March 18, 2005

Water deal brokered
By Tim Biltoft
Staff Writer

BAILEY, Colo. -- Pine Ridge Residential LLC, a partnership between Ryland Homes and Sunset Management Services, Inc. will close loans today purchasing the former Villages at Sunset development project. The new project, once the planning process begins in Park County, is expected to be called Pine Ridge.

The loan closing follows Tuesday's meeting of the partnership company with the Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District. Public turnout at the meeting was high.

The Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District voted to approve a resolution of the phased development of the remaining filings.

Pine Ridge is currently zoned for residential, multi-family, commercial and recreational use. Livestock and irrigation uses are also permitted within the zoning.

According to Ryland Homes Division President Bill Butler, Pine Ridge Residential LLC plans to develop approximately 480 homes over an eight-year period.

Rick Angelica, president of the metropolitan district, explained the reasoning behind the five-page resolution.

"The reason for our resolution is to make sure everything is legal and to ensure we do not put current Will-O-Wisp residents at risk," said Angelica.

The resolution states the district currently has 26 water and sewer taps available for purchase at $17,500 per tap. Pine Ridge Residential LLC plans to purchase these taps to move ahead with the development.

The resolution specifies benchmarks for Phase One development. Before the 27th tap is issued, Pine Ridge Residential LLC must provide a water collection vessel (Glasman Ditch #2 or a proposed reservoir in the Woodside subdivision), raw water collection system, water treatment plant, disinfection system and raw water storage tank.

These actions will cover existing taps and create additional taps.

Domestic, fire flow and emergency storage needs of the existing system and new construction must be met in order to move into Phase Two.

Before the 101st tap is issued, an upgraded waste water treatment plant, treated water storage tank and a closed loop pumping system will be installed by Pine Ridge Residential LLC.

Prior to the 201st tap being issued, Pine Ridge Residential LLC will provide $300,000 to either the metropolitan district or Park County to repair and resurface the roads within the Will-O-Wisp subdivision.

The resolution states, "The [metropolitan] District agrees to work with the developer to cause Park County to make fundamental improvements to said roads during the Subdivision Improvement Agreement process."

"Clearly Park County has a major role to play in all this," stated Will-O-Wisp Metropolitan District Board member John Howell.

Richard Toussaint, attorney for the metropolitan district, hopes to pursue an intergovernmental agreement with Park County in addition to the SIA.

"We're not making any assumptions regarding the county at this time," added Howell.

The resolution allows for a creation of a sub-district in the future to finance and repay infrastructure costs.

" We do a lot of projects in Denver, and 90 percent of these projects have a sub-district," explained Butler.

Howell then voiced concern about the project and possible sub-district bankruptcy. Butler responded by saying, "There is absolutely no way with Ryland Homes being involved the sub-district would go bankrupt."

Toussaint explained the benefits of Ryland Homes' involvement. "This developer is a major player in the real estate market."

"We are going to fulfill our commitments that we make today," added Butler. "We want to be an asset to the community, not a detriment."

According to Butler, Ryland Homes builds 18,000 homes throughout the nation and 650 homes in the Denver market annually.

Pine Junction resident Kay Smith said an extreme community disdain exists for the proposed density. "We don't want a city up here," voiced Smith. "You are going to have a fight on your hands."

Dave Coppfer of Sunset Management Services, Inc., replied the development will bring in a tax base of $1 million.

Pine Junction resident Richard Mueller said Pine Ridge Residential LLC needs to take the issue to the community.

"What they need to do is come out to the public and have a public meeting," explained Mueller.

Coppfer said Pine Ridge Residential LLC will hold community meetings in the future.

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