CMC land purchase at an impasse in Steamboat
Harrison Dike: Deal with CMC for property is dead
August 4, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Harrison Dike says the deal with Colorado Mountain College to buy his family's property at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue is dead.
The college announced July 14 that it had reached an agreement with the Dikes to buy the 1.49-acre parcel to locate a secondary access road to its campus. The city requires secondary access for CMC to build a 45,000-square-foot geothermal facility on the campus off Bob Adams Drive. The road would eventually become city right-of-way.
The college would pay the Dikes $2.4 million for the property, and as part of the agreement the Dikes would gift $600,000 to the college.
However, CMC officials said in a news release last week that the agreement wasn't finalized by Friday's closing date because of an issue with the title on the Dikes’ property.
Harrison Dike, who handled the negotiations with CMC for his family, said a new land survey conducted last week shifted the property line. He said that left two buildings encroaching on city-owned property, creating the title issue.
Dike said the college used the title issue as an excuse because it wanted out of the deal. He said the college had planned to tear down the building anyway.
"They backed out because they're getting pressure from the city about the plan," Dike said.
Skidge Moon, owner of Steamboat-based D&D Inc., said he was commissioned to conduct the new land survey by the Dike family and CMC. He said the new survey shifted the Dikes' property line about 8 to 10 feet south, toward Lincoln Avenue.
Moon said the land survey, an American Land Title Association survey, was more detailed than the plat he did on the property in 1980. He said such surveys are typical during projects, especially when they're outdated.
CMC President Stan Jensen said the new survey presented problems that the old survey didn't. Jensen said he's working with the city to get clarification about those issues. He said the last couple of weeks have been confusing.
"We've talked to the city about all these issues," Jensen said. "It seemed from their word to us to be on track. We've included them in everything to this point and now I'm certainly concerned. We need to get somebody to give us clear answers in writing."
Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts said the city's concern stemmed from the location of the proposed road running through a portion of Iron Springs Park, which is directly east of the Dike property.
"The discussion was really with the city attorney about what the process is to rededicate a portion of the park for other uses," he said.
Roberts said the city relayed that information to the college, which came up with a "workable solution." He said the college indicated it would use its powers of condemnation to rededicate the land.
Steamboat has asked CMC to provide an update of the project during a public hearing to the City Council on Sept. 7. Roberts said city staff supports the project.
Jensen said the time in between that meeting would be crucial for the project. He said CMC's Board of Trustees would meet during a special teleconference at 8:30 a.m. Friday to discuss how to move forward.
"Obviously our first desire and our first plan and our plan for the past two years is to see this work out," he said. "We have to see some things get together, to get answers before we move forward. We see it as a win-win for the college and city and that's what we've been working hard to make happen.
"It all could come apart, but that's what we're working hard on. I think this will be an important week to work out some of those concerns and we'll work from there."
Jensen said he doesn't anticipate the issues with the road to derail the project to build the new student services and academic facility that would replace 1960s-era buildings on the campus in Steamboat.
Jensen said the college still could consider a secondary access road at Crawford Avenue and 12th Street. But Jensen said the college hasn't discussed it since identifying the Dike property as the preferred site.
Dike said whether a new agreement with CMC to buy his family's property could be reached is up to the college.
"At this time, I haven't been contacted to do anything like that," he said. "I would have to consider when it's proposed, if it's proposed, ever."
— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 871-4203 or e-mail email@example.com