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Council OKs sale of Bristlecone land in three phases

In a divided vote, the City Council approved the final land sale agreement with StoryBook Homes to develop approximately 30 acres of land in the city.

The 30.63 acres of land is Tract 349, at the southeast corner of Bristlecone Drive at Adams Boulevard. Wayne Laska, principal for StoryBook, was the only bidder for that piece of land, which voters approved selling during the 2014 general election.

He plans to buy the land in three phases and build 128 homes. Phase one is the sale of 9.41 acres for $2.82 million. Phase two is for 12.68 acres at a price of $3.8 million, and phase three is for 8.54 acres at a price of $2.56 million

On Tuesday evening, Finance Director Hyun Kim presented the agreement that allowed for the three phase sale of the land and a final price of approximately $9.1 million.

Upon approval of the agreement, StoryBook has three days to deposit $141,150 of refundable earnest money into an escrow account. The company also has 60 days to conduct its due diligence on the property and submit a tentative subdivision map.

“There will be additional public meetings to discuss the design and elements, the street widths, the sidewalk elements,” Kim said. “All those other additional questions will come up at those times.”

“What we’re focusing on tonight is the contract, which is the money and the take downs primarily. … I would hope that we could just focus on the contract tonight and that aspect of it, and we’ll get further opportunities to focus on the design as that comes back to us either in August or September, I would suspect,” added Mayor Rod Woodbury.

Councilman Rich Shuman, who attended the meeting remotely via phone, was concerned that the design of the subdivision was not in the sales agreement and that the city shouldered too much risk.

“I’d like to see a larger earnest money deposit or a nonrefundable earnest money deposit if the entire 30 acres is not developed,” he said.

“To summarize it, I’m just fearful we’re putting the cart before the horse a little bit, and … we could end up with not a full project here and not a 30-acre project like we are looking to do here,” he added.

Councilman Kiernan McManus was concerned that with the three different take downs the piece of land would not be completely sold until 2019, five years after it was approved for sale, as the reason for its sale was to bring revenue to the city as quickly as possible.

“I’m just wondering why we didn’t break it up into three parcels and offer that and perhaps get other offers from people,” he said.

Woodbury said the proposal to purchase the land in phases was determined after the process of approving the land sale was done.

“Whether that turns out to be the right one or not, I guess the future remains to be seen, but that’s the way it’s unfolded,” he added.

Woodbury said he also believed that although this agreement was not ideal for the city, it was the best deal for the city with its current restrictions for developers.

“Every developer I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to many of them about interest in Boulder City, they express the very same thing, which is there is no way … we will enter into Boulder City’s market unless there is a feasible way for us to carry the costs, and in light of the restrictions on them, this is one of the feasible ways to do it,” he said.

“Given the fact we only got one response, we ought to at least give it a shot to see what they do come back with their design and with a tentative map, and that’s when you’ll see the streets,” he added.

Council approved the agreement with a vote of 3-2. Woodbury, Councilwoman Peggy Leavitt and Councilman Warren Harhay voted for it. Shuman and McManus voted against it.

Also, City Council approved a public drainage easement and the final map for The Cottages, a townhome subdivision on Nevada Highway.

BCMHP LLC is building the subdivision and its final map conformed to its tentative map, which the council approved in May.

Currently, Randy Schams of BCMHP is attempting to gain ownership of two parcels of land on Madrone Street that would provide that access. Should he not get them, there are several other options for the access. To provide the necessary flexibility for those options, they were not included on the final map.

The resolution, however, said the city would sign the final blueprints for the subdivision, but the developer is required to provide unobstructed secondary access to the 65-townhome subdivision. If it’s not provided, the city has right to withhold half of the occupancy permits until it does.

The map also includes, as requested by council, “no parking” signs on the portion of Yucca Street adjacent to the development.

Council approved it in a vote of 4-1, with all members voting for it except McManus.

In other actions, council:

■ Appointed Blair Davenport to the Historic Preservation Committee.

■ Received an update about recently completed and upcoming projects within the city.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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