Former Telluride Town
In Tuesday's article about the Town's motion to throw out San Miguel Valley Corp.'s $51 million appraisal, you stated that I am a Sheep Mountain Alliance Board member. I am not; I'm not even a member of SMA. I am an attorney and a citizen who has spent many hours reading the Framework, the appraisals, and court documents like the Town's motion.
The importance of the motion is this: Town Council is using SMVC's $51 million number to create fear of the outcome of the condemnation, while our attorney is busy getting that number thrown out of court. What the Town's motion makes clear is that SMVC's appraisal is bunk. It is based upon receiving 22 federal, state, county and city approvals, as well as easements over private land, and it assumes that all of its lakes and ponds are already built and in place. As the Town's motion points out, SMVC has not even applied for any of these approvals, and it is simply not reasonable to assume it will ever get them.
The motion was set for a hearing to the Court on December 16. The court clerks confirmed that Judge Greenacre decides motions very quickly after a hearing. Why rush into a bad settlement agreement before we had all of the information? More importantly, why is Town Council assuming the validity of SMVC's appraisal in trying to sell us a bad deal?
Here are some other facts about what we are voting on:
• The Framework expressly states that anything related to the settlement that is on the table "cannot be used as evidence by either party if the stay is lifted and the condemnation case continues." That means that neither the judge nor the jury will ever hear evidence about what was or was not offered to the Town by SMVC.
• We get 15 units of affordable housing. That's it. There is no timetable for building those units, and no minimum size for the units. The Framework also says that SMVC can choose the location of the units, so they likely will all be built next to the sewer plant.
• Under the Framework, the Town is liable to SMVC for any hazard created by the Town's restoration work on the Conservation Easement, including anything that impacts SMVC's ability to develop their property, in which case the Town would have to pay SMVC for reduction in market value to SMVC's property. What is our exposure? We don't know. As the Town said in a court filing, "Telluride has been unable to inspect the property to determine the level of contamination, if any, which may exist."
• SMVC needs Town water to develop any type of density. They cannot develop in the county without our municipal services.
• If we don't like what's in the Framework now, we have no guarantees that we will get anything more in the annexation agreement. As the Town's attorney Gerald Dahl was quoted in your paper, "It would be misleading to say all these things in the framework are minimums and we will get maximums."
This is a bad deal. Please vote no.