Fraser Board of Trustees finalize ballot language for land swap

If passed by voters, the new lot may be used for the Fraser Center for Creative Arts

Charley Sutherland
Special for Sky-Hi News

The Fraser Board of Trustees passed Resolution 2023-09-04 to finalize ballot language on a potential land swap between the Town of Fraser and Byson Development at its Sept. 6 regular meeting.

The town received an offer from Byson Development to swap its property on Clayton Court for the town’s lot behind the Fraser Distillery at 320 Eastom Ave., currently known as Mural Park. The town is considering using Byson’s lot, which is adjacent to a lot already owned by the town, for the Fraser Center for Creative Arts.

Byson Development’s lot, is known as the Clayton Court lot.

The Clayton Court lot is .25 acres, and has both sewer and water, while the Mural Park lot is .38 acres and currently has sewer, but not water.

The town’s lot behind the Fraser Distillery at 320 Eastom Ave., currently known as Mural Park, is marked by the blue point on the map.
Town of Fraser/Courtesy image
Byson Development’s lot, known as the Clayton Court lot, marked by the blue point.
Town of Fraser/Courtesy image

The town has applied for a grant to get water connected to its lot on Clayton Court. Trustee Parnell Quinn explained the town is budgeting to get water on the Clayton lot even if the town is denied the grant.

The Town of Fraser and Byson Development have requested appraisals to determine the value of their properties. Those appraisals were not completed in time for the board’s Sept. 6 meeting.

Fraser Mayor Phillip Vandernail challenged the efficacy of putting the issue up to voters without having appraisals on the values of the properties.

“We are making a decision with our hearts, not our heads,” Vandernail said.

Mayor Pro Tem Eileen Waldow echoed Mayor Vandernail’s concerns.

“We have a responsibility to our citizens to make sure we get value out of our property,” Waldow explained.

Trustee Quinn argued the desirability of the Clayton Court property comes from its proximity to the neighboring town lot on Clayton Court.

“Even if one’s worth less, which it probably isn’t, the fact that (the Clayton Court lot) is adjacent to the other town property makes it a much better purchase for the town,” Quinn said.

Fraser’s Town Manager Michael Brack explained that the contractual agreement for the land exchange has been agreed to in principal by both the Town of Fraser and Byson Development.

“In both contracts, we left the boilerplate language that you see in every Colorado real estate contract that each party has a right to get an appraisal on their own and if they don’t like how it comes back they can object and terminate the contract,” Brack explained.

If either the town or the developers don’t want to go through with the land swap following the completion of their respective appraisals, they can back out of the deal, regardless of the results of the election.

A divided Fraser Board of Trustees voted to approve the ballot language for the land swap. Trustees Fisher, Soles, Quinn and Cerkvenik voted in favor of the resolution. Mayor Vandernail and Mayor Pro Tem Waldow voted in opposition to the resolution.

Fraser voters will decide on the ballot question on Nov. 7. The question will ask voters if Fraser should sell mural park for $450,000 with the intention of using the proceeds to purchase the Clayton Court lot for use in the connection to the Fraser Creative Arts Center, or for other public purposes determined by the board of trustees, according to the resolution.

Other business:

  • The Board of Trustees, acting as the local liquor liscensing authority, unanimously passed Resolution 2023-09-01 to grant a golf simulator bar, The Birdie Lounge, its liquor license. 
  • The Board passed Resolution 2023-09-02 to approve a major site plan for applicant, Jardie Lauinger. Lauinger recieved approval for the construction of a duplex and a single-family home at 832 Wapiti Drive in Fraser.
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