Granby Ranch looks to build new lots, but residents want promise for nearby road repairs
Granby Ranch’s new developer wants to build out 26 lots, but neighbors who have yet to see their roads fixed are asking the town not to approve the agreements until better guarantees can be made.
Granby’s staff has been working with developer GRCO and GR Terra for a subdivision improvement agreement on phases two and three of the filing eight section in the Granby Ranch neighborhood.
Subdivision improvement agreements are typical contracts between a town and a developer when building new lots to ensure the proper construction of infrastructure, like roads. The lots to be constructed sit on Night Hawk Court, Eagles Nest Court, Talon Way and Black Feather Court.
However, a large group of Granby Ranch residents turned out to the Jan. 25 town board meeting to protest the approval of these agreements.
Phase one of filing eight, immediately adjacent to the proposed new developments, includes Lone Eagle Drive and Kiowa Lane. These roads have been failing for years and were never accepted by the town — typically roads have to be inspected and approved by the town before the developer can sell properties.
Over a decade ago, Granby Ranch’s then-developer asked for an exception from this, stating that the development could not afford to build the roads until the lots were sold. The roads were eventually built but never accepted by the town and are now considered failing.
Three years ago, with millions of dollars of road repairs needed, Granby notified the developer of Granby Ranch that the roads were in breach of the subdivision improvement agreements, and placed a sales restriction against certain lots owned by the developer.
This notification took place before the foreclosure of Granby Ranch. Since then, the development has passed hands to the lender and now to current developer GRCO and GR Terra.
Granby and members of the Granby Ranch neighborhood have held that these obligations to fix the roads carry with the land.
Town Manager Ted Cherry explained to the town board that the developer had made verbal promises to fix these roads, but declined a more formal agreement due to the unknown cost of repairs.
However, Granby Ranch resident Matt Girard presented at that same meeting an email he obtained from an open records request. The email was from the legal representation of GRCO and GR Terra to Granby’s town lawyer referencing a confidential memo dated Aug. 10.
“…Our clients are not legally responsible for the ‘insufficient roads’ discussed in the memo nor for any obligations of (the former developer) with respect to any property our clients did not purchase,” attorney David Richardson of Husch Blackwell wrote on Sept. 7. “Furthermore, contrary to what is stated in the memo, we do not believe the town can lawfully withhold or delay consideration or review of our clients’ plans … because of the ‘insufficient roads’ …”
Richardson did not reply to a request for comment.
Many other Granby Ranch residents also spoke up, opposing the approval of the agreement for the new phases until a formal plan to fix the existing roads was put in place with the developer.
Trustees expressed a reluctance to approve these agreements while residents were still waiting to see their roads repaired.
“I feel like we give away all leverage if we precede with these SIAs,” Trustee Kristie DeLay said. “… We need to get these roads fixed, period. End of discussion.”
Cherry explained that the decision was one of trust with the new developer, though by not approving the agreements the board could see litigation. He also cautioned that, if the developer does intend to fix the roads this summer in conjunction with building the roads for the new filing, the delay in approval could set back the repairs even further.
Town attorney Nathan Krob referenced previous executive sessions with the board when giving his advice, warning that the repair of the roads is not a “black and white issue.”
“There’s no certainty of success, but there is certainty of a high price,” he said.
Trustees decided to table the issue, making no formal decision, with direction to staff to once again bring their requests for a formal agreement on fixing the existing roads to the Granby Ranch developer.
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