Fraser rejects wastewater plant, delays Grand Park retail
The Fraser Board of Trustees put the kibosh on an application for a special use review from Cornerstone Winter Park Holdings to pursue a wastewater treatment plant at its Wednesday, Sept. 16 meeting.
Cornerstone had sought the town’s approval before going to the state for a permit to construct the Byers Wastewater Treatment Facility, which would serve Cornerstone’s Byers Peak Ranch.
But town staff had drafted a resolution to deny the application before the public hearing, citing among other things that the facility did not conform to the town’s Comprehensive Plan and that the Upper Fraser Valley Wastewater Treatment Facility could serve Cornerstone’s development.
Clark Lipscomb with Cornerstone argued that he had tried to work with the town for years to utilize its existing plant, but the town’s wastewater tap fee of $7,500 is too high.
Constructing the new plant would cost around $1,200 per tap, Lipscomb said.
“Your rates have increased substantially in the last 15 years, and really they’ve become unjustifiable for the product type that we’re trying to develop,” Lipscomb said.
The current fee structure “doesn’t support” building affordable homes, which Lipscomb said the plant would serve.
“Unfortunately, you’re discouraging attainable housing rather than encouraging it,” Lipscomb said.
Trustee Andy Miller said that, though the plant looks fine on paper, authorizing it wouldn’t fit with the town’s planning goals.
Fraser built a consolidated plant to stop the proliferation of smaller plants, and the town should stick to that plan, Miller said.
Trustee Jane Mather said she thought Cornerstone and Fraser should continue discussions about possibly adjusting the town’s sewer tap fees.
“I would like to support our current discussions on the existing tap fees given that we’re working on it and we have emails about it today,” Mather said.
Lipscomb said he supported that dialogue, but would like to advance both objectives.
“We can certainly continue to work on both of those items,” Clark said. “Regardless of what happens with this, the door’s wide open, but understand we are ready to get going on Byers Peak Ranch. We think the timing is good.”
The board ultimately voted to deny the application, with Trustee Philip Vandernail casting the sole dissenting vote.
The board also chose to delay action on the development permit and final plan for North Retail at Grand Park, a proposed retail center including 85,000 square feet of retail space in Grand Park’s Meyer Subdivision.
The site is one of two proposed retail centers in Grand Park.
Some trustees were apprehensive that the public right of way on John’s Drive that would access the retail center was adequate.
Lipscomb said he’d be willing to discuss widening that road as long as discussions included the new owners of the Fraser Valley Center, which Lipscomb said was obstructing the town’s road right of way.
The board also approved the final plat for planning area 3WC in The Meadows at Grand Park and an ordinance changing the name of First Street in Grand Park to Grand Park Drive.
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