Winter Park hires housing coordinator

Hank Shell
John Crone
Sky-Hi News file photo

The Town of Winter Park has hired a new housing coordinator.

John Crone took over the newly created position and will oversee the town’s attainable housing program.

“I guess I see my position as helping build a stronger Winter Park community,” Crone said. “I’m a community builder.”

Crone has worked in Summit County as a real-estate lawyer for the last five years, he said.

Before that, he was a builder. Even farther back, Crone worked as a snowcat driver – “the best job in the world,” he said.

Crone got his undergraduate degree in political science and law degree and the University of Colorado – Boulder but says he didn’t go to law school to become attorney.

Rather, his intentions were more civic-minded.

Crone has served on Summit County’s Snake River Planning Commission for 12 years, where he’s vice chair, and has been active on numerous other boards and commissions.

“Town Hall is my church,” Crone said. “It’s where I go to feel better about myself.”

Crone first moved to Summit County in 1989 and frequently travels to Winter Park to ski with his two sons, ages 16 and 14.

There are a lot of similarities between the Summit County of 1989 and the Winter Park of today, Crone said.

“It was a lot smaller back then, a lot less commercial and residential development,” he said. “That’s what kind of excites me about this job.”

Crone pointed to the array of new construction and development projects in downtown Winter Park as proof that the town is and will continue to grow, and said he was excited to be a part of that growth.

He did, however, take a bit of umbrage at a comment in a recent article in The Denver Post referring to Winter Park as “West Golden.”

“I think Summit County is (West Golden),” Crone said.

As it currently stands, Crone said he’s wrapping his head around the opportunities Winter Park has to address the objectives of his position.

“The whole idea behind me is to facilitate the development of more attainable and workforce housing,” Crone said. “Some of it might be tied to income and some of it just might be tied to where you work – whatever we can do.”

The current attainable housing situation in the Fraser Valley is daunting, Crone said.

“We supply housing for, what, 20 percent of the Winter Park work force?,” Crone said. “That’s not good.”

The shortage impacts commercial development and existing businesses.

“It would help existing businesses if their minimum wage dishwashers didn’t have to commute to and from Granby,” Crone said. “People don’t move up here to spend all their time commuting.”

One of Crone’s first objectives is to develop a new attainable housing strategic plan for the town, and he said he plans to meet with local officials, residents, employers and developers to gather input on the plan.

“I am excited,” Crone said. “There are opportunities.”

Crone asked any comments be sent to his email address,

Hank Shell can be reached at 970-557-6010.

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