Developers put Red Cliff annexation on hold |

Developers put Red Cliff annexation on hold

Dustin Racioppi
Red Cliff, CO Colorado

RED CLIFF, Colorado ” Discussion of annexation in Red Cliff is on hold, but not by decision of the Board of Trustees,-which actually approved the annexation to move forward Monday.

But at the end of the night, after a near three-hour grilling from the public and the board, representatives from two entities looking to develop land south of town decided to table the matter, saying that many of the demands placed on them were costly and that Red Cliff wasn’t being receptive to the proposal.

“You hear a lot of bad things, but there’s nothing bad,” said Mike Coleman, a partner in the proposal to develop 30 acres about 2 1/2 miles south of Red Cliff near U.S. Highway 24. “We would like to come and join the community. If we’re not wanted, we’re not wanted.”

The trouble started not long after Coleman ” along with other representatives for Paul Moltz, who owns the property ” outlined a plan to run a quarry operation at the site to mine Sawatch quartzite then build up to 15 residential units on the property.

Residents and trustees questioned the details of the project, not necessarily in opposition, but to be informed enough to move forward with the process, Trustee Garrett Scahill said.

They questioned how, if it all, the project fit into the scope of the master plan of the town and the county and how traffic and noise would be lessened. They also proposed a number of provisions that were included in the resolution to move forward. Mayor Ramon Montoya even mentioned how time-consuming the process would be and insinuated financial compensation for the town for part-time help.

The trustees approved the Moltz property resolution by a vote of five to one, with Scahill voting against.

Nova Guides, the other applicant, which was looking to piggyback onto the Moltz property annexation to expand a restaurant and develop employee housing, was not thrilled with the prospect of shelling out more money than it already has.

Nova Guides sent the abrupt message when it decided to table its talks with the town. Since the Moltz property annexation is associated with Nova Guides, representatives of Moltz decided they would suspend their efforts for annexation.

“We’re not hearing anything positive coming back from you,” said Greg Carretto, of Nova Guides. “We’re not hiring staff for Red Cliff. Your employees I’m not going to pay for.”

Nova Guides’ Steve Pittel said the company already paid $4,000 for the application and in this economy, can’t keep throwing in cash to a project that gets a lukewarm reception.

“I paid my dues to you and you want me to continue to pay my dues,” he said.

Many of the provisions that the trustees approved Monday night are mostly covered in some sort of state or federal statute or law, Coleman said, which makes them counterintuitive and costly. Coleman said he understands the concerns of the public and the board, but they are making, in some instances, duplicate demands, just at different points in the process.

“We’re hearing having to pay extra staff, do this twice, do that twice ” that’s a lot of money, especially in this time,” he said. “Things are just getting piled on and piled on and we’re able to answer questions, and then we’re asked to go above and beyond that.”

Even though talks came to a head Monday night, that doesn’t mean they won’t pick up again in the future.

“I don’t know this is the end. I hope it’s not,” Coleman said. “Right now we need to step back and see how everybody feels on it.”

Dustin Racioppi can be reached at 970-748-2936 or

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