Granby Ranch neighborhoods still require millions in road repairs
The long awaited, multi-million dollar road repairs at Granby Ranch continue to be a messy issue for town trustees as they try to protect taxpayers’ interests while the developer faces foreclosure.
Two years ago, Matt Girard approached the Granby Board of Trustees about enforcing various subdivision improvement agreements the town holds with the Granby Ranch development. Some roads in his neighborhood had deteriorated to gravel, while other saw massive potholes and patchwork fills.
Girard is the president of Granby Ranch Metropolitan District, which covers most of the developed properties in the Granby Ranch community. He approached the town because Granby is the only entity that can legally enforce the agreements to improve the roads.
“I want to live in a development with proper roads,” Girard said.
Like many arrangements at Granby Ranch, improving the roads is complicated. Girard has repeatedly approached the town over the past couple years about enforcing the agreements with some success.
“As of right now, they are doing all they can do,” Girard said of the trustees’ efforts. “It has, in my opinion, taken some assistance and some pushing.”
The prolonged, complicated process and Girard’s urging for more legal action has led to frustration for some board members. After Girard again asked the board to place a Granby Ranch roads discussion onto the next town agenda to further enforce the agreement, one trustee expressed her displeasure with the criticism.
“We invest a lot of faith and money in our attorneys,” Trustee Becky Johnson said at the most recent board meeting. “I have really taken offense that you are always second guessing (the attorney) and causing us to do extra work at your second guessing.”
Mayor Paul Chavoustie indicated town staff would continue discussions. The complicated past of the development and its various agreements with the town has led the mayor to request an overview from the town attorney about the town board’s responsibilities to Granby Ranch.
The subdivision improvement agreements Girard has been pushing for go back to 2007.
Typically in a subdivision improvement agreement, roads are built, inspected and approved by the town before the developer can sell properties. Granby Ranch’s developer asked for an exception from this 13 years ago with the justification that it could not afford to build the roads until the lots were sold.
The exception was allowed and the roads were eventually built, but the town only approved one section and that road didn’t last through the two year warranty period. The other roads built by the developer were never submitted for town approval.
Last summer, Granby Ranch was able to complete work on one of the most damaged roads, but Girard said that was only about 20% of the needed fixes. Other fixes were delayed because of a lack of funding, as the lender for Granby Ranch was unwilling to fund the entirety of the roads.
Granby Ranch had until Dec. 10 to obtain funding for the fixes, a date that had been extended as Granby Ranch waited for its sale to go through.
At the Dec. 10 meeting, Granby Ranch’s manager Marise Cipriani announced that instead of the promised sale, the property would be going to the lender in lieu of foreclosure. Therefore, all financial obligations would go to the successor further delaying any road repairs. The lender later filed foreclosure paperwork.
With the deadline passed, the town called in bonds of $1.7 million in road repairs at that same meeting. The town’s legal counsel has been communicating with the associated insurance companies to obtain this payment.
However, the bonds will not cover the agreed upon $3.2 million worth of total repairs. The town also filed sales restrictions against certain lots owned by the developer, which transfer to any subsequent owner of the property until a plan for repairs is made.
The town’s attorney explained that even though these sales restrictions exist, there is an exception on the original agreements for bulk sales. That means that the restrictions will not stop the foreclosure sale on the developer owned properties at Granby Ranch scheduled for July 17.
However, based on town discussions, whoever takes over the property will still be bound by these subdivision improvement agreements and the approximately $3.2 million in road repairs.
Editor’s note: This story was updated 12 p.m. May 21 to clarify that the town has placed sales restrictions against developer owned property, not liens as previously stated.
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