Winter Park purchases property ahead of transit facility construction
In anticipation of Winter Park’s construction of a new transit maintenance facility, the town purchased six acres of property on County Road 5 in Fraser.
The property, which currently houses Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park, is adjacent to where the transit maintenance facility will be built, so the town felt purchasing the property would address concerns about how the construction would affect the neighboring lot.
“Acquiring this property alleviates concerns about the transit facility’s impact on the property, while also offering the town the beneficial use of this property in the future,” Town Manager Keith Riesberg said.
Previously owned by Jeff and Tracie Martin, the town paid $800,000 for the property, which may be used for other affordable housing opportunities following construction of the transit facility.
The town agreed to lease the single-family home on the property back to the former owners until June 30, 2021. There is also an apartment on the lot that the town may utilize for employee housing if needed.
“In the short term, the town proposes to maintain this property for residential use,” Riesberg said. “It does provide additional units that the town may be able to use as the town tries to attract workforce to this area.”
Any future development of the property will be done in conjunction with Grand County, the town of Fraser and Mountain Parks Electric, Riesberg noted.
In other business:
• Council approved a short-term rental advisory group consisting of Winter Park Assistant Town Manager Alisha Janes, Winter Park Clerk Danielle Jardee, Fraser Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Catherine Ross, Suzy Robbins, Rebecca Kaufman, Shanna Lalley, Al Furlone, Jill Sutcliffe, Cheryl Spezia and Mark Gibson. The council will meet with the group again in three months at a workshop.
• East Grand Fire District’s proposed 2020 impact fees were approved. Residential rates raised to $632 from $438 and the commercial rate is now .28 cents per square foot.
• Council approved the design for its new $11 million Public Works shop. Construction is expected to start this spring.
• An agreement between the town and the developers of the Sitzmark North property, where the Headwaters Center is located, was amended by the council. Previously, the agreement required the developers to build a community center, which is the Headwaters Center, and a hotel. However, the developers told the town they believe the space is too small to build a hotel and asked for approval to build condominiums instead. The council approved the change with a note that all condo sales will include a 0.5% real estate transfer tax for affordable housing. Only council member Nick Kutrumbos opposed the amendment.
• 2020 budget amendments were approved to cover the cost of new Lift buses, construction on Baker Drive, certificates of participation for the Public Works shop and reimbursing the Winter Park Fraser Chamber of Commerce for 2019 losses.
• Riesberg noted that tourists and visitors can continue to visit Winter Park without concerns of the coronavirus. No cases have been confirmed in Colorado.
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Elected officials from Fraser and Winter Park agreed to work together on starting a multijurisdictional housing authority to address workforce housing needs, seeking to put a question on the ballot as early as next year.