SustainableBreck draft update released ahead of public engagement event
The town of Breckenridge has released the draft for its SustainableBreck update, a monthslong effort from consultants and town staff members. Now, they are looking for public comment by Aug. 8 before a final version is released. The plan aims to guide the town’s sustainability-related decisions.
On Monday, July 25, there will be a second open house to discuss updating the current plan, which was implemented back in 2011. From 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College, 107 Denison Placer Road, Breckenridge, community members can receive an update on the planning process, with opportunities to vote electronically on current issues.
In April, organizers hosted the first public engagement event and an online community survey was distributed for the public to submit their opinions on various topics for the past few weeks.
In the draft, preliminary results from those engagement events were released, and they will be further updated after Monday’s open house. According to the draft, when asked what areas are most important to improve, voters mostly prioritized affordable housing, clean and plentiful water and less landfill waste. Next highest were protecting open and green space and using clean energy. Public engagement results will be updated after Monday’s event, and the final plan will be translated to Spanish, as well.
“Under this update, the town government will show the way with its buildings, its fleet and its operations,” the draft reads. “We expect it will shrink its demands on the environment even as it continues to improve services for residents, workers and visitors. The town’s actions alone, however, will never be enough to keep the community sustainable. The town will lead, but the community needs to be a trusted partner, as we work together to ensure that what we love about this place not only remains but gets better.”
The draft is broken up into five focus areas: energy, water, material management, climate action and mobility. Each section has its own goals and targets over the next few years.
In the energy category, the town is targeting 100% renewable electric energy being used by municipal buildings by 2025 and in the whole community by 2035.
For water, the town has a target of 10% reduction in annual water demand by 2025 and a stretch target of eliminating potable water use for landscaping and snowmaking by 2032. The plan outlines a stretch target as a goal that may not be met by the established date but exists to push town leaders to continue further sustainability efforts. Another stretch target for the town would be to electrify trash haulers by 2032 by incentivizing using electric vehicles to haul waste.
“Rapid climate change threatens our natural environment, recreational opportunities, and way of life,” the plan continues. “Addressing climate change requires a global effort, but each community has to do its part to change the system for a better future,As a destination community, the town recognizes its responsibility to take a leading role in mitigating climate change and in exporting its ideas to leverage greater change.”
On Tuesday, July 26, Breckenridge Town Council is planning on discussing the update further. According to a memo from sustainability and parking manager Jessie Burley, the group updating the plan will focus on collecting more public input. This will include more group interviews with town entities, including the child care committee and the tourism office.
“We will concurrently be developing estimated time frames and costs for the strategies that will be included in the updated plan,” Burley’s memo reads. “Finally, we will be finalizing the online public website and engagement tool where the SustainableBreck Plan will live after the adoption of the update in September.”