The Summit Council Wednesday once again turned down the applicants of the Colby School Redevelopment project. Council Member Roger Armstrong again maintained that careful analysis was behind their rejection of the plan this spring.
In late March, the County Council granted an appeal from neighbors and voted against the Colby project. Soon after, the developers put in another application, but it was turned down by Development Director Pat Putt.
Hoffvest appealed that decision on Wednesday. Putt told the Council that under county code the project can’t re-submit an application for a year if it’s basically the same plan. Armstrong said that restriction makes sense. Intuitively he said, you don’t’ want someone coming through a process that takes a lot of time and resources for the planning commission, getting a negative outcome and then immediately refiling on some other grounds to go through the exact same process once again.
He said Putt showed where the elements of the previous Colby project were still in the plan. Hoffvest’s counsel, Bruce Baird said Armstrong is a very creative attorney and he advocates well for his client. Armstrong thinks Baird wanted to try to make a case that the council had made its decision based on the procedure that the application had followed a CUP process when perhaps something else applied. Armstrong said if you look at the decision that the council rendered, it was a very carefully thought out one. The council he said\ examined whether or not the application should be a class two permit and decided that would have been the right decision had it been the case. But even it wasn’t, he said looking at it through the CUP process, it failed there as well.
Colby’s attorney Bruce Baird has argued the Council gave in to public clamor. But Armstrong doesn’t agree. The council he said took public input on the issue as the planning commission and the council really worked through the law that was applicable to the uses that Hoffvest was applying for. The council he said did that carefully. He added this was probably the single most challenging and complicated analysis the council has ever had to do. He said it involved three or four different planning codes and it was a challenge to just connect all of the dots to make sure the council covered everything.