Photo: View from the Martin family front porch and future site of proposed Transit Maintenance facility     Photo courtesy of the Martins

During the unscheduled public comment at Tuesday’s BOCC meeting, Jeff Martin, of 1410 CR 5 in Fraser, addressed the commissioners on the pending transit maintenance facility, the solar project and how it interacts with his property.

County legal counsel, Bob Franek, told Martin and the commissioners that there were no Special Use Permits (SUP) for either project currently in process. He told Martin that he was welcome to address the commissioners, but once the Special Use Permit(s) are filed, he should be prepared to speak again during the public hearing(s).

Martin told the commissioners that he had purchased his 6 acre property 18 years ago, in 2000. When they moved in, they knew the substation, the gravel pit and Denver water owned parcels close-by. Since then, the county purchased 40 acres around their home and constructed the Road & Bridge facility, and, the substation has also grown in size. He and his wife, Tracie, learned about the proposed solar project this summer. Then, in the fall, that the transit maintenance facility would also be built on land surrounding their home.  

“Our home is our largest investment and I am concerned with what this will do to the value”, said Martin. “It seems like a lost investment – a prospective buyer would not select a home sandwiched between these facilities.”  

Martin told the commissioners that he had entered into discussions with the Town of Winter Park on the potential sale of his property to the town for the Transit Maintenance facility. Then, the county stepped in and negotiated a very generous land deal with the town, dissincenting the town to work with the Martins any longer.  

“We feel disrespected. We have been good neighbors to the county. We have learned to live with the county truck back up signals, the fallen, dead trees and slash piles. In turn, the county has allowed us to operate our business. I am not opposed to development, but this is not something we bought into 18 years ago. The area is becoming increasingly industrialized and our business doesn’t fit the usage any longer”, said Martin.

“The solution is to remove us, whether the town, the county or Mountain Parks Electric purchases our property. Then all the projects can move forward without having to worry about our residential property”, said Martin. “We have been good neighbors, bringing taxes from our business in to the community. We ask for transparency, support, respect and fair value for our home.”

The commissioners directed staff to work with the Martins to find a solution. The Winter Park Times will continue to monitor developments on the Martin’s property, the solar project and the transit facility.