Who should approve the Ginn ski resort project?
eagle county correspondent
MINTURN ” Liz Campbell thinks that Minturn residents should be able to vote
on whether a resort company may build a private ski resort near their homes.
“I would be surprised if a project this big wouldn’t go to a vote,” she
Minturn town councilors are expected to vote before their election this
April on whether to annex property the Ginn Development Co. owns and plans
to develop, but some Minturn residents have said that the town councilors
should let residents decide instead.
Ginn wants to build 1,700 homes and condominiums and a private ski resort
and golf course on and around Battle Mountain, south of Minturn. If town
councilors approve the annexation, Ginn could proceed with its plans.
Fred Haslee, a former Minturn town councilman, said councilors should make
“If that vote goes whichever way it may go and the general public feels it’s
an injustice to them as taxpayers, that’s the time for a referendum,” Haslee
A fraction of Minturn residents regularly attend meetings about the
development and more people come only when they have been able to comment on
the project. (December 19 was the last meeting for that, but people can
still mail or drop off written comments to Minturn Town Center.)
So are Minturn residents knowledgeable enough to make the decision?
Campbell said that information about the project has been difficult to find.
She has asked the town several questions about Ginn’s proposal and has yet
to hear from town staffers, she said.
“It’s really hard for me to formulate an opinion,” she said.
Attending town council meetings or watching them on television and reading
the newspaper might not give residents enough information on the proposal,
“I’ve gone to (Ginn) and asked specific questions,” he said. “I believe the
answers they’ve given me are legitimate and reasonable and the truth.”
In March 2006, Minturn Town Council candidates said that residents should
have the final vote on the matter. Some of the candidates pointed to a RV
park proposal that was voted down by residents in 2004 as an example of the
town’s leaders letting residents decide.
“I think citizens should have some say in the decision” on Ginn’s proposal,
said Town Councilwoman Shelly Bellm in a 2006 candidate forum she
participated in while running for office.
Minturn Town Councilors have a policy of not discussing the Ginn proposal
outside of public meetings.
Red Cliff residents should be able to vote on Ginn’s proposal, too, said
Dave Many, of Red Cliff. Ginn plans to build employee housing on the north
edge of Red Cliff. The town’s Board of Trustees wants to annex 1,000 acres
of property near its borders, though Ginn is not working with Red Cliff on
an annexation proposal.
Minturn town councilors said in a recent meeting they might agree to share
revenue generated from Ginn’s proposed resort, but would not let Red Cliff
annex any of the property.
“Red Cliff residents should be able to vote on this due to the fact that
this is going to impact their lives,” Many said.
Campbell said that town councilors will never really know what residents
think about Ginn’s proposal if a vote is not held.
“They can only guess,” she said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If town councilors decide to vote first, residents still could get a chance
to have their say. Regardless of if the councilors approve or deny Ginn’s
proposal, the following steps must be taken before Minturn residents may
vote in a referendum on the project, according to Minturn’s charter and
– If Town Councilors approved the annexation and residents wanted to repeal
that ordinance, residents would have to file a petition saying that.
– The petition must be submitted to the town no more than 30 days after the
approved ordinance is published in the newspaper.
– Ten percent of Minturn residents registered to vote in the last election
(around 80 voters) would have to sign the petition.
– On each page, the petition would have to say the ordinance and its title.
– Signatures must be signed and dated in ink or “indelible pencil” and
people have to include their addresses.
– People must sign the petition within 30 days before it’s submitted to the
– If the petition is approved and a referendum is held, a majority of voters
is needed to repeal the ordinance.
For more information, pick up a copy of “Elections, section 2.1” from
Minturn’s Home Rule Charter.
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