Granby OKs attainable housing plat after concerns over construction traffic
The Granby Board of Trustees approved an ordinance for an attainable housing development plat Tuesday after neighbors voiced strong concerns about construction traffic.
The housing development, officially the Rodeo Minor Subdivision but known as the Rodeo Apartments, has been a topic of discussion for almost two years. The project’s developer, Mark Unicume of Unicume Colorado, submitted preliminary plans last November.
Granby owns the 30-acre property south of the Silver Sage Subdivision, east of Highway 40. Granby Ranch gave the land to the town in 2003 on the condition it could only be used for attainable, affordable or workforce housing.
In February, a public hearing raised concerns over construction. During Tuesday’s meeting, town leaders evaluated if these concerns had been addressed before approving the plat.
Tuesday’s approval remains subject to the fulfillment of a number of conditions, which include the developer meeting concerns raised by Mountain Parks Electric and the fire department, in addition to securing approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation for construction access.
The CDOT permit would require a newly constructed road to US Highway 40 be the only access point for all construction traffic. The permit would also prohibit construction traffic from using Silver Sage Road or Rodeo Road.
But the construction site is required to have two access points for safety reasons. While the new road connecting to Highway 40 would be the primary access point, according to Unicume, the access point through Silver Sage would need to remain in place to meet these requirements. Unicume agreed to leave the road to Silver Sage unpaved until the end of construction to deter traffic from using that route.
While the contractors have completed the application process for the permit, it is uncertain when CDOT might approve it. Until then, usage would be limited to pickup trucks through the Silver Sage access area as part of a concession from Unicume.
The biggest concern raised by the public came from residents of Silver Sage who do not want construction traffic on Silver Sage Road. Residents said that even with the CDOT permit, they worry the traffic would still likely end up on the road. That coupled with the uncertain approval from CDOT left residents feeling like the road would be misused.
Residents also expressed concerns that the contractor, town and county would shrug off the responsibility of enforcing the traffic limits.
A traffic report found that only 5% of construction traffic would go through the contested road, something Silver Sage residents like Christian Hornbaker disputed.
“What the travel impact analysis said is absolutely hogwash,” Hornbaker told the board. “And I haven’t used hogwash in a long time. It is not correct.”
Town leaders acknowledged the concerns but emphasized the need for affordable and attainable housing. Also, Mayor Paul Chavoustie pointed out that Unicume’s company has addressed many of the issues.
“With the massive need for affordable housing, that’s why we’re working hard on this, because it’s important for the whole community,” Chavoustie said during the meeting. “It’s critical that when we have a development that’s going down this path and gotten (Housing and Urban Development) approval, that says they’re serious.”
The ordinance was approved unanimously. Afterward Hornbaker approached the town board again to ask what recourse residents would have if construction traffic violates the agreement. Granby Police Chief James Kraker encouraged residents to approach the sheriff about enforcing limits on construction traffic.
Officials also said a violation of these terms means the project could be pulled because the traffic would be violating the town’s parameters for the approval.
In other business:
• The town approved two easement agreements with Mountain Parks Electric and approved a fix to a scrivener’s error related to a use by right or conditional use for museums in the industrial zone district.
• Trustee Natascha O’Flaherty briefly explained Granby’s participation in East Grand Places, which outlines long-term visions for communities in East Grand, and committed to further involvement in the meetings.
• The town approved accounts payable for Oct. 22 and board minutes for four previous meetings. The board also mentioned that written minutes of board meetings would become available online shortly.
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