Winter Park council still withholding Lakota certificates of occupancy |

Winter Park council still withholding Lakota certificates of occupancy

By Reid Armstrong

Sky-Hi Daily News

The saga continued this week for Winter Park’s Lakota subdivision. Town Council approved a certificate of occupancy for one residence but left three others in limbo until it can receive more assurances from developer Rick Hermes.

The development, which has experienced financial difficulties, has struggled to complete its infrastructure projects. Town planner James Shockey said Hermes has already spent the most recent $2 million loan he received from Colorado Capital Bank and has requested the town begin releasing the $400,000 in bonds it agreed to contribute at the close of that loan.

All told, the town is holding $2.4 million in performance bond funds for Lakota.

Shockey said Hermes is still on schedule with his most recent promises, but the roads haven’t been paved, the retention walls haven’t been blocked, sediment control measures aren’t complete and giant dirt piles in the neighborhood have yet to be removed. (One estimate said it could cost upwards of $900,000 to remove the largest pile, said council member Vince Turner.)

“I think we need to look at releasing this money based on what they have left to do, not what they have done,” said council member Mike Periolat.

Council members reasoned that the situation of Brad O’Neil, another Lakota homeowner, could be handled separately due to the location of his property closer to paved roads and the financing, which is coming from a bank that’s not involved in the development of the subdivision.

The other three residences under construction are being financed by Colorado Capital and are much further from the main roads. Two of those are owned by Hermes.

– Reid Armstrong can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610 or

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