Can we sustain all this?
A slew of development proposals across the county are giving our area councils a choice: Continue with the traditional style of on-the-grid, cement-block development, or put a premium on environmentally friendly construction – commonly referred to as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.Forcing developers to follow sustainable standards is the right thing to do, especially as the tug-of-war with Denver Water continues without assurance that Front Range growth will not drink us dry. To ask for conservation down there, we must at least limit the impact from our towns sprinting toward build-out. Sprint, you question? The recent number of development proposals this year alone cannot be repeated for much longer, especially in land-starved towns like Dillon and Frisco. The next era – redevelopment – is scheduled to arrive in the next 10-20 years, perhaps sooner. If history repeats itself, our county will be redeveloped with more density and sold to wealthy second-home owners. We should expect more strain to be placed on all the county’s resources, not to mention the employment base needed to sustain large-scale retail expansions. We must start to set a proper example; otherwise, when the next drought comes, we’ll be without a leg to stand on.Here are a few of the current proposals – chances for LEED-style developments – still being negotiated: Developers are asking the Town of Silverthorne for permission to build 8,450 square feet of commercial space and 30 one- and two-bedroom high-end condominiums between 11th and 12th streets off Blue River Parkway. The Town also initially approved the Silverthorne Lifestyle Center, a 97,500 square foot building at the oft-congested corner of Wildernest Road and Buffalo Mountain Road. The Town of Breckenridge barely approved plans for a condo-hotel project at Shock Hill, and is developing major plans for the Block 11 McCain property where Colorado Mountain College, as well as commercial and residential space, will be constructed. Dillon’s council approved a Walgreens on Dillon Ridge Road. Copper Mountain resort officials are trying to expand the Corn Lot on National Forest land, but are having trouble again convincing the commissioners it is the best thing for the county.
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