Granby starts predevelopment process for workforce housing |

Granby starts predevelopment process for workforce housing

Granby’s Board of Trustees took the next step towards creating the town’s long-awaited workforce housing project on U.S. Highway 40, approving a predevelopment agreement with the property’s developers.

The first of two related resolutions involved the predevelopment agreement and its financials, which totals $251,000. Assistant Town Manager Nicole Schafer said predevelopment includes things like geotechnical work, surveying, environmental studies, appraisal and structural work.

“All of this (is) to allow us to have a full development contract by October 31 at the latest,” Schafer said. 

The predevelopment cost could go down, Schafer said, because some geotechnical work previously done at the site could be used for the project. 

Rocky Mountain Workforce Housing, LLC, which consists of the developer NHP Foundation, Summit Homes Construction and Galena Street Planning Group, will pay for the predevelopment costs, unless, after the predevelopment has finished, the decides to move forward with a different developer. Then the town would reimburse the group.

Town Manager Ted Cherry said the reimbursement arrangement will help protect the town from going through a similar situation as it did with the Rodeo Apartments, when the developers failed to close on the workforce housing parcel and the town withdrew from the agreements, leading to a legal battle.

“Rather than putting the land into it right now, we’re just saying, ‘If it goes sideways and we walk away, we will reimburse you for predevelopment expenses,'” Town Attorney Nathan Krob said. “We’re not going to fight over the property, and the property transaction will be part of the development agreements.”

The board also approved a resolution putting up to $25,000 towards an energy feasibility study, which Schafer said will help inform the town and developers how best to provide energy to the development, whether it be with all-electric power or some combination of gas, electric, solar and geothermal

“Right now, we’re just guessing,” Schafer said. “We want to have some facts to be able to make an intelligent decision based on what that survey tells us, what the geotech says and how we could potentially align the phases of development on our 32-acre property.”

A grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ Energy/Mineral Impact Assistance Fund will cover up to $25,000 for the energy study, which is budgeted to cost $50,000. The town’s $25,000 contribution will come from the housing initiative general fund account, which includes $250,000 in the 2023 budget.

Other business:

  • Several public commenters expressed concerns about the water rate increases in the West Service Area, which includes Sun Outdoors and Smith Creek Crossing. Commenters raised the issue at the last board meeting as well, and trustees showed support for holding a workshop session to explain the rates. Cherry wrote in an email that the workshop will be at the next board meeting, May 9.
  • The board discussed the possibility of creating a donor advised fund with the Grand Foundation, and staff will schedule further discussion at a future meeting.
  • As the Grand Elk General Improvement District board, trustees approved a plat correction for the Village at Eagle Ridge that adjusts plat lines to accurately reflect where buildings are being constructed.
  • Philipp Urbanetz took his oath of office to become a Granby Police officer.
  • Trustees granted a conditional use permit to Willow Creek Clearing and Grading, LLC to build a mini-storage facility in the Granby Business Park.
  • The board approved special event liquor permits for Destination Granby’s Music & Market events this summer.
  • Trustees approved an extension for Royal Oak, the developers of Granby Station, to finish improvements at that site. Two trustees voted against the extension.
  • The board approved $100,000 of grants for five local businesses from the town’s Downtown Grants program. One trustee voted against the approval.
  • Trustees gave final approval to award the bid for repairing Thompson Road to United Cos.
  • The board approved the purchase of trail maintenance equipment, including a Bobcat track loader, contingent on approval of a grant request the town made to Grand County’s Open Lands, Rivers and Trails Fund.
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