MEAD — The Mead Board of Trustees has approved PUD zoning of the proposed Bill Gates-owned Turion South development.
In a pair of votes Monday night, the board agreed that the development, a part of a Bill Gates-owned property that extends along Interstate 25 between Berthoud and Mead, meets the criteria of the Mead comprehensive plan and, as noted by the town staff, exceeds development standards. The board votes approved the planned unit development and vested property rights for the parcel.
Front Range Investment Holdings LLC, the entity behind the development, approached both Mead and Berthoud a year ago with plans to develop a 2,200-acre parcel on the east side of I-25 into commercial, mixed use and housing. About 595 acres of that are in Mead, with the larger piece in Berthoud.
Monday, the Mead board heard from the developer about the desire to develop the parcel as a planned unit development. The Mead portion runs from Weld County Road 40 south to Weld County Road 38, along the interstate.
Turion, which means “small shoot or bud capable of developing into a complete plant,” is being designed to create “newfound discovery” for the people who will live there, according to the developer’s presentation at the board meeting. Plans call for community gardens, on-site renewable energy, and a transportation network that could reduce vehicle trips, Becky Zimmerman from Front Range Investment said.
Actual development remains a few years out, she said. “We’d love to see a shovel in the ground in two or three years,” she said.
In response to a question about water, Zimmerman said Front Range Investment has not yet secured all the water it will need; it has enough to start but will need to purchase additional shares. “It helps with cash flow if you can buy as you go,” she said.
While the project moves forward administratively in Mead, the Berthoud parcel is still in limbo. After rejecting the metro district proposal early last year, Berthoud has been engaged in revising its metro district policies.
“The Berthoud Board of Trustees is still working on revising its metro district guidelines,” Walt Elish, business development manager for the town of Berthoud, said in an emailed response to a question. “Being that this is a board discussion, if you have further questions, please feel free to contact our Town Administrator Chris Kirk.”
Messages sent to Kirk were not returned by publication time. Mayor William Karspeck said the board will likely approve its revised metro district policies in April.