Winter Park residents urge town to slow down on massive Roam development | SkyHiNews.com

Winter Park residents urge town to slow down on massive Roam development

While public sentiment surrounding the project appears to be positive, residents are urging the council to slow down and take its time reviewing development plans before moving forward on the massive Roam development.

The proposed development would annex more than 170 acres of unincorporated land into the town of Winter Park, surrounded by the Arapahoe National Forest and Rendezvous Arrow just south of downtown Winter Park. The project would feature more than 1,000 new residential units, 400 hotel units and over 70,000 square feet of commercial space. Fraser River Development Company, LLC is the developer for the project.

The Planning Commission reviewed the final development plans at the end of January, and recommended that the council approve the plans with a series of conditions regarding improving pedestrian connectivity, placement of well and septic systems, road dedications and more.

The town of Winter Park held a public hearing over the proposed development at its regular meeting Tuesday evening during which several residents came forward with concerns about the project. Concerns ranged from logistical items such as language used and the general complexity of the agreement, to more tangible concerns like cost burden to the town, Fraser River easement and access and environmental issues.

Residents are weary that the agreement doesn't put any caps on potential cost burden to the town, and that the agreement only calls for a 16 foot easement along the east side of the river. Jeff Vogel, who spoke on behalf of Fraser River Development, said the easement would be much more significant in actuality.

There is also concern about land use.

The current development plan specified about 6.6 acres of land will be zoned as open space, about 4.2 percent of the entire project. This is raising eyebrows as to how much of the property should be open space, especially given the wetlands on the property.

Residents brought several other concerns to the table, and urged the council to pump the breaks and take their time working through the development plans to assure a fair deal for the town and its residents. The public also expressed a desire to wait until the town's new master plan was completed.

The hearing ended with Vogel, of Vogel & Associates, giving a presentation on the project and its potential positive impacts on the town. Vogel said the project would serve as a gateway to the community, improve trail and street connectivity, increase vibrancy in the downtown area, and provide a diverse increase in the housing supply.

Vogel also pointed to the quantitative benefits to the town, including the one percent real estate transfer assessment (RETA), which he estimates will generate more than $1.1 million annually, and could reach nearly $20 million in the first decade making assumptions about inflation and other factors. He estimated that the .5 percent RETA for workforce housing could product more than half a million annually as well.

Vogel said the sales tax revenue from the 72,000 square feet of commercial space could also provide more than $1.5 million in annual revenue. He estimates that the development as a whole would provide nearly $3.5 million annually to the town.

Another public hearing will be held on the development March 6.

Lipscomb presents town with invoice for underpass

Clark Lipscomb, president of real estate for Cornerstone Holdings, LLC, was in attendance for the meeting to personally deliver an invoice to the town for work done on the Leland Creek Underpass.

He said the town had stopped giving receipts for their invoices, and decided to drop it off directly to the council. Lipscomb said the project is on track and expected to be completed by November.