In connection with the Wellington Neighborhood second phase approval process, a number of Wellington Neighborhood and town residents sent emails weighing in on the merits of a second phase. Their emails follow:
Dear Mr. Mosher,
I am writing to voice my support for the Wellington Neighborhood's
As a mother of three young children (now ages 2, 4, and 6), I spent five years isolated in a small cabin in a neighboring county wondering how we were ever going to be able to afford to live in this town that we love so much. We would work tremendously hard (in Breckenridge), but it always seemed so out of reach.
And then we found a home on Summer Green in the Wellington Neighborhood. I am so grateful each day for this neighborhood, the amazing friendships we have made, and the quality of life we enjoy. It's actually difficult to put it into words. Even now that the financial barriers aren't so much an issue, we know that this will be our home for a very long time.
We have been residents of Summer Green for nearly 2 years. In these 10 homes, there are 13 kids. Our friends and neighbors who visit us often comment that this is a neighborhood from another era. I know all the neighbor kids. There is a place for them at my table. They come into my home, play a bit, play outside, go to the neighbors', play some more, pop back outside, play some more. There are Summer Green "dance recitals" at least weekly; impromptu soccer and t-ball games, and lots and lots of bikes and scooters. My worry is no longer stranger-danger and traffic - or loneliness and isolation. It's whose house my kids' shoes ended up in at the end of the day.
In the past two years, I have grown to so respect and admire David O'Neil and his vision. I believe so strongly in his concept and in his personal respect and sense of caring for families. This community has naturally attracted people who share the values that the neighborhood represents: family, friends, safety, the environment, and recreation.
It's worth nothing that, as residents of this neighborhood, my husband and I drive far less than we ever have before. We ride our bikes in the summer, and we walk and take the bus in the winter.
My daughters are already planning which Wellington Neighborhood Green they want to live on when they raise their own children. More homes in this neighborhood will strengthen our community even further and provide more people some degree of hope for a safe, beautiful place to raise their children.
We fully support this proposal. Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can offer any additional information on our experience in the Wellington neighborhood or any additional support.
I have lived in the Wellington Neighborhood for 4 years with my 11 year old son. We feel blessed to have been able to find a house in Breckenridge withinin a "housing community" that we can afford. I understand people are concerned about the growth of the Wellington neighborhood but how can they all of a sudden turn their backs on other people who are looking for what we have found. They cannot come in and "close the gates" to others just because they got here first. People should have the same privelage that we have had and be able to buy a house they can afford in Breckenridge. David ONeil has done a wonderful job with the design and development of this neighborhood. Building more units will only give others the oppertunity to make the Wellington Neighborhood their home. We support Mr. O'Neil and the development of the Wellington Neighborhood. Why should we be so closed-minded and think that just because we were here first we should stop the growth. The growth is inevitable, at least Mr. O'Neil is doing it in a positive and affordable way. We hope to see new neighbors soon!
My wife and I have lived in the Wellington Neighborhood for four years. We moved here from the Wash DC area and are here because it is the best and most affordable place of quality to live in the I-70 corridor. More of a good thing is going to be of major benefit to Breckenridge and the Summit County community. Recommend immeadiate approval of the next phase of the community.
Unfortunately I won't be able to come to the meeting tonight but I wanted to reiterate my position that Phase II is a good idea. We need more affordable housing for locals and David O'Neil has proven that he not only talks the talk but he walks the walk. This is a great place to live and I'm proud to say that I call this my home.
Let's not forget that 150 homes will not be built all at once. The Neighborhood is approaching 5 years in the making and we're at 102. Phase II won't happen overight. But it definitely should happen.
Please, please, don't let this die. This Neighborhood works for all of us.
I am writing in support of David O'Neil's vision for the proposed South 40 phase of the Wellington neighborhood. I currently live in the neighborhood where I enjoy friendships with neighbors and access to an extensive set of trails. My family appreciates the sense of community that exists in the Wellington neighborhood as we did not expect to find anything like it in Summit County.
This summer, my parents participated in the Wellington neighborhood's Summer Solstice parade and celebration and commented on the feeling of community. They likened their experience that day to their experience living in a suburban Chicago neighborhood 30 years ago. Seeing children playing in the street, families eating together, frisbees being thrown and a general sense of community reminded them of something that they remembered fondly and felt was missing 'in this day and age'. David O'Neil's vision has brought year-round residents to Breckenridge and has created community where it might not otherwise exist.
Simply put: we love living in the Wellington neighborhood and hope that Breckenridge planners and council members will agree that the development of the South 40 will benefit the town as a whole and families for generations to come.
Hi Michael,I just wanted to take a second to again let you know that my wife and I are fully supportive of the Wellington neighborhood as it is now, and also as it is planned to grow with the addition of the South 40 phase.
We just had our first child last week, and we've already had such a fantastic time walking around the neighborhood and meeting more and more people, although we've lived here now for 3.5 years. With all of the stress of a new responsibility in our lives and also balancing work and parenthood, it is a real treat to be able to safely walk around in our neighborhood with our child.
Although part of me doesn't want to see any more density out here, a larger part of me is happy that David O'Neil and the town has the foresight to create more and more affordable housing for locals here in Breckenridge. Again, we are not second homeowners who come up a few weeks out of the year. We are hard-working people who enjoy seeing the fruits of our labor, and also enjoy bringing more and more visitors to town.
Perhaps there are other locations in Summit County for affordable housing projects, but nowhere else can you have such a nice tract of land that is within walking distance to town, on city utilities, and gives all residents a chance to vote on the future of our town.
I wish to throw in my support for the new development in the Wellington Neighborhood and the meeting tonight. As a resident of the Wellington Neighborhood for over four years, I have seen the Neighborhood grow from fifteen families to over one hundred. Each new wave of people moving in has resulted in our "Wellington Family" growing. This growth has provided us with new friends for my wife and I and new playmates for our kids. We are closer to people in the Neighborhood now than when we moved in. And many of these people are recent to the Neighborhood. I see the development of the South Forty as providing the Neighborhood with great new people for us to get to know. This can only strengthen the Neighborhood and the community as a whole.
Although it was tough to see David O'Neil's vision in April of 2001 when our green was a mud hole and half the houses on our green were not built, each passing year has shown that he has an incredible vision for the Neighborhood and the people who live in it. Without men of vision like David, French Creek would have remained a pile of rocks. Given that he has produced a wonderful community on an otherwise barren tract of land, certainly his vision for the South Forty deserves some deference. Furthermore, if David is not allowed to develop the South Forty at this time, who knows who may develop it in the future?. The Town of Breckenridge could be saddled with a monstrosity of a housing development right next door to this great community. That would truly be a travesty.
Breckenridge and Summit County are sorely lacking in houses for the middle class. It is this middle class that provides the bedrock for any community. They are the police officers, shop managers, small business people and even a District Attorney. The middle class gets involved in the community by being active in the schools, the arts and recreation. The middle class makes a community better. The South Forty development will only make Breckenridge and Summit County better by providing more of a middle class.
In short, the vision for the South Forty will only make the Wellington Neighborhood and Breckenridge a better place to live. I heartily thank the Town Counsel for having the foresight to make David's vision a reality and hope to see this foresight continue for the South Forty. Although I cannot make the meeting tonight due to a previous engagement, if there are any questions for me I can be reached at (970) 393-2600.
I have virtually circumnavigated North America while working in resort towns. In nearly all of those towns, the challenge of maintaining the balance and feel of a real town with real people who work and live in the town is under the constant threat of escalating price of housing for permanent residents. The wellington neighborhood and other deed restricted developments are a brilliant solution to the otherwise inevitable elimination of residents a town really wants.
Whatever the TOB can do to foster and attract developers like David O'Neil , then we are headed in the right direction. One does not have to travel far (Eagle County or Aspen) to see the impacts of not providing for all levels of employees with a long term vision, on a long term basis .
I and the Breckenridge Ski Resort strongly support the concept , both present and future of the Wellington Neighborhood.
Just a quick note: I will attend the PC meeting tomorrow to voice my support for the plans that David O'Neil is submitting, but I wanted to send something along now to say that as a resident of the existing Wellington Neighborhood, I am a huge fan of what David and the town have created so far; I believe it is a credit to the people involved to have the foresight to create a community where the backbone of the County can live. Breckenridge as a town is simply the better for it.
As far as the new phase is concerned, I had my reservations. But I understand the history of this process and today find myself relieved that the proposal is well thought-out and would be put together as carefully as phase one.
I think it was a double-edged sword when the Council asked David to include a higher density of means-tested homes in the neighborhood. It meant the trade off would be increased density to offset the cost of building homes that are not as profitable as those that are not means-tested. While I voiced my concern to Council and to this day still do not believe the needs assessment for housing was accurate or conducted properly, I think David has done a commendable job working with Town to see this through.
My house is proof: If anyone should be building homes for the middle income of this community, it's David O'Neil. He's proven himself to be thoughtful and responsive, and while any development has it's bumps and not everyone can be happy, I think this has been a huge success as evidenced by all the awards to date for our neighborhood.
With the design of the ingress/egress to the new phase, I do not see a huge impact to the enjoyment of my home currently. I know that it will enable us to get a small community building and mailboxes as well as a playground and better trails to access the back country. I initially feared a huge impact with traffic but know that with proper planning from both you and the Transit committee, there can be many improvements made to both public transit and infrastructure to mitigate this, and it won't happen overnight. The benefits outweigh the costs in my mind.
Thanks for your foresight in helping make this neighborhood a reality. I look forward to thoughtful planning and rational discussion for the next phase.
Dear Mike, Jeffrey,
I live in the Wellington Neighborhood. I'm just writing to throw in my $.02 with regards to the meeting tomorrow night, and the proposed new development here. Here are some of my thinking points:
1. David O'Neil made good on his vision of turning an ugly, hazardous rock pile into a vibrant community that locals could afford. His track record deserves respect and even some latitude.
2. Our neighborhood is a great place to live. Our kids our thriving here. Real community exists here. How could one argue with more of that? Critics say that 160 units will ruin the good thing we have here-- but actually, the opposite is true-- just more of a good thing. More happy families. More safe kids-- and a real start for a true, resident middle class in Breckenridge.
3. I agree with David's vision of a pedestrian friendly design. If you build for cars, you'll get cars. Build for kids, bikes, pedestrians: you'll get kids, bikes and pedestrians. We don't need big bridges across the river. We need to connect people, not parking lots. Pedestrian bridges, bike paths and parks will foster and improve everything that is good about our community now.
4. Basically, what we have now is an unfinished vision. Why not finish it? If it doesn't get finished now, it will get finished eventually by another developer who doesn't care as much or understand the patterns as well. What a shame and a missed opportunity that would be.
Why am I such a fan? Because I live here and I see it working, for my family and many others.
Greetings Mr. Mosher,
I wanted to write to you in strong favor of the proposed new development in the Wellington Neighborhood. I currently live in one of the existing homes in the neighborhood and my family and I love it here. I am looking forward to other Breckenridge residences (present and future) having the pleasure of calling such a great neighborhood home.
I am writing in support of David O'Neil's vision for the new South 40 phase of the Wellington neighborhood.
It is rare that a developer has taken a piece of land in Colorado and actually completely improved the aesthetics of the property by building houses on it. The property now is not just a safer place to be, but it also provides a much needed niche for middle class homeowners. The fact that such a small, small minority of single family homes are occupied year round has driven most prices higher than ever attainable by most working-class families like ourselves. Who will service the tourism industry here in Breck? We will, the people that live in this neighborhood. A very large and growing number of owners in this neighborhood is directly responsible for servicing and hosting the largest tax base in Breckenridge, comprised jointly of the lodging, retail and restaurant sectors.
If not for the Wellington Neighborhood, my family and I would have to live in Park County or Silverthorne to afford a similar, newly constructed home with such aesthetics. And these places, while also appealing, do not carry nearly the sense of community that Breckenridge and the Wellington Neighborhood currently offer. The 2 main reasons my wife and I moved here are that it is a fantastic place to start and raise a family, and the local trail access is phenomenal. David O'Neil holds these amenities very high on the list, and he seems to carry out his vision in a very thoughtful and manner. What we don't need in the neighborhood is wider streets and bridges which will only encourage a higher average speed, which in the end means a compromise in the safety of our children. I want to see balls kicked across the street, kids playing outside in the streets barefoot in the summertime, kids' bikes left outside in the alleys, kids street painting in the streets in the summer, kids carelessly playing in the snow in our parks, greens and open spaces. Look at what happened when French Gulch road was paved near the neighborhood (although this was necessary). The noise level and speed of vehicular traffic increased dramatically. Some residents on the north end of the neighborhood immediately felt an impact and no longer let their kids wander near the edge of this road. I look forward to seeing this project carried out in its entirety, exactly as envisioned by David O'Neil.
Michael, I just wanted to send an email as the Town considers David O’Neil’s proposed expansion of the Wellington Neighborhood. As a homeowner (9 Rodeo Drive) in that neighborhood, I can say that Mr. O’Neil and everyone involved in the creation of the neighborhood have done an exceptional job of adhering to an admirable vision. The development has provided a terrific home ownership option for working families who would like to reside in Breckenridge. Although some similarly priced free market condos and townhomes exist in or near Breckenridge, their general quality is far lower than any of the homes in the Wellington neighborhood. Homeowners in the Wellington neighborhood also enjoy a sense of community that is rarely available to owners of small condos and townhomes in complexes that are traditionally more transient. I believe the development goes along way toward preserving a year-round working population.
The fact that the Wellington neighborhood ultimately exists on an area previously ravaged by mining, and has utilized a compact area for the benefit of the greatest number of homes, represents smart development. Rather than encourage further sprawl of homes on hillsides at the expense of our pristine forests and wildlife habitat, the Wellington neighborhood utilizes the greatest density possible while limiting impact on our natural setting- it clears out mine tailings and dredge piles to make room for homes!
With this in mind, the only reservation I would have would be with regard to the visual impact of the proposed community building and its signature tower. In as much as the development allows for density that does not interfere with the natural environment, the creation of the community building and tower should maintain this same principle. I believe it can be done in a way that does not interfere with existing homeowner’s view corridors to the Tenmile Range. This concern has been shared with Mr. O’Neil by homeowners on Rodeo Drive who would be most affected by the structure, and I am confident that he will consider those thoughts moving forward. It is my feeling that the man-made structure should be harmonious with the design of the neighborhood, is limited in height so as to preserve existing view corridors, and meshes with the overall philosophy of the development. I believe this is a landmark development in mountain resort towns, where the creation of affordable housing has been done in a reasonably discreet way with the greatest positive community impact and the least possible natural impact.
I look forward to the realization of the vision for this development. I support the proposal with the caveat that the community building is constructed in a fashion consistent with the overall philosophy of the development- it cannot intrude on the natural setting. I would assume that this is the goal anywhere in the valley- to preserve view corridors and encourage development that is harmonious with the natural setting.
I appreciate your consideration of this email as you discuss the Wellington proposal.
I am writing in support of the South 40 development and addition to the Wellington Neighborhood. I live in the neighborhood and have loved it since the day my husband and I moved in. A few thoughts:
1. Never before have we enjoyed the kind of community the Wellington neighborhood offers. We walk down the street and say hello to neighbors. We have met lifelong friends who will be around to watch our child grow into adulthood. It is an immeasurable and invaluable addition to our lives.
2. Our neighborhood is within walking distance to a vibrant downtown that provides entertainment, cultural amenities, great restaurants and recreational activities. Living that close to such opportunities is a treat, especially for a family who cannot afford the downtown real estate prices.
3. The Wellington neighborhood provides incredible access to a trail network on open space and national forest lands that is second to none.
4. While an increase of 160 homes seems to be huge, we believe that providing affordable housing is critical to the long-term sustainability of the Breckenridge community. People need to be able to buy homes and live in them to sustain a viable community. David's vision of the South 40 would provide the opportunity for a diverse set of folks to make Breckenridge their home. We are grateful for that.
5. We recognize that one issue of concern is parking. David's vision to create a pedestrian friendly, non-automobile-centric neighborhood promotes the community feel we seek. We walk down the street and see houses and yards instead of cars parked everywhere. We hope that his vision is contagious and can be supported by the town.
6. Built on old dredge piles, the neighborhood has greatly enhanced the area without cutting down trees or otherwise changing the landscape. Instead of being an eyesore, it is something people enjoy seeing and experiencing.
7. David O'Neil is a developer whose interest lies primarily in creating a neighborhood not another dollar. He is open to suggestions from people who live in Wellington and is available for open discussion. We appreciate his willingness to include us in the process.
We feel extremely lucky to live in Breckenridge and call the Wellington neighborhood our home. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can offer additional information and support for the South 40 development.
It is my understanding that the Wellington Neighborhood Phase II plan is on the agenda for tonight's PC meeting. As I have stated before, David is Steve's client, not mine. I write this as a member of the community and not in my professional capacity. When the Wellington Neighborhood was first proposed, I really had my doubts, but kept my mouth shut. Now that I have seen the success of the Wellington Neighborhood, I fully support both the concept and the execution of what the Wellington Neighborhood means to the Town. Competitors may complain, but, as far as I am concerned, nobody has done more to secure the future of long term affordable housing in a vibrant, working community for locals in Breckenridge, or even Summit County, than David O'Neil. As you know, Susie now makes her home in the Wellington Neighborhood. It would not have been possible for her to stay "in Town" were it not for what David has done.
While I am sure there will be some tweaking that needs to be done, I sincerely hope that the Planning Commission will work to insure that Phase II of the "Neighborhood" becomes a reality along the lines being proposed by the Applicant.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly seems to me to apply to the Wellington Neighborhood.
Thanks for your time and, as always, please thank the Members of the Commission for all they do.
This is regarding Phase 2 of the Wellington Neighborhood which I wholeheartedly support. The existing neighborhood works. Just look around.
As a 30 year resident of Breckenridge and a 3 1/2 year resident of the Wellington Neighborhood, I can honestly say that I have finally found my niche. Had it not been for the Wellington Neighborhood, in order to stay in town I would have had to live in a condo. Having a full time job and going to bed early and waking up early, I didn’t want to be surrounded by short term visitors. When David first came to town I had my concerns but he has delivered what he promised, a first class affordable housing neighborhood. David and the Town went round and round and the results are top notch. We have a varied mix of residents. I have heard comments about it being an affordable housing ghetto. Totally offensive and not true. I don’t feel like I live in a ghetto. The Wellington Neighborhood feels like home.
I’m sure everyone would agree that we continue to need local, affordable housing and based on what he has already done I have no doubt that David is the man to deliver.