More details emerge for massive Roam housing development in Winter Park as talks continue
The Winter Park Town Council continued talks regarding an annexation agreement with the Fraser River Development Co. LLC for the massive Roam development at its regular meeting Wednesday night. While negotiations have begun in good faith, the two sides have not yet reached an agreement that works for all parties.
The annexation agreement is part of a proposed development plan called Roam, a potential new development coming to Winter Park that would feature over 1,000 residential units, 400 hotel units and over 70,000 square feet of commercial space.
A principal applicant in the agreement, Jeff Vogel of Vogel & Associates, was present at the meeting to provide a presentation on the proposed development.
The agreement calls for 172 acres of unincorporated land to be annexed into the town of Winter Park for the development. The biggest portion of the land, about 166 acres, is located just south of downtown Winter Park on the east side of U.S. Highway 40. It borders Arapahoe National Forest on one side, Rendezvous Arrow property on another and is naturally bisected by the Fraser River. There is also a six-acre plot on the west side of the highway that runs against the railroad.
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The proposed development would serve as a gateway to the town, focusing on a diversity of housing options, mixed-use activity hubs, community connectivity and preserving environmental systems and cultural influences in the area.
According to the land use plan, about one-third of the development that rests along U.S. Highway 40 would be mixed use, featuring both commercial and residential space. The remainder would be residential space for a mixture of houses, townhomes and multi-family apartments.
Only three acres of land, however, will be dedicated to workforce housing, according to the plans. Though there will be benefits to the town from a financial standpoint.
A one percent assessment will be imposed on the development and collected by the town of Winter Park to be applied to a number of town-related services. Another half-percent assessment on the development will be collected by the town exclusively to be applied to workforce housing acquisition and services. The assessment is essentially a fee levied upon the sale of a parcel of real estate to help fund government services.
Several trail systems are also in the works for the proposed development.
The Fraser River Trail will continue through onto forest service land, with connections planned onto Rendezvous Arrow land, as well as the Arapahoe National Forest. There are also several new, local trails that will loop internally on the development.
The development is not without its issues, however, as several residents expressed their concerns during a public hearing regarding the proposed annexation and development plans on Wednesday, though none were directed at the development’s minimal plan for affordable workforce housing.
The first concern was the potential destruction to wetlands in the area.
Plans for the development currently intend to mitigate any loss of wetlands and preserve them wherever possible, though that process is not always successful.
Concerns were also raised about potentially cutting off wildlife habitats and migratory paths.
Finally, with traffic in the area already a growing issue, the new development could exacerbate the problem, according to one resident.
The development plans currently detail four different entrances to the site, two from U.S. Highway 40, one from Vasquez Road and one from Ski Idlewild. Two roads constructed for the development will be turned over to the town for ownership and maintenance.
Negotiations on the annexation agreement will continue, as well as finalization of the development plans. The agreement is expected to come before the council again in February.
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