Letter: Put Silverthorne’s recpath on west side of Blue River

Town to present Blue River recpath plans at a Feb. 10 open house

A plan to build a paved recpath along the Blue River in Silverthorne is at issue in a lawsuit filed by property owners on the east side of the river.

Today at 4:30 PM the Town of Silverthorne officials will present their vision of a riverfront pathway to their citizens. They will face some opposition as twenty property owners have filed suit against the town for their plan. The plan, as I understand, is to divide  about 18 residential back yards with an asphalt pathway.

I question why the Town is designing this needed pathway in such a poor location by invading the privacy of residential property owners and neglecting commercial property owners on the west bank. Perhaps it is because there exists a $1,000,000.00 plus bridge that appears to go nowhere. I would recommend there be another bridge slightly south of the existing bow bridge that would connect the path back to the west side.  The river is much narrower there, so the next bridge would cost substantially less.

We are being told by Town Staff that if the homeowner’s lawsuit succeeds in making the Town build their dream path within the 50 year old fisherman’s easement, it will cost the Town and it’s taxpayers an additional $1 million.  And, yes, there are taxpayers in Silverthorne.  They are the small business owners across the river that pay sales tax monthly to the Town.

If the Town proceeds with the boardwalk plan, I believe there will be an additional costs that the Town is not currently aware of.  That will be the cost to litigate the lawsuit brought by landowners on the west bank of the river. Any obstruction built within the flood zone on the east side will cause potential damage to properties on the west bank in the event of a flood.

As the developer and owner of Alpine Earth Center, in it’s present location for the past 16 years, I am aware that we are the only commercial development that has occurred conforming to the Riverfront Mixed Use District guidelines north of 6th Street over that 16 year period. I wonder how long this beautiful asset to the Town of Silverthorne will continue to be neglected by the Town Government.

It is time the Silverthorne Town Council and Town Staff start listening to it’s citizens and business owners and act accordingly. This pathway belongs on the west side in the commercial district. Or let’s just quit fooling ourselves and stop calling this area the Riverfront Mixed Use District.

Jon Harrington
Alpine Earth Center

If you’re reading this from the home page, click on “read more” to see the complaint and the town’s response.

Here is the complaint that was filed last week, followed by the town’s response:


Town manager Kevin Batchelder’s response:

“We absolutely reject the allegations made, and we are highly disappointed at this attempt to block the construction of a very important community supported project.  We will aggressively defend our rights in this case. The specific public walkway easement to be utilized for this trail segment has been documented on the Blue River Mesa Subdivision Filing #2 Plat Map since 1963, when it was formally filed with Summit County.  Despite allegations to the contrary, the easement provides the Town with the ability to build this segment of the Blue River Trail as planned.

As background, this trail segment is an integral part of our 2004 Blue River Trail Master Plan, has been in the works for many years, and the Town Council and community at large have endorsed it, and are excited to see it connect two currently unconnected trail segments at Town Hall and the Willow Grove Open Space.  GOCO’s $500,000 grant, awarded via a competitive application process, affirms the community’s desire for this amenity and the importance of completing the main corridor of the Blue River Trail.  The Silverthorne community deserves to have this trail connection implemented this summer as originally scheduled.

We will continue with our design process as scheduled, and will not be responding publicly to the numerous incorrect facts asserted in the lawsuit.  At this point we will simply have to let the legal process play out.  In the meantime, we invite everyone to come see the preliminary trail designs at Town Hall during our Open House on Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ”


One thought on “Letter: Put Silverthorne’s recpath on west side of Blue River

  1. Welcome to the new summit county, full of nimbys I got here first, what is mine is mine and not yours, a place of self centered selfish individuals. It’s a total bummer but it’s the future. YOU PEOPLE SUCK!!!

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