Annexation approved

Council, residents thank developers for compromising


— The Craig City Council applauds compromise.

And it did so at its Tuesday night meeting after a second public hearing on the proposed Frazier East Annexation.

"It's great to see the Pine Ridge folks come out and be part of the process," he said. "It's nice that two sides can concede back and forth with each other."

The roughly 59-acre annexation project southwest of town has garnered dispute recently after residents who live near the project in the Pine Ridge subdivision opposed its development plans.

Although Pine Ridge residents still opposed the plans' inclusion of duplexes and apartment buildings, the council unanimously approved annexing the property, approved the annexation agreement and approved the project's zoning proposal.

Councilor Byron Willems stepped down from the discussion and vote because he lives in Pine Ridge and he said that could be seen as a conflict of interest.

Pine Ridge residents joined the council in thanking the developers for participating in compromises to their original plans.

The Las Vegas-based development company, 9 Cents, LLC, agreed to increase the size of single-family homes on property abutting Pine Ridge and moved commercial zoning south so the neighborhood wouldn't see sudden, different growth around its borders.

The developers also agreed to add conditions to the property's annexation agreement.

For one, there is a stipulation requiring the developers to receive state permission to build a second, southern access from Colorado Highway 13 to divert traffic from Pine Ridge and build it before any other building permits can be issued on the property.

The developers also are now required to limit apartment buildings to two stories tall, a move they openly supported in Tuesday's hearing.

Pine Ridge residents remained unhappy with the development's housing plans.

"Both sides, I think, made some concessions," Pine Ridge resident Ron Schnackenberg said. "I still think we're making a mistake, putting that particular piece of property into high-density.

"I commend the developers for this project. I just think it's in the wrong spot."

He added the current city limits include many lots already zoned for high-density development and questioned why this project wasn't asked to go there.

Schnackenberg's question was not addressed directly Tuesday, but Jones has said previously those lots were not developed because no one came forward to develop them.

David Fedel, 9 Cents co-manager, said the apartment units were a business decision to help pay for construction of the property's duplexes and town homes.

A 74-page feasibility study done by a Grand Junction-based economist convinced Fedel, his partner Blair Hadley and their lender that affordable housing in Craig is an important and profitable venture.

Fedel said the cheapest house he found on the local market was about $269,000. With a 10 percent down payment, that would amount to about $1,728 a month in house payments.

"Your kids have to make almost $60,000 a year to be able to afford that," Fedel said. "That's ridiculous for an entry-level property. That's what's available."

The base model for a town home in his development, Fedel continued, will cost about $149,000 for a three-bedroom, one-bath home. With three percent down, house payments would come to about $1,034 a month.

"These kids have to make $2,600 a month to be able to afford this house," he said. "A man and wife making $10 an hour can afford to buy this. This is what everyone has told us we need to build. We are prepared to start this when we break ground for the apartments.

"We think there is a tremendous market here for this."

Fedel said the developers plan to pre-sell each lot except for some show homes before building. Prospective homeowners will be able to choose different features - such as countertops, flooring and whether its one- or two-stories tall - before building.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or


taxslave 8 years, 9 months ago

A "basic" home, 149,000.....add taxes, insurance and utilities and you're up to $1,500/mo. EASY. The 3% down would be a FHA home (excellent credit needed) and a steady job....the rules of the game have changed. If you don't do FHA you'll end up requiring at least 20% down, along with an excellent credit record and a steady job.

It doesn't do anyone any good to sell someone a mortgage they really can't afford. What about when there is a maintenance issue? Roof leaks, need a plumber....this stuff cost money. A 10-15 dollar/hr. job will not cut it anymore.


Neal Harkner 8 years, 9 months ago

The rules have changed, and for the better. What you're saying used to be the standard for buying a house. You either got a traditional loan with 20% down or an FHA loan with 3% down. Those were your choices. Quite frankly we're in the mess we're in because WAY too many people, who were TOTALLY unqualified to own a home were put into houses. Others bought houses that were completely out of their price range hoping to flip them in 6-12 months for massive profit. They then got stuck with their McMansions when the housing bubble burst. I don't feel sorry for someone who stupidly took on a $300,000 note with an interest only period or an adjustable rate on $50,000/yr in income.


redneckgirl 8 years, 9 months ago

I don't think the mortgage lenders care. They get the loan then sell it off to another larger company. They collect their paycheck and your bigger mortgage companies are the one's eating that house in foreclosure. Mortgage lender by that time is still selling:.I see it everyday. Yes, it's harder for approvals now days but I see two or three mortgage closings everyday in my workplace.


50cal 8 years, 9 months ago

you right nral if you can't afford it don't get it. personal responsability


taxslave 8 years, 9 months ago

harkner, you are correct. What I mean by the game has changed is they are doing it correctly now.....banks are not lending money to anyone who can't prove they can pay it back.

Oh, I forgot to add phone, cable and internet to that cost...package deal 140/mo....Almost 2k/mo. to run that home before cars and auto insurance, food, etc.

The main engine of our economy, the middle class, has been eliminated.


redneckgirl 8 years, 9 months ago

I could name a bank that had some nice lending practices (but i wont here) not too long ago. They can't even tie their shoelaces now without OCC's permission. It's a local bank...that enjoyed their "cowboy" ways of lending a little too much. However I still see a lot of mortgages going through. Approvals are much harder, we won't even approve on stated income any longer.


taxslave 8 years, 9 months ago

Pension plans suffer huge losses Report says weak markets, credit crunch have drained $280 billion from plans of largest U.S. companies By Lara Moscrip, contributing writer

Last Updated: July 8, 2008: 10:26 AM EDT


Falling stock markets around the globe and the credit crunch are putting the pension funds of some of the largest U.S. companies into deeper financial holes, according to a report released Monday.

Since the credit crunch hit last fall, pension plans funded by S%26P 1500 companies have lost about $280 billion in assets, according to an actuary at Mercer, a human resources consulting firm.

On paper, the losses from last October tally $160 billion. However, according to Mercer actuary Adrian Hartshorn, the asset losses are closer to $280 billion when pension plan assets and liabilities are considered together. The assets, which totaled roughly $1.7 trillion at the end of October 2007, fell by 17%, leaving about $1.4 trillion in assets at the end of June.

Companies should be concerned, he said, because - assuming no change in the market - a typical U.S. company can expect their pension expenses to increase between 20% and 30% in 2009. That's due to the higher cost of servicing the pension plan's debt and the smaller return from the plan's assets.

"I think it's important for corporations to be aware of what's going on in their pension plans, as corporations would be concerned when any part of its business is performing badly," Hartshorn said.

According to the report, the total losses on pension assets and liabilities from the last day of 2007 through the end ofJune has grown to more than $80 billion.

Part of the loss has been reflected in companies' current financial statements, but many losses incurred since the end of 2007 have yet to hit company balance sheets.

The affected pension plans are qualified and non-qualified plans


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