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Stillwater development chugs along

Heidi RiceGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SILT – After more than 11 years of planning, the developers of the Stillwater Ranch planned unit development hope to begin breaking ground by 2008 – if all goes well.That will be in accordance with a special meeting held on April 5, with Silt town officials, in which the developers were given a timeline in which to finalize the final plat for the development and post security to the town for the infrastructure.Silt Mayor Dave Moore said the developers, Stillwater Ranch, LLC, will have up to three months to get approval of its final plat.”After that, we’ve given them nine months from the time of completion of the final plat to post security,” Moore said.Once the security money is posted, the developers can begin work on the project and have up to one year to break ground, Moore said.The 1,472-acre subdivision is slated to be built south of Silt and expected to have nearly 1,200 single-family dwelling units and 162 multi-family units. It will eventually include two golf courses, hiking and equestrian trails, schools, a community center, a swimming pool and 46 acres of commercial space.The development will take place in three phases, with the first being the Meadow Wood Village parcel that will be the site of the multi-family units and 388 residential units, said Dennis Carruth, one of the principal developers.”It will include an elementary school, a middle school, a golf course, a community center and a garden center,” Carruth said.The Stillwater Ranch subdivision was approved by voters in 1997 and its two special districts were approved in 1999. Special districts are quasi-governmental entities authorized to provide a service such as a utility, and to pay for that service either by charging fees or by taxing the citizens within the district.The districts were formed to help the developers pay for the infrastructure and services that will be provided to Stillwater residents as well as the town.But Moore maintains he is not in favor of districts and fears it will set a bad precedent for future developers.”I feel a precedent could be established once funding is approved for the districts and it could open a floodgate for other interested parties,” Moore said. “That’s what scares me.”Town Administrator Rick Aluise said the town did not approve new districts for Stillwater at the last meeting, as they had been in place since 1999. He also said special districts were not unusual for a development of this size.”When a developer puts in a 1,470-acre development, the amenities serve everyone in town,” Aluise said. “Many developers put in districts. It’s helps to fund them. We negotiate on what would best benefit the town.”Along with the amenities, one of those benefits would be providing revenue to help take care of streets and parks.”There are a wide variety of opinions on districts,” Aluise said. “But the (town) board at the time had public hearings about it and it was approved. But the current board may or may not request that the developer dissolve the districts.”But will Stillwater Ranch, LLC, meet its future deadlines?The company has defaulted on deadlines several times in the past, leaving many to wonder if the development would ever even happen.”I think they can get (the final plat) done in three months,” said town trustee Meredith Robinson.Carruth is also optimistic that his long-awaited project will finally come to fruition.”I’ll be excited when we get our approvals and break ground,” Carruth said. “It’s a process that takes a lot of focus.”


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