With Safeway, the zoning process worked as it should
RE: “Safeway plan past deadline (SDN, Dec. 28).The article carried comments that I feel should be clarified.Developer Brad Kornfeld blames the “three-year time span it took to get all the necessary approvals through the town” for the failure to construct the project.But the article states that rezoning for commercial development was narrowly approved by voters and that Kornfeld, “shortly after” gained approval for the shopping center.During the planning commission and town council hearings, Kornfeld repeatedly affirmed that he had a signed lease from Safeway and that he would begin construction in the spring of 2004.One of the planning commissioners repeatedly asked him for proof of the lease, but Kornfeld refused to show it.If too much time had been consumed during the hearings and vote, why was Kornfeld adamant that once he had approval, construction would begin in the spring?He has repeatedly blamed the “process” for his failure to construct when, in fact, his proposal for the Safeway shopping center was only brought before the planning commission in 2003.The previous proposal for the Silver Mountain Village was completely separate from this project. The hearings and subsequent vote were all completed in a relatively short timeframe.Kornfeld even complimented the community for holding the hearings to ensure that all citizens would understand the project and have a voice in the planning. Mayor Lou DelPiccolo is quoted saying that after going through “all the ups and downs and the shenanigans” it’s a disappointment not to have anything to show for it.In fact, the process worked, as it is designed to do. When going into a business deal, it’s always wise to know who you are partnering with.In this case, the rush to provide Silverthorne with additional sales tax revenue may have clouded some thinking as to whether or not Kornfeld could actually deliver the completed project.As to the “shenanigans” the mayor alluded to, the only ones that were obvious were the efforts by the “YES” leaders to encourage second homeowners to vote here, even though their primary residence for voting and tax purposes is in another community.The answer given by the town was that it is legal if you consider that the home in Silverthorne is your primary residence “in your heart of hearts.” This despite that fact that you may have voted in your other community in a recent election as well.While some commercial development will undoubtedly occur on the area of the Smith Ranch, which is zoned commercial, a full-service grocery store two miles north of the interstate and away from the core commercial district may not be viable. That may be the reason Mr. Kornfeld does not have prospects for his project.Today, however, it appears that the town is committed to going forward in planning efforts for additional development in the core commercial area nearby the Factory Stores. This will provide all businesses in the core area a stronger magnet to attract and retain business and thus strengthen the town economic base. Quite possibly another grocery company will be attracted to that area as well.
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