Impacts

The Friends of Brush Creek (FOBC) is a Colorado non-profit entity. It has been formed by the nine homeowner associations representing the communities on the Brush Creek Corridor. Representatives from the HOA’s serve as members of the Board of the FOBC.

Position Statement:

The FOBC fully support the need for Affordable Housing in the Gunnison Valley.
Based on the GVHA 2016 Needs Assessment, we believe the County should develop a comprehensive plan that supports the needs of the local work force and aligns with the culture and is compatible with the current developments and communities in the Valley.
We oppose the proposed Brush Creek Development as it does not align with the GVHA Needs Assessment and is in no way compatible with the surrounding Brush Creek Corridor developments and communities as well as other adjacent properties.

Issues and Concerns:

There are several issues with the current proposed development that we believe the County, as well as the partners in the development: Towns of Crested Butte and Mt Crested Butte and CBMR, need to take under serious advisement during the evaluation of this project.

Density:

The Planning Commission evaluates new developments and how they align with the surrounding existing developments.
The current density of the Brush Creek corridor (which is comprised of nine developments) is .58 units per acre and at full development will be 1.2 units per acre.
The Brush Creek development will be built on a 13 acre parcel. It will include a 240 unit apartment project on approximately 11 acres with a density of 22 units per acre, and a transit center on approximately 2 acres.
This development is 18 times the size of the surrounding developments at full development and 38 times the size of the current developments.
The complex will contain approximately 190,000 square feet, including 19 buildings, including a combination of duplex, 4-plex, 8-plex, 16-plex 24- plex units, a community building, a storage building, and a convenience store that all will be 3-4 stories in height TC \f 1 “will contain approximately 190,000 square feet, including 19 buildings, including duplexes, four-plexes, eight-plexes, sixteen-plexes and twenty-four plexes, a community building, a storage building, and a convenience store, 3-4 stories in height
This project is in no way compatible with the surrounding area and as such will create other additional issues.

Traffic:

The current traffic levels at Hwy 135 and Brush Creek Rd are 7200 trips per day based on 2016 CDOT data.
The new development will add between 2000 to 2500 trips per day or a 33% increase in traffic on Hwy 135 alone. Traffic on Brush Creek Rd will also increase substantially.
The project includes a transit center which will result in the addition of 20-25 bus stops per day, increasing traffic pressure. Today there are no buses traveling along Brush Creek other than the occasional school bus.
CDOT may require a traffic light for increases in excess of 20% with the end result that a traffic light will be required at this intersection. A traffic light may result in the need for an acceleration lane southbound on 135.
Traffic patterns such as speed will have to be reduced to accommodate this change in traffic pattern and to address site distance limitations at Brush Creek Rd.
The unanswered question is who will carry the financial responsibility for the light and the improvements to Hwy 135 and Brush Creek Rd.

Parking:

The Brush Creek development will house upwards of 800 residents. It is expected approximately 185-200 will be children.
With almost 600 adult residents, it is likely we will have in excess of 500 cars in the development.
The Developer has proposed 361 parking places for residents. Recognizing there is no street parking allowed in the surrounding communities, where will these excess cars park? Will the County allow parking on Brush Creek Rd? How will this work in winter with snow removal?

Schools:

The Crested Butte Community School is currently at a capacity of 729 students. The current maximum capacity is 750 students as determined by the Gunnison Watershed School District.
The Brush Creek development will add approximately 200 children to the CBCS school rolls.
Class sizes will increase to over 30 students per classroom.
CBCS currently has a shortage of bus drivers. Where will additional bus drivers be found and who will fund the increased expense as well as the expense of additional buses?
With the school already over capacity, where will the students be housed? Will portable classrooms be required at a base expense of $100,000 per double classroom? What about permanent expansion of CBCS?
Who will bear the expense of increased capacity necessary to house the students – the citizens in the Gunnison Valley or the developer?

Water:

Having sufficient water to accommodate 240 housing units is determined by water rights, water delivery and water storage.
At this time, the Gatesco proposal is not clear as to access to water. There are many assumptions and suggestions, but no committed plans. The proposal states that no water rights are owned.
The Gatesco proposal states: A “plan for augmentation…shall be approved if such…plan will not injuriously affect the owner of or persons entitled to use water under a vested water right or a decreed conditional water right.” C.R.S. § 37-92-305(3)(a).
Since the Skyland Metropolitan District also has water rights that are developed and approved from the Slate River, a determination will have to be made as to whether the Gatesco plan will “affect the owner of or persons entitled to use water under a vested water right or a decreed conditional water right (Skyland Metropolitan District).

Sewer:

The developer has suggested either an onsite treatment plant or connection to the Town of Crested Butte.
Should the State approve another inflow to the Slate River is an onsite plant is the solution?
If connecting to Crested Butte a 2.5 mile line will be necessary from town to the development.
Who will incur the cost of the line – the Town of Crested Butte or the developer?
Will expansion of the current plant be required and who will incur this expense?

Brush Creek Rd Congestion:

The current proposed Brush Creek development will have three entry/exit points within the first 1/3 mile from Hwy 135 to the Slate River Rd/Wright Ranch Rd.
In addition, there will be two pedestrian crossings requiring traffic to slow down or stop to support pedestrian traffic from an 800 resident complex.
Approximately 500 cars in the development will be utilizing these access point to turn left onto Brush Creek.
An additional 20-22 buses will be entering and exiting the development from the RTA station to be placed on Wright Ranch Rd. There will also be three to four school buses as well.
There are currently in excess of 2000 residents on the Brush Creek corridor utilizing this road to access Hwy 135, many of whom are part of the local work force. At full development, this number will increase to over 4000 residents.
Brush Creek Rd is a two lane road with limited capacity for expansion.
What level of congestion will result with this dramatic increase in traffic entering and exiting Brush Creek Rd in a 1/3 mile area? What risk will pedestrians be with this amount of traffic especially at peak times of the day?
Will Brush Creek Rd require expansion? If so, at who’s expense – the County taxpayers or the developer?

Our Approach:

The FOBC has been formed to identify a sensible solution for the workforce housing need. Our goal is to work collaboratively with the governing bodies of the Towns of Crested Butte and Mt Crested Butte, Gunnison and Gunnison County to provide recommendations and suggestions for a County wide solution. We are relying on the expertise of our organization that includes real estate and financing experts as well as low income housing and financing experts that include local residents and second homeowners in our community who are committed to collaborating on a County wide solution.