The town of Crested Butte may get larger in the future if a proposed annexation north of town goes through. Currently in the preliminary stages of discussion with the town, developers are looking to add 44 acres to the town limits. This property is located on the north side of town just past the Gas Cafe, surrounds the “bus barn”, and crosses the Slate river. The approximate boundaries of this parcel can be seen in this Google Earth image:
At this point, the annexation will include a little bit of everything, from commercial space to affordable housing to single family homes. The current proposal will add 115 units on 75 lots. There is even some discussion of moving the current fire station from the center of town to the new development.
Places where people want to live will grow, and that is a difficult thing to stop or even slow down. To me, the growth of town, following existing streets and infrastructure, is a natural, and if done properly, good thing. One of the original proposals for this annexation would have had curving streets that no longer followed the grid pattern that we currently have. Personally, I believe the goal for any annexation should be a seamless integration with the current layout of town. In my twenty years here in Crested Butte, I have seen one major annexation- the Verzuh Ranch annexation. Today, it’s hard to tell when you leave what had been the edge of town and enter the Verzuh area. That wasn’t the case in 1999, when the streets first started to be laid out, as seen in the “then and now” Google Earth images below:
Not only does the Verzuh feel like other parts of town today, the annexation gave the town of Crested Butte some great additional amenities, such as Rainbow Park. It is my hope that any annexation on the north side of town will feel the same way 20 years down the road.
Then again, maybe this annexation will never get off the ground. In the meantime, if you’re passionate about the future of Crested Butte, take a look at the proposals and attend town council hearings. At this point, it’s too early to say what affect any annexation might have on the town or property values. I will update this story if developments warrant it. And of course you can always contact me anytime.