At Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees meeting, the trustees discussed conveyance of a small parcel of town-owned right of way to the homeowner at 97 W Diamond Ave.
Representing the homeowner, realtor Leah Bishop asked the town for consideration of the request, which had been discovered at the time of sale. The home was found to encroach .2’ over the property line and the homeowner had experienced great difficulty in securing home insurance as a result. The homeowner is requesting the town vacate the .2’ parcel so that a future home buyer will not have the trouble in obtaining insurance.
Town Attorney, Scott Krob acknowledged the discovery was the result of improvements in surveying and that some people originally built their homes without being too careful on proximity to property lines. “Title companies and survey companies are becoming more precise”, said Krob.
Krob asked the board what they want to do with encroachments, since several have been identified in recent years. He explained that, in the past, homeowners have been granted an encroachment license, which acknowledges that their home is located on a town right of way. The license remains valid until the property is destroyed or removed, at which time it must be constructed to town code, or, until the town has established a specific use for the right of way. The encroachment license requires the town to be added as a second additional insured, which has added to the complexity in the homeowner’s quest for insurance coverage.
The trustees pointed out that the home would still not be in compliance with the town’s setback requirements of 20’ and would remain nonconforming. In the end, they did not approve the requested vacation of the small parcel, but instead agreed to work with Bishop to reword the license agreement to satisfy the insurer’s requirements for this policy as well as any future policies obtained under similar circumstances.
Granby Ranch filing extension request
Lance Badger, with Granby Ranch Holdings, appeared before the trustees to request an extension on Granby Ranch, filing 17. Badger told the trustees that they were working through the list of outstanding items identified by the town. They had paid the Granby sanitation and water fees that day and had also met with East Grand Schools and were providing numbers needed to calculate school impact fees. Badger told the trustees that the water rights dedication would require discussion between Granby Ranch’s water attorney and Town Attorney Krob, noting the old water agreement from 2012 ties into the process as well. Badger felt Granby Ranch could complete the requirements in less than the standard extension period of one year.
Trustee O’Flaherty stated that all improvements were supposed to be completed within 4 years, and noted that many of the items in the original filing were outdated. “It seems like a clean Subdivision Improvement Agreement (SIA) from scratch would make better sense”, said O’Flaherty, adding, “I have serious concerns with the extension”.
Mayor Paul Chavoustie noted that no financial obligation shall be passed on to other districts. “My developer hat says ‘clean this up’ and make sure everyone is on board, as opposed to scrapping it”. Chavoustie added “It looks like there’s a pending sale – we don’t know who we are dealing with. In a few weeks time, we could be dealing with someone else”, referring to the potential sale of Granby Ranch to an unknown buyer in mid-February.
Badger replied “it is the intent of the new party to pursue this project as designed”.
Trustee O’Flaherty said, “We have a duty to enforce agreements in a timely manner. Taxpayers are drowning in debt and this reflects that the developer was not held accountable”.
Mayor Chavoustie suggested they table the extension. “I would like to see it come before us from the people that are going to do the work. Punting it to a new buyer makes me uncomfortable”, said Chavoustie.
Granby Ranch resident Dennis Major told the trustees “The agreement right now is with the developer and the town, not the new buyer. You need to correct it now, prior to the sale, because we do not know what the new buyer wants to do”.
Trustee O’Flaherty said, “Hope is not a strategy. We hope the sale transpires next month, but at a board meeting last year, Granby Ranch owner, Marise Cipriani said there is a forbearance agreement in place that runs through the end of February 2019. Coupled with a writ of attachment for $19 million, it is messy to table it. It does not protect the taxpayers and the town”. O’Flaherty added that the new owner can make their own decision on filings.
Mayor Chavoustie told the trustees “I do not want to hinder the sale, but I want to protect the interest of the Granby Ranch homeowners, too. We do not want to vacate a plat just before a sale”. Chavoustie added “I have never met with the prospective buyer. I am okay with signing a non-disclosure agreement, but have not met with anyone. I would like to be able to say I shook hands with someone”.
Trustee Hardy stated “We don’t know, which raises more questions in my head. I just think there are too many unknowns right now”.
Trustee Raible asked “Are our options to approve, vacate or kick it (the extension) down the road?”.
Attorney Krob stated there were no risks to defer to February.
Trustee O’Flaherty reinforced “We have given them a 3-year window to complete this and still nothing. To me, we’re looking at something that is dated. We may be working with a new party and we want to be current with parties and agreements”. The credibility of providing bonds, the- need for surety for 12” water pipe and roads “troubles me and I don’t think we are doing right for the homeowners”. She added “I move that we not extend this and let the new buyer come to the table. The agreement expired and a new one needs to be brought to us”.
Mayor Chavoustie stated “If I could speak with a real buyer, I think it could be refreshed, but the confidence is not there. If the new buyer says they’re concerned, we are willing to work with them”.
Badger told the trustees he would take this information back to Granby Ranch.
In other town news:
- The trustees approved that Municipal Judge applicants move on to Public Safety for review and recommendation.
- Town Manager, Aaron Blair, told the trustees that the final sales tax for 2018 went over $3 million, close to a 9% increase over 2017 and between $130,000-$140,000 over projected.
- The Granby Police Department is short staffed, and Chief James Kraker has been working every day to cover the shortage. The department will hold interviews on January 9th for certified staff and non-certified interviews will be held the week of January 14th.
- The Sun Communities representative is moving into a temporary office at the visitor’s center. As far as project, it is on schedule. The pipe crew is actually ahead of schedule, placing over 40,000’ of pipe in the ground. The new buildings are coming along great and are very large. The development is still targeting a summer 2019 opening.
- The Granby Garage Roadhouse is expected to open in February.
Mayor Chavoustie commended the town manager and Chamber director, saying “Aaron is doing a fantastic job! You and Jessica are making a difference in our community. Thank you!”.
To learn more, visit townofgranby.com.