It was standing room only at Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting and Public Hearing for the Roam Property Annexation and Final Development Plan (FDP). Jeff Vogel, with Vogel and Associates, presented an overview of the project to the Council and attendees, incorporating many of the comments received at the February 6th Public Hearing into the presentation.
Vogel said that Fraser River Development Co (FRDC) and Town staff have been working on the conditions of approval and have further revised the FDP and agreement. A newly revised draft had been presented earlier that morning.
In his presentation, Vogel clarified trail corridors, easements and open space. The plans include a 1.5 acre town park, two “pocket” parks, and, 5.5 acre Porphyry Park which completes a park configuration of 20 acres when combined with adjacent Rendezvous Arrow property. Vogel also said the project cornerstone is the river and their plans include enhancement of the banks and fisheries. Emphasizing preservation of the river corridor, he said the easements will range from 60’ minimum to 400’ maximum and all development will comply with FEMA floodplain and Army Corps of Engineers’ recommendations. In all, there are 41.5 acres in Roam’s preservation zone, which is roughly 25% of the 172 acre development.
Vogel also highlighted the benefits the development will bring to the Town by advancing the Town’s goals with improved connectivity, diversity of housing sites and types, and access to the National Forest. Vogel described it as being “very balanced”.
When the Public Hearing was opened, a number of citizens took the podium to comment on the project. Several had read through the entire 240-page packet of information and gave input on items they felt needed to be changed before the Council considered approval.
Others spoke of their concern with the length of vesting at twenty years, the amount of designated open space, wetlands preservation, impact to wildlife migration, private designation of the river, a proposed gondola, valuation of Porphyry Park, and whether the Town was rushing to approve the annexation and development.
Some gave their support for the development, with comments describing it as “pivotal”, “a benefit to residents and business owners”, and, “a quality developer that takes pride and interest in a project is what you want”.
It was clear the development holds interest with many members of the community and continued involvement is certain for future Roam plat filings.
After receiving over 2 ½ hours of comments, the public hearing was closed and Council began discussion on the development. The documents were described to be 98% complete, with a few items Town legal counsel requested revision on. With Town’s legal counsel and FRDC legal counsel present, they were able to address the last revisions and finalize the documents.
The Council then approved Ordinance 509, Annexing the property to the Town, Zoning the property as Planned Development and approving an associated Final Development Plan, subject to Town Staff approval of amendments and exhibits. They also approved Resolution 1607, approving the Consolidated Service Plan for Roam Metro Districts Nos. 1, 2 &
Also at Tuesday night’s meeting, Town Clerk, Danielle Jardee was sworn in as Town Clerk. Jardee has been serving as interim Town Clerk for several months and now assumes the role full-time.
The Town Council appointed Stan Zemler as Interim Town Manager. Zemler, the former Vail Town Manager, has come out of retirement a little less than a year after he left the Town of Vail. In his 13 years with Vail, Zemler led the Town through the 2008 recession, focusing on growth opportunities and wise spending. Zemler brings an unparalleled level of expertise to the Town in a time of responsible growth as the Town seeks to find a permanent replacement for former Town Manager, Drew Nelson.
The Council also approved the Special Event Application for Awards Ceremony and Street Dance festival activities to be held on the east side of the Cooper Creek Square parking lot on April 7th, 14th and 21st. In its 29th year, the Music Festival brings school band, choir and orchestra students from across the country to enjoy winter sports and perform in various sites across the county. 2,100 are expected this year. For more information, visit WinterParkSkiMusicFestival.com
Following the Town Council meeting, Winter Park’s Housing Authority met to review the results of the recent RFP for the Dimmit II Attainable Housing development. Housing Director, John Crone, presented the results to the commissioners. He told them that they’d received 4 competitively-priced responses to the request for proposals from architecture firms. Of the four, only Davis Urban was able to commit to completing the architectural drawings for the project by May, which keeps the project on track to break ground in June. With that said, the commissioners unanimously approved the contract with Davis Urban.
Crone went on to tell the commissioners that only two responses had come in for the project construction, and local contractor, Big Valley Construction’s proposal came in at a lower cost than the other bid. Crone stated that Davis Urban and Big Valley have worked together on several projects recently and it is a good fit that will help maintain continuity with the project. The commissioners approved the Housing Authority’s engagement in a contract with Big Valley Construction.
Crone also told the commissioners that they had received a draft letter of intent from Winter Park Resort indicating they are “very much on board”. He said he’ll be sitting down with the Resort next week to work out details.