Wellington annexation deal at hand
BRECKENRIDGE – Development of a second phase of affordable housing in the Wellington Neighborhood remains on track for an April 1 groundbreaking, as applicant David O’Neil and the town council hammered out the last remaining details of an annexation agreement last week.The deal outlines who will pay for sidewalks in and around the neighborhood, addressing critical pedestrian safety and access issues in the entire French Gulch residential corridor. Along with the town, O’Neil committed additional financial resources toward the improvements, and also agreed to deed several acres to the town for a potential daycare facility. The exact daycare location is still up in the air, pending final development plans and discussions with neighborhood residents.
The town will provide cash up-front to enable the work to be done this summer, in conjunction with work on the new Wellington units. Nearby residents lobbied hard for the mitigation of existing traffic impacts as part of the approval, and town officials listened. O’Neil will repay his share as the first two filings for his project are approved.Mayor Ernie Blake said he will take on the task of convincing county officials that they also need to be part of the equation.Summit County controls the unincorporated land between Highway 9 and the Wellington Neighborhood.
“It’s totally county property. It’s totally their responsibility, but it’s our people up their,” Blake said, referring to the nexus of county-controlled land and the pod of Breckenridge residents in the Wellington Neighborhood. The county has budgeted some funds toward improvements in the area, but has long resisted building sidewalks in unincorporated residental areas. County sidewalks in one area would likely open a “Pandora’s box” of demand from other neighborhoods.”Maybe the county has to come to grips with the need for sidewalks in areas with more population density,” Blake said, promising to lobby county officials on the issue. “There are places with a real need,” he said.
Other issues that were resolved include the status of open space in the French Gulch riparian corridor, where the town is insisting on crystal-clear access rights in connection with any future ecological restoration issues that may arise.Site-specific development plans for the development are still under planning commission review.Bob Berwyn can be reached at (970) 331-5996, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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