Ginn’s turn, not the public’s |

Ginn’s turn, not the public’s

J.K. Perry
Preston Utley/Daily file photoBobby Ginn, who wants to build a members-only ski resort south of Minturn on Battle Mountain, awnsered questions a meeting in Minturn in July. Today the company will begin the long process of trying to convince the town the Ginn's land should become a part of Minturn.

MINTURN ” People expecting to voice opinions Wednesday night concerning the annexation of Battle Mountain land for a private ski resort won’t be heard until after Ginn Company officials prove their land can legally be joined with Minturn.

And that might take a little while.

Those involved say there is little to talk about before plans for development of the resort, which includes luxury homes and golf course around a members-only ski hill, are submitted.

“What we envisioned when this started was we’d have a land-use proposal, but we don’t,” Minturn Attorney Allen Christensen said. “The real crux of this is the land-use plans and we don’t have them.”

Land use plans are exactly that ” what developer Bobby Ginn plans to do with the land. Wednesday night, Ginn likely will have the floor the entire hour allotted for the annexation hearing. Ginn Company officials did not want to comment for this story.

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Like many people, Colorado Wild Director Ryan Demmy Bidwell ” an environmentalist following Ginn’s annexation ” thought the public could speak at the meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at town hall.

“I was under the impression the public was going to have the opportunity to come starting Wednesday,” Bidwell said. “That’s discouraging news if they’re not taking public comments or verbal comments during the course of the developer’s presentation if that drags on.”

The public is allowed to come to tonight’s meeting and are encouraged to do so, town officials said. Although the public cannot comment at the meetings initially, they will get the chance later as Ginn’s proposal is reviewed by the town.

In the meantime, people can submit written comments and questions to Town Clerk Jay Brunvand. These letters will be discussed publicly at a later date.

Who gets to vote

How Ginn’s development will be analyzed by the town and eventually voted on by the town council is contingent on two factors. First, Ginn representatives must prove the land can legally be annexed to Minturn under Colorado law.

Second, plans for what will be built on and around Battle Mountain must be presented to the planning and zoning committee (an advisory board) and then the council. For example, the plans could include where a golf course might be or where a hotel would be located, Christensen said.

“How can people really comment until they see that,” Christensen said.

Development plans are expected to be shown to the town while the annexation is being considered, Christensen said.

“We haven’t been provided with a date,” Christensen said. “I imagine it hasn’t been submitted because it hasn’t been finalized. We’re not trying to hide the ball. We have emphasized to (Ginn) they better explain this.”

Hearings on both matters could run into 2007, town officials said.

Once all information concerning annexation, land use and public comments have been gathered, the council chooses whether to approve the resort. The council could also pass the measures contingent on approval by Minturn voters. A third option holds that citizens could use petitions to force a vote, Christensen said.

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

Vail, Colorado

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