Breckenridge braces for challenges in 2030 |

Breckenridge braces for challenges in 2030

Robert Allen
summit daily news
Breckenridge, CO Colorado
Mark Fox/Summit Daily NewsBreckenridge, Colorado has a mix of historic and new buildings in the downtown core of Main Street. The town council is looking 20 years into the future with the Summit Leadership Forum's 2030 Forecast for Summit County. The forecast covers population, transportation, home ownership and more.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colorado ” In 20 years, Breckenridge, Colorado is projected to have reached build-out and added a reservoir, while ski-area boundaries will be expanded north to Peak 4.

Town Council reviewed these and other predictions last week, as staff presented results of the Summit Leadership Forum’s 2030 Forecast for Summit County, revised by the town to include its own forecast.

Many of the county results were rather gloomy: Beetle-kill proliferation leads to a major county fire; affordable housing becomes even tougher to attain; climate change leads to shorter winters and more rain in shoulder seasons.

“If you compare this to now, it’s not going to be an enticing place to live,” Councilman Jeffrey Bergeron said of the predictions.

But the town already has recognized several of these issues and taken steps to lessen the blows. Affordable housing, for example, has been an area of high emphasis for the council.

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By 2030, the town aims to construct 900 more housing units through public and private projects, in addition to more than 500 already built, to maintain a workforce that’s 47-percent local.

Councilman Eric Mamula said it’s important that the present town council takes action now, for future leaders may care less about such issues as housing, child care and “smart growth.”

“The make-up of council right now is very similar to what it’s always been: business people that live here,” he said. “There will come a time when the complexion of that group will change ” for good or bad.”

At Tuesday’s work session, council encouraged staff to take their suggestions and assemble an action plan to provide a Cliff’s Notes-style breakdown of which direction to take on what they see as the most important issues.

The plan will go before the public in a series of open-house sessions to help shape the proposal ” similar to adoption of the town’s Vision Plan in 2002.

Numerous council members supported installing a water-recapturing pumpback on the Upper Blue River and a new reservoir to support recreation and generate revenue.

“Almost everything in here points toward a reservoir pumpback,” Mamula said at the work session, adding that it could be a “shovel-ready” project.

Bergeron said Thursday the project would help compensate for revenue stagnation in other areas.

“Water’s like money,” he said, adding that some of the town’s senior water rights could be sold or leased.

“One thing that I’m pretty adamant about is I don’t want to have water be a rationale for growth” other than what’s presently zoned, he said.

The Breckenridge Sanitation District last spring considered a $10 million pumpback project to recycle flows through a pipeline from Dillon Reservoir up the Blue River.

The project was not approved because of financial, legal and logistical complications.

Mayor John Warner said Tuesday that the landfill was one issue excluded from the forecast that he would like to see addressed.

One landfill near Dillon serves all of Summit County and other nearby areas.

But county manager Gary Martinez ” who attended Tuesday’s session ” said the landfill “is in a wonderful state.”

Local residents have been living more environmentally-consciously, and the volume of waste each year has been reduced, he said.

Council members spoke in favor of keeping the town’s vitality intact. Mamula said Thursday that while plans for developing homes along Airport Road are “great,” the light-industrial services offered there and near French Creek should remain intact.

Councilman Dave Rossi said in its dialogue with the community, the town will need to make clear which trade-offs will occur with decisions in the plan.

The 2030 forecast covers population, transportation, home ownership and more. The predictions were assembled by town planners and compiled by county staff for a presentation in April.

Breckenridge staff’s findings, presented Tuesday, include:

– Town design standards minimize chain-store growth.

– Transit system to include Fairplay.

– Town build-out will occur between 2013 and 2020.

– Intergovernmental agreements among local towns could perhaps lead to “SilverDisco,” a governmental-service collaboration on multiple fronts between Silverthorne, Dillon and Frisco.

Robert Allen can be contacted at (970) 668-4628 or

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