Fraser board approves subdivision
September 18, 2014
The Fraser Board of Trustees has approved the final plan and plats for a new subdivision within the Grand Park development.
The resolution to approve The Willows subdivision at Grand Park, which passed on a 4-3 vote Wednesday, first came before the board at its Sept. 3 meeting. Board members chose to revise the conditions of the final plan before hearing the resolution again at the board's Sept. 17, meeting.
The Willows is a proposed subdivision of townhomes in the larger Grand Park development in Fraser. The first phase of the development would include 16 units.
Developer Clark Lipscomb and Grand Park representative Jack Bestall had complied with legal requirements regarding open space and trail dedications – both hot topics at the Sept. 3 meeting. An updated map of the area showed 3.4 acres, slightly more than the required 10 percent of the planning area, would be open space dedicated to the homeowners association.
But Trustee Andy Miller ultimately considered a separate entrance to the first phases of the development a deal breaker, citing safety concerns and emergency access.
Lipscomb agreed to improve an extant roadway that makes a loop through the development's fourth phase, adding a second entrance.
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The concession seemed to satisfy most trustees' concerns, though Miller, along with trustees Jane Mather and Eileen Waldo, voted against the resolution.
Other concerns that surfaced during the meeting regarded whether roads in the subdivision would be plowed, when the development's arterial road and interior subdivision roads would be paved and whether the buildings on the lots would be too close together.
Many of the issues centered on the nature of phased development.
Mather said she would like to see a guarantee in writing that all roads in all four phases would be paved, but Lipscomb argued that such a guarantee would undermine the point of phased development, limiting the developer's ability to adapt to the market.
"If we wanted to go do all of these improvements all at once, we wouldn't have these split into four filings," Lipscomb said. "We would have one filing."
Both Lipscomb and Bestall were visibly frustrated with the board at times.
At one point, Bestall said that it seemed as if some trustees were "trying to put a cap" on the developer.
Toward the end of the discussion, Town Manager Jeff Durbin attempted to address what seemed to be a general aversion to development by some trustees.
"We've had our disagreements for sure," Durbin said. "Development isn't easy. Building public infrastructure isn't easy, but I think we have a good SIA [social impact assessment] process, a good subdivision inspection process, a good development review process and a good code, and I just think you need to hear that again."
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.