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Minturn residents to vote on private ski resort

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Colorado

MINTURN ” Minturn residents will vote on whether to approve a proposed private ski resort in the town in six weeks, Minturn town councilors said Monday night.

After helping gather 89 signatures in a little more than two weeks, Minturn activist Frank Lorenti turned in a petition that paved the way for residents to vote on whether or not to include 4,300 acres of land owned by the Ginn Development Co. into the town of Minturn.

Town staffers approved the signatures on the petition shortly after Lorenti turned it in around 3 p.m. Monday, Lorenti said. Around 8 p.m. and the night before the Town Council election, town councilors upheld a decision they made in February to annex Ginn’s land at a meeting.

“The majority of the citizens can have a say ” that’s all we’re asking,” Lorenti said. “If the citizens want yes, then good. If they want no, then we’ll take it from there.”

In a major step toward letting Ginn proceed with its plans, town councilors voted unanimously Feb. 27 to include Ginn’s land into Minturn. Now residents will decide on the annexation in a referendum town councilors scheduled for May 20.

Ginn wants to build a private ski resort, golf course and 1,700 homes and condominiums on and around Battle Mountain, south of downtown Minturn.

Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty asked Minturn residents at Monday’s meeting to become educated on Ginn’s proposal.

Town Councilman George Brodin encouraged residents to vote in the referendum.

“Let’s everybody turn out and have a voice in what’s going on,” he said.

Lorenti had 11 different petitions. There was one petition each for the nine pieces of Ginn’s land that councilors have included into the town of Minturn.

Of the other two ordinances one calls for a vote on the mayor’s authority to sign a deal approving Ginn and the other calls for a vote on whether Ginn can use Minturn’s water.

Voters will be asked whether or not to approve those 11 questions on a ballot.

If a referendum is held and residents vote to uphold the annexation, town councilors will vote again, possibly later this year, to finally approve or deny the project.

If residents vote against the annexation, Ginn could walk away from the project, or Red Cliff or Eagle County could strike a deal with the developer, town officials have said.

Voting is “part of the public process,” said Cliff Thompson, director of communications for Ginn.

“We’re committed to providing folks the information they need to make the right decision,” Thompson said.

Lorenti said he was surprised that town staffers took so little time to scrutinize the petitions and that town councilors voted the same night.

“Bring it to a vote,” he said.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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