Breckenridge backs away from affordable-housing plans
summit daily news
BRECKENRIDGE – The Breckenridge Town Council pulled back this week from a long-term plan to develop as many as 350 affordable-housing units on the Block 11 property north of town.
The lot – which lies between CMC and the new Valley Brook development – has been destined for another housing development and a park since 2007. Town plans also envisioned improvements to a stretch of the recpath known as the Blue River Corridor adjacent to the Block 11 property, which are still on course.
With the Valley Brook development nearly complete and public support for workforce-housing projects wavering in some areas, council members directed staff to focus near-future improvements in the area only on the river restoration project and not on laying the groundwork for the planned housing development.
“I’m willing to sit back and contemplate new uses, new densities for the Block 11 property” Mayor John Warner said at a recent council work session. “I believe we’re not out of the affordable-housing fix. Valley Brook is not going to fix it. Maybe because of the market right now there’re jitters.”
“I think we should let the market settle,” Councilman Jeffery Bergeron said.
The 24.5-acre housing site, part of the Block 11 Master Plan adopted in 2007, was intended to hold 180-350 units and would not have been started for the next four or five years.
But the project required some preliminary work, including rock removal and the relocation of a gas line and other infrastructure projects, which might have been budgeted as capital projects in the near future.
“The feeling was, let’s hold off on developing any more affordable housing out on that parcel of land, and if we’re going to focus on Block 11, let’s focus on the Blue River parcel.”
The town has a 900-unit affordable-housing target. If the Block 11 property were fully built, Breckenridge would still be short of that number, planner Laurie Best said.
The Blue River Corridor plan laid out an improvement project for a narrow, 44-acre stretch of land that includes the river and the recpath that is intended to incorporate soft-surface trails, good trail connections and create an attractive gateway into Breckenridge.
Town officials estimate the total cost for the river corridor plan will be $5.9 million.
The master plan for the area also described the now-constructed police department, a childcare facility and the Valley Brook neighborhood.
The Block 11 site is currently used for extra skier parking and town snow storage in the winter.
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