FRASER —The question of whether to annex the Byers Peak Ranch Development into the Town of Fraser will now be decided by a vote of the people.
During the regular meeting of the Fraser Board of Trustees on Wednesday, Aug. 22, the board members voted not to repeal the ordinances they passed in late May, which approved annexing the development into the town.
The Fraser Board of Trustees had two options in regards to the ordinances related to the annexation during the meeting; the first was to repeal the ordinances and go back to negotiations with the developer and the second was to place the issue on the ballot.
The decision to send the issue to the residents of Fraser during the November election passed with six votes. Eileen Waldow, who has consistently voted against the Byers annexation, cast the only dissenting vote, saying she thought the town should reconsider the ordinances.
“I don’t see that ongoing negotiation is going to settle anything and I think it is pretty clear that the voters in the Town of Fraser would like a shot at this,” said Trustee Vesta Shapiro.
Negotiations with the developer have been ongoing for six years to work through a number of issues and the town thought they had finally made a determination on the annexation. That was before a local group called Fraser and Friends for Responsible Development, headed by two Fraser residents, Jane Mather and Andy Miller, organized and submitted a petition challenging the ordinances.
The Fraser and Friends for Responsible Development is a group seeking to get a better deal for the town regarding the annexation agreement.
“I would like to look at this as a positive thing,” said Fraser Mayor Peggy Smith. “I think it is an opportunity for us to educate our community on the financial situation of this town, what development brings, and what opportunities that we have been beneficiaries of in the past few years. I think it is a dialogue that needs to happen, and unfortunately the risks are high, but I think that in the long run it will be a really beneficial thing for the community to have this dialogue.”
Reid Tulley can be reached at 970-887-3334