Granby extends downtown cash-in-lieu of parking incentives
Sky-Hi Daily News
As a way to provide incentives to downtown developers, the town of Granby voted to freeze its cash-in-lieu of parking fee at its current rate.
Board members voted to keep the fee at $1,000 per parking space for three years to try and encourage developers to build downtown. The fee allows developers to forgo providing required parking spaces by paying cash instead.
A higher charge per parking space could hinder development, said Jim Glenn, a Granby real-estate broker, and a shorter freeze on the existing fee for say, two years, wouldn’t be long enough due to the state of the economy and the time it takes to plan a development. Glenn advocated four years on behalf of the development community.
Granby Downtown Enhancement Director Betsy Cook said the lock on fees should be extended to anyone who does improvements downtown and that the town should look into more ways to provide incentives for developers. A lengthy freeze, she said, may not be enough incentive to have builders commit to the town expeditiously.
After the board deliberated on the length of time the freeze should be in place, jogging between four years and two years, they settled on three.
Trustee Ken Coatney said he would rather have the town facing a greater need for parking in the future than a lack of businesses in the downtown at present.
An agreement has been reached for cost-sharing to place a traffic light at the intersection of Thompson Road and U.S. Highway 40, better known as the City Market intersection.
The total cost of the light is estimated to be $375,000, shared among three parties: the town, which is contributing a $125,000 “impact fee payment” from the vacation ownership company Wyndham Worldwide developing in Grand Elk; Grand Elk LLC development is contributing $125,000 “as soon as it obtains refinancing, on which it is working and continues to work,” says the agreement; and The Grand Elk Ranch General Improvement District, the district responsible for infrastructure improvements at Grand Elk, for which the town is the acting ex-officio board, is set to contribute $125,000 from its capital improvements and operating funds holding nearly $300,000.
The cost of a traffic-light fourth arm would be absorbed by future development on the east side when needed.
The traffic light project has evolved from Grand Elk, the original permit holder of the intersection, paying the full rate for the signals to a “shared financial burden,” according to Town Attorney Scott Krob.
But Krob declined to comment about further negotiations that occurred in executive session.
“I’m saddened this whole thing had to be re-negotiated,” said Trustee Deb Shaw during discussion of the vote. “I just hope Grand Elk keeps to the other things that they said they would do.”
Grand Elk General Manager Steve Bromberg, who was at the meeting, declined to respond to Shaw’s comment.
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