Summit County: Accidental moose killings increase

Wildlife managers seeking info on a hunter who have illegally killed a bull moose near Silverthorne in late October

Moose in Colorado

A moose cow and two calfs near Berthoud Pass, Colorado. PHOTO BY BOB BERWYN.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Accidental and illegal moose kills are on the rise in northwest Colorado, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, who say they’ve investigated nine possible accidental moose kills, with seven of these incidents remaining unsolved to date.

In the latest incident, wildlife managers are asking the public for assistance in locating a hunter who may have illegally killed a bull moose near Silverthorne on Oct. 22.

Several people hiking along the Gore Range and Rock Creek/Pebble Creek Trail, about seven miles north of Silverthorne, reported that they encountered a hunter who told them he had shot a bull moose by mistake, but the individual has yet to report the incident to wildlife officers. Continue reading

Morning photo: Celebrating Summit County

Summit County Real Estate Agent Henry Barr
Summit County Real Estate Agent

High country splendor

Dawn lights up the summits of the Gore Range above Dillon and Silverthorne, Colorado.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Searching the Summit Voice archives for potential 2012 calendar pictures, I created a folder with pictures of all the towns in Summit County. I don’t usually set out specifically to capture images of towns, but during the past couple of years, I have compiled a few decent shots showing the setting and the vibe of Frisco, Dillon, Breckenridge and Silverthorne — each with its own backdrop and character.

I often drive past the classic Breckenridge scene on my way to old courthouse to cover county commissioner meetings.

Thanks to Summit County real estate agent Henry Barr for sponsoring today’s photo essay. You can click here to connect with Barr’s Facebook page. Continue reading

Adopt an Angel in Summit County, Colorado

Emergency service agencies team up to provide gifts

Helping hands in Summit County provide gifts for children. Click on the image to learn more.

By Summit Voice

It’s time again for the Adopt an Angel program. The emergency service agencies in Summit County created Adopt an Angel to serve families who cannot provide gifts for their children this holiday season. All gifts have been donated by families and businesses around the local community. Your gift or donation will help a family in need.

How can you help? You can choose a gift for a child in need and return, unwrapped to your police agency. You can provide a monetary donation so “Santa’s helpers” can shop for a child in need. Or, you can volunteer to help out on December 16,  when we’ll transform the Silverthorne Pavilion into a giant toy factory.

Adopt an Angel is also hosting an online art gallery, where parents can submit their children’s holiday artwork for display on the internet.  We have a quick and easy upload process for scanned images.  Even if you’re not submitting anything though, check out the drawings already on site.  They’re fun and festive.

For more information or to see the kids’ art gallery, please visit our website:  www.SummitAngel.org You can also “like” us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/summitangel. If you’d like to speak directly with us, you may also call the Silverthorne Police Department at (970) 262-7320.

Summit Unchained: Keeping it local!

More than a 100 local businesses are participating in this year's Summit Unchained campaign to help promote local spending. Click on the logo to learn more and find particpating businesses.

Shopping ‘punch card’ helps track economic impact — and could earn a $5,000 prize

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — For the third year in a row, local business are joining forces for the Summit Unchained challenge, with the goal of encouraging shoppers to keep their dollars in the local community. The Summit Independent Business Alliance is leading the charge once again, but countless hours by volunteer members make it all happen.

“People love feeling good about their purchasing decisions. And particularly over the holidays and considering the tough financial times, the decision to choose local has an extremely positive trickle-down effect on those who live and experience Summit County every day,” said SIBA director Katie Roberts. “The local business with more in its register has more to give back to others in our community.”

Click here to learn more and find the complete list of participating merchants. Continue reading

Silverthorne sued over Lowe’s approval

Along with a lawsuit over procedural issues, the Lowe's proposal in Silverthorne is also facing unanswered questions from state geologists, who recommended against approving the development until the questions are answered. This photo shows a soil profile at the site, which could be prone to landslides.

Town erred by classifying Lowe’s as a hardware store, lawsuit claims

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Silverthorne is facing a lawsuit over its decision to classify Lowe’s as a hardware store even though only about five percent of the company’s sales come from the hardware category. The complaint was filed in district court Thursday, said attorney Rob Waterman, who is representing four Silverthorne-area residents who believe the development will affect use and enjoyment of their property.

Waterman said the town abused its discretion by randomly choosing the hardware category, which confers a use-by-right in the town’s light industrial zone. Under a different category — lumber and building supplies, for example, the development rights are conditional, meaning the town can require more concessions from a developer, which would have given the town a stronger bargaining position in its negotiations with Lowe’s. Continue reading

Silverthorne: Conflict of interest questions boiling up

Town manager says council members — not staff — initiated talks about a potential conflict of interest on a pending development application for Lowe’s, while  a second council member said he was also approached in private about the issue

The Silverthorne Town Council Wednesday will discuss plans for a proposed Lowe's store. A vote on the issue will be preceded by a conflict of interest discussion.

SUMMIT COUNTY — A discussion about potential conflict of interest issues will precede Wednesday’s vote on a site plan approval for a proposed Lowe’s store in Silverthorne, as elected officials in the town grapple with the contentious issue.

Two council members, Dave Anderson and Dave Preuss, said they were approached by other council members, who raised questions about conflict of interest and suggested that they should recuse themselves from voting on the development application.

Anderson is a part-owner of Neils Lunceford, a landscaping business in town, and Preuss is a cabinet-maker whose business would also face competition from the discount big retailer.

During the weekend, Anderson said he’s willing to give up his vote, but charged that town manager Kevin Batchelder and town attorney Jerry Dahl were involved in starting the discussions about conflict of interest, but Tuesday, Batchelder denied those incendiary claims.

“I’m upset and concerned about those untrue allegations … They’re not true and not consistent with the facts,” Batchelder said, adding that Anderson’s charges could be damaging to his professional reputation. Continue reading

Back-room politics before Lowe’s vote in Silverthorne

Looking down toward the site of a proposed big-box retail facility, now home to an abandoned car dealership, as well as a small patch of cottonwoods, aspens and willow wetlands.

Council member Dave Anderson says his honor has been called into question; accuses town staff of  ‘character assassination’

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Tensions are rising in Silverthorne over the upcoming vote on the Lowe’s proposal, as town council member Dave Anderson said he’s been asked by another town council member to recuse himself from the vote because of a potential conflict of interest.

The town council is set to vote on a final site plan approval for the planned mega-retailer Wednesday evening. Backers say the sales tax revenue will stabilize town finances.

Opponents of the Lowe’s plan say the new store will create more problems than it solves, adding to traffic woes and possibly putting some local stores out of business. At the least, those critics say the town should impose a moratorium until the issues associated with the Lowe’s proposal are more thoroughly addressed. The plan has already been subject to multiple reviews by town planners and the planning commission.

Anderson is a part-owner of Neils-Lunceford, a landscaping and nursery operation — and just one of many businesses in town that would be affected by a new big-box retailer. He said the suggestion that he wouldn’t give the Lowe’s proposal a fair hearing is a direct attack on his integrity, and he’s not happy about it. Continue reading

Letter: Silverthorne Lowe’s analysis lacking key information

This rendering of what the roof of a proposed Lowe's store would look like from the Wildernest area was presented to the Silverthorne planning comission last week.

Dear Members of the Silverthorne Town Council,

Along with a very capable board of directors, I direct the Summit Independent Business Alliance (SIBA), a local, non-profit organization that strives to maintain Summit County’s unique character and quality of life by preserving and enhancing the health of our area’s homegrown businesses. We are dedicated to encouraging healthy, human-scaled development that is mindful of ensuring the ongoing health and well being of the county’s local independent businesses and ensure ongoing opportunity for entrepreneurs.

I am writing on behalf of SIBA, which currently has a membership of approximately 165 local independent business owners, citizens and other organizations (Friends of SIBA). SIBA has a vested interest in the Lowe’s development issue. The unique geography and scale of Summit County means our communities are more interdependent than those in other areas of Colorado, and, as such, each community’s economic development decisions strongly and directly affect the others. Continue reading

Silverthorne: Lowe’s impacts could be ‘severe and fatal’

Stacy Mitchell, author of Big-Box Swindle, says an impact study on Silverthorne's proposed Lowe's is missing fundamental information.

Big-box retailers often result in net job losses and depressed retail wages, peer-reviewed studies show

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — An economic study that purports to evaluate the impacts of a new Lowe’s store on existing businesses is missing  key information, according to an independent expert who reviewed the document on behalf of the Summit Independent Business Alliance.

The study, financed by Lowe’s, concluded that other businesses selling similar merchandise would only take a moderate hit, and that Lowe’s could even create additional retail activity by stopping “leakage” of shoppers from Summit County to other areas.

But the independent review by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance concluded that Lowe’s would have “a severe and probably fatal impact on many existing businesses, resulting in job and wage losses, and lost sales tax revenue.”

Lowe’s impact study didn’t include a thorough market analysis, which is the fundamental first step in determining economic and fiscal impacts, said Stacy Mitchell, who reviewed the study. Continue reading

Xcel looking at new sites for Silverthorne substation

Info on new sites, Q & A at Aug. 12 open house

Concerns about environmental impacts, property values and viewsheds have slowed the process of building a new substation for the local electrical grid in the Lower Blue.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Xcel Energy officials say they’ve widened their scope in the search for a substation location and will provide some information on potential new sites at an Aug. 12 open house at the Silverthorne Pavilion, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The power company has been working with the community for several years to find an acceptable location. Xcel officials say there’s been a huge surge in demand for power in the area, creating a need for improvements to the distribution network. Continue reading

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