.
“I’d have to move,” he said. “I may have to move out of Breckenridge. That’s my biggest concern. I don’t want to leave. Maybe I’ll move to Summit Cove, maybe I could buy some land and put it on there. There are not a lot of options. If I knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have bought it.”
Some trailers, however, can’t be moved.
One trailer was built in 1955, and would likely fall apart if it were moved, he said.
For most of them, however, Gregory’s proposed project – like it or not – might be their only option, as there are limited housing choices for low-income residents in Summit County. He hopes to sell half of the 700-square-foot modular units for $162,000; the remainder for $187,000.
Tedore said he can’t afford Gregory’s project, even though half the homes in it would be targeted toward people making 80 percent of the Area Mean Income. That means Tedore would have to make $40,720 a year. Allard would have to make $58,160.
Some residents are reminded of the debacle in Silverthorne two years ago when people were evicted from the land on which their trailers sat to make way for the Target store.
Breckenridge politicians have long tried to represent themselves as people who want to keep the two trailer parks just outside the town limits viable, citing the importance of having people of all economic levels in the community.
To that end, they have worked with the private sector to develop affordable housing in various parts of town.
“I think the whole affordable housing concept is a little misguided,” Tedore said. “In my (real estate) experience, they (would-be buyers) don’t think they can afford it, they don’t know how long they’ll be there or they don’t see the value.”
Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or
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