Company Wants to Disconnect Property From Inside Fruita Limits
KREX News Room
FRUITA, Colo.- For the first time in recent history, a company is trying to disconnect its property from inside Fruita city limits.
Bluestar Industries LLC had plans to build up to 300 middle income homes, but says they just cannot come to an agreement with city officials when planning to develop property there.
They say disconnecting from the city was their last option after trying to develop a few lots in Fruita for nearly a decade.
Currently, Sonshine LLC, a branch of Bluestar, is fighting for a 29.7 acre lot on 1860 Highway 6 and 50.
"The cost of the infrastructure has really been an obstacle for us all along," said Kim Kerk, the development manager for Bluestar Industries.
Under Fruita city requirements, certain things must be built while developing land, bringing the project's total cost to $9 million.
"It's way out of budget for most people," said Kerk.
Kerk says the sewer requirements make the project nearly impossible.
"That's where the huge amount of the dollars came in at the cost right now, because the sewer in Fruita stops at about 18 1/4 Road or so and would have to be extended all the way down 6 and 50 for our project," said Kerk.
"In the city of Fruita, when you develop we require connection to the sewer system; it's one of the primary public health issues we think faces a community," said Clint Kinney, the city manager of Fruita.
Kerk says after asking for compromises to build the lines gradually, Bluestar is fighting to disconnect those parcels from Fruita and switch to the county's jurisdiction.
"With the Mesa County Planning and Development Department, right now this property could function with septic sewer instead of hooking up sanitary sewer to the city of Fruita. If we were to do this gradually ... we would generate some cash and generate some interest in the project," said Kerk.
She says then they could afford to connect the sewer line with Fruita.
Kinney says disconnecting the area off Highway 6 and 50 would go against the Fruita Community Plan and would not be in the best interest of the city.
"That corner of the city is crucial to our future development; we think that property is best served being developed under the city's jurisdiction rather than not," said Kinney.
On Tuesday night Fruita City Council will hear from both city officials and Sonshine Construction before making a decision.
Kerk tells NewsChannel 5 if the disconnection of this parcel is rejected, they plan on appealing to the district court.