Battle Mountain Development has new plan | VailDaily.com

Battle Mountain Development has new plan

MINTURN — It's been a long road for Battle Mountain Development Co., but the company has a new plan to divide its mountaintop property into 35-acre parcels and build homes on them, and later at its Bolt's Lake property.

Since Battle Mountain Development acquired the 5,400-acre property in 2004, plans have changed, from scrapping the private ski resort concept after the recession to bailing on the proposed land swap after residents of Minturn spoke out against the proposition.

Battle Mountain Development heard Minturn residents loud and clear when they overwhelmingly objected to the land swap. Many comments from locals during public comment included, "Build on your own land."

So, that's exactly what the development company plans to do.

In order to do that, certain zoning codes and annexation agreements would need to be adjusted by the town, including allowing 35-acre lots, which are not currently allowed.

Now, the town and developer are beginning the process of working together, just like any other company wanting to build on land it owns would do.

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But, with a checkered past with Battle Mountain, owners of the largest piece of property in Minturn, the Town Council wants public input before anything official happens.

On Wednesday night, a memorandum of understanding — a non-binding, "aspirational" process — between the town and Battle Mountain Development was delayed until the next Town Council meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 19, because council members felt residents needed ample notice to ask questions and voice their concerns.

"We are looking forward to active participation with our citizens," Mayor Pro Tem Earle Bidez said.

'ROAD MAP'

The memorandum of understanding is a fairly detailed document, but by approving it, there is no binding commitment to action by the town; the Town Council and Planning & Zoning Commission would still need to approve any change in town codes and the annexation agreement.

"This is just a road map," said Tim McGuire, of Battle Mountain Development. "You don't necessarily need to stay on track."

Battle Mountain Development has been meeting with town staff and the council's committee, council members Earle Bidez and Terry Armistead. During those meetings, the memorandum of understanding took form and became more detailed than expected.

It includes plans of developing 35-acre lots at its mountaintop parcel, which would allow for installation of a well system under state law, making water and septic independent from the town's system, a costly process if needed.

The four-page document also has later plans for development at Bolt's Lake, which Battle Mountain Development currently owns.

By agreeing to the memorandum of understanding, the town is agreeing to perform due diligence with Battle Mountain Development proposals that come before them in the future.

"We have to be forward thinkers," council member Harvey Craig said.

If you go …

What: Minturn Town Council meeting.

Where: Town Hall, 302 Pine St.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6:30 p.m.

More information: The Town Council is seeking public input about approving a memorandum of understanding with Battle Mountain Development Co.