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Red Cliff must wait its turn

RED CLIFF ” Bill Weber of the Ginn Development Company put it in romantic terms for Red Cliff residents.

“We’re in an awkward situation,” Weber said. “We’re going out with Minturn, but we want to go out with you, too.”

The company is planning to build 1,700 homes, a ski resort with eight chairlifts, a golf course and several other amenities on land that stretches from the southern outskirts of Minturn over Battle Mountain to Red Cliff. Ginn has asked Minturn to annex its 5,312-acre property into the town.

Cash-strapped Red Cliff is hoping to get some help from the developer. Topping the town’s list is help with a new wastewater plant.

But before the Ginn Companies helps Red Cliff, it has to get further along the annexation process with Minturn, Weber said. Annexation could happen by late winter.

Red Cliff has already submitted a “wish list” of needed improvements to Ginn, Mayor Ramon Montoya said. Montoya said he knows Red Cliff is Ginn’s secondary interest.

“We knew that,” he said. “It’s not a surprise.”

Red Cliff residents were also told at a public meeting Monday that Minturn will not immediately incorporate about 1,000 acres of the Ginn property closest to Red Cliff because of state restrictions on how much land can be annexed by a town at once.

That part of the property will probably be annexed a year after the first part is annexed, Weber said. But there are no plans to develop the area, and Ginn may give up development rights, said Dominic Mauriello, a planner for the company.

The development will not be visible from Red Cliff, Mauriello said.

About 20 residents gathered for the presentation, which was a rehash of the plan approved by the Minturn planning commission last month. It was not a formal presentation, but rather an information session for Red Cliff.

Some residents seemed to accept that the development will happen but wanted to make sure Red Cliff benefits. Others were all-out against the plan.

Longtime Red Cliff resident Ron Mitchell was concerned by the amount of traffic that would be created by construction, which is expected to last two decades. “I can’t find anything good about it, but I’m looking,” he said.

Mitchell said other concerns are potential harm to wildlife as well as energy and water consumption.

“It’s just another case of greed and a materialistic scenario that’s on a such a grand scale it’s almost incomprehensible,” Mitchell.

Red Cliff resident Jim Bradford said he appreciated Ginn keeping the town apprised of the plan.

“Public information is good,” he said. “The rumor mill tends to work overtime on things like this.”

He said he understands that the proposed resort is on private property, and said he thinks Ginn is a good company. But he said Red Cliff needs to keep talking to Ginn and not wait for negotiations with Minturn.

“The town needs to talk to Minturn and Ginn and say, ‘Slow down. We need to be more involved in this,'” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado


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