February 27, 2004

BOCC denies Sunset SIA amendment
By Lynda James

FAIRPLAY, Colo. -- On Feb. 19, the Board of County Commissioners denied Larry Kanne's application to amend the Subdivision Improvement Agreement for the Villages at Sunset planned unit development.

Kanne requested the $2 million irrevocable letter of credit that is required before recordation of the final plat be changed to being required at the issuance of the 155th building permit. The letter of credit is to ensure construction of a grade separated intersection at U.S. 285 and the proposed Sunset Parkway.

Attorney Marc Musyl, who represents Kanne, stated no financial institution would issue a letter of credit until the final plat is approved. He said a recent $14 million appraisal is based on platted developable property. Once the property is platted, Kanne would have no problem getting a letter of credit based on the appraisal. Musyl did not present documentation from a financial institution to support this.

Musyl also stated that Section 4.11A of the SIA required the letter of credit before recordation and Section 4.11B required it at the issuance of the 155th building permit. This conflict needed to be reconciled by the proposed amendment.

Commissioner Don Staples pointed out that Section 4.11B referred to a second letter of credit if final construction costs for the intersection exceeded $2 million. Final construction plans and costs are not required before the 155th building permit.

Kanne outlined what he considered the benefits of Sunset, including increased property taxes, wetland preservation, job creation, an additional fire station and better access to U.S. 285 for Wandcrest residents.

Kanne said if the amendment wasn't approved, he plans to sell the property. He said the new owner might not make the compromises he had on issues such as 1041 permits, wildfire mitigation, underground utilities, and $5 per lot for school mitigation.

Kanne then addressed the character of the people who opposed the development. After objections from the audience, Commissioner Leni Walker told Kanne his statements weren't relevant to the amendment.

Kenneth Hutchinson stated there is a need for lots to become available to builders. He said currently one couldn't find a lot east of Kenosha where the price of the land and building a house is less than $300,000.

Robert Hutchison said he owns Hutchison Lumber and lives in Will-O-Wisp. He stated, "We need lots. We need building here. We need jobs."

Recommendations to deny the application were received from the Park County Environmental Health Department, Park County Road and Bridge Department, Park County Sheriff's Office, Advisory Board on the Environment and United Mountain Communities.

UMC members quoted sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes and Park County Land Use Regulations that require an SIA and collateral before the approval of a final plat and different types of letter of credit that can be obtained before land is platted.

UMC Attorney Michael Schaefer, who is also a member of the Woodside Homeowners Association, stated a 60-day stay by the bankruptcy court is over. He contends approval of the final plat has expired because the letter of credit was to have been received by Dec. 5, 2003.

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