Will Minturn residents force resort vote?
March 25, 2008
MINTURN, Colorado Voters drop by Frank Lorentis home or he drives to theirs if they want to sign the petition to vote on a proposed private ski resort. If Lorenti cannot be reached on his home phone, residents should call his cell phone because he may be out gathering signatures, his voicemail message says. Even with two young children and a business to run, Lorenti has been on call day and night since Thursday to gather signatures that eventually could decide the fate of the Ginn Development Co.s private ski resort, golf course and 1,700 homes and condominiums planned on and around Battle Mountain, south of downtown Minturn. Were trying to make it easy for everybody because people have lives, they have jobs, Lorenti said. The effort has spread mostly by word-of-mouth and Lorenti has gathered three-quarters of the 73 signatures he needs, he said. He must turn in his petitions by 5 p.m. April 7, he said. In a major step toward letting Ginn proceed with its plans, town councilors voted unanimously last month to make land owned by Ginn a part of Minturn. Town councilors will vote again, possibly later this year, to finally approve or deny the project. Lorenti wants to residents to decide instead. A lot of us did vote in these six people but some of us didnt, said Lorenti, who has lived in Minturn for 15 years. So we just dont think its fair that those six should dictate to us what should be done.
An attorney wrote the petitions, but Lorenti declined to name him. The town has approved the language in the petitions. Now Lorenti has a stack of petitions on which he wants registered Minturn voters to sign their names and write their addresses.Once town staffers determine whether the signatures are valid, councilors could repeal the annexation ordinances, Lorenti said. Or they have 60 days to put the annexation to a public vote, which they are more likely to do, Lorenti said.Pete Vance, a proponent of the petition, works 12 hours a day then helps Lorenti gather signatures at night and during weekends. Vance hopes to turn in the petition by Friday, but he and Lorenti may not finish gathering signatures until next week, he said. Vance was supposed to take his son to Moab, Utah, this weekend, but wont do it if he has to help with the petition, he said. He thinks the town has left residents out of the process. I feel that strongly about it, Vance said.Lorenti has 11 different petitions. There is one petition each for the nine pieces of Ginns land that councilors have included into the town of Minturn. Voters would be asked whether to repeal the annexation of each parcel. Of the other two petitions, one calls for a vote on the mayors authority to sign a deal approving Ginn and the other calls for a vote on whether Ginn can use Minturns water, Lorenti said. Those 11 questions would go on the ballot if Lorentis petition is approved. Ken Chadwick, who has lived in Minturn his whole life, said he signed the petitions because he thinks residents opinions should be heard. I have nothing against Ginn, but this is a big, big project, he said. He might vote yes. Minturn would be better off having it for control reasons, but I dont think it should be pushed through real fast, he said. Town councilors have said they have deliberated the project for almost three years and that Eagle County and Red Cliff could have made a deal with Ginn if Minturn had not. Then Minturn would have lost control over the development, they have said.
Want to sign the petition?Go to http://www.minturntimes.com for more information or call Frank Lorenti at 827-4010. Want more information on a proposed private ski resort? Go to minturn.org and click the box that says, Battle Mountain annexation & preliminary development or go directly to http://minturn.org/battleMtn/index.htmlStaff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org