Government Tracker: Minturn, developer vow to work together
Board: Minturn Town Council, evening meeting, Wednesday.
Present: Terry Armistead, Sidney Harrington, Harvey Craig, Sage Pierson, John Widerman, Earle Bidez and Mayor Matt Scherr.
Issue: Memorandum of understanding with Battle Mountain Development.
Who they talked to: Tim McGuire, of Battle Mountain.
What they talked about: After the land swap idea was squashed, Battle Mountain regrouped and listened to what the community was saying: “Build on your own land.” So that’s what the owners of the largest piece of property in Minturn plans to do. Battle Mountain Development has plans to develop its mountaintop parcel, on a lower density than before, but would require the town to adjust zoning codes to allow 35-acre lots, which would allow the developer to install wells and septic on the property, relieving the burden of the town. The second phase of development plans to be at Bolt’s Lake, where Battle Mountain Development already owns land. The memorandum of understanding is non-binding as it pertains to plans, but is an agreement between the town and Battle Mountain Development to continue working together. As part of the memorandum of understanding, Battle Mountain Development will earmark $200,000 from the 2012 escrow to pay for the town’s legal and consulting costs. The council postponed the vote from the previous meeting to allow public input. No one from the public spoke at Wednesday’s meeting. “I’m surprised, I thought the room would be packed,” Craig said. Armistead replied, “They’ll be here. They’ll be involved in the process.”
How they voted: 7-0 in approval of the memorandum of understanding.
What’s next: Every step of the way will involve public process.
Issue: Delinquent water bill from Turntable Restaurant & Motel.
Who they talked to: Town staff.
What they talked about: The new owners of the Turntable are the owners from Westside Cafe in Vail, and they are taking on a $24,500 delinquent water bill owed to the town from the previous owner. A deferred payment plan would have the new owners pay $2,500 up front and $1,000 per month until the bill is paid in full. Harrington and Pierson voiced their displeasure with making a new business in town pay for something that was not their fault. “I don’t think it should be on their shoulders. I want them to have a clean slate,” Pierson said. However, the alternatives to this deal are shutting off the water, which would displace the people living there now. “It’s an imperfect solution to an imperfect situation,” Widerman said. “It would make the town whole,” Bidez said. The new owners had already agreed to the deal, and Bidez thinks they wouldn’t have agreed if they didn’t think they could manage it.
How they voted: 4-2 in approval, with Harrington and Pierson opposed. (Scherr recused himself for possible conflict of interest.)
What’s next: The Turntable’s new owners expect to be open in November for the start of the winter season.
Issue: Appointing a new member of the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission.
Who they talked to: Town staff.
What they talked about: Brad Bickerton has left the Planning & Zoning Commission because he is moving to Boulder. In the spring, the council appointed new members to the Planning & Zoning Commission, and Burke Harrington was elected as an alternate. Burke Harrington has worked on the Planning & Zoning Commission before.
How they voted: 6-0 appointing Burke Harrington to Planning & Zoning Commission. (Sidney Harrington recused herself for possible conflict of interest.)
What’s next: “I’m happy to get Burke back on the board,” Bidez said. “He did a great job before.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.