Droste subdivision faces P&Z hurdle
January 16, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN The Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission gave applicant Peter Droste and Droste Family Interests another chance to comply with county code on their plan for a subdivision.Droste hopes to create 11 new lots on 926 acres of land above Brush Creek Road between Highway 82 and Snowmass Village. Pitkin County Open Space and Trails bought $9 million in conservation easements on the lower portions of the site, and Droste hopes to develop the remaining high land, said Cindy Houben, director of community development.The property is designated for low-impact residential development, which means Droste has to follow strict guidelines, including homes that sit on 80-acre parcels instead of 35 acres.”It’s a challenging site,” Houben said. The designation means less scenic impact on the community, but it requires a lot of extra effort from the applicant, she said. “Both sides have to work together.”At Tuesday’s meeting in Aspen, the commission tabled the proposal pending Droste’s compliance with a list of provisions. The board asked Droste to prove that the proposed homes would not stand above the ridgeline as viewed from either Highway 82 or Brush Creek Road. And both the road and the homesites, which sit on steep terrain, must comply with county standards of slope stability.Droste committed to creating an exacting topographical map of the area, using 2-foot intervals and hiring an accredited mapmaker. He will also generate artistic renderings of the visual impact of road cuts and install story poles to depict the heights of the proposed buildings. Though deep winter snow makes mapmaking difficult and might mean delays, Droste plans to come before the commission again in March.”We went farther forward than backward,” Droste said. He was frustrated by what he called the “dog-and-pony show,” a computer-generated presentation by representatives of the Owl Creek Homeowners Association. The program depicted planned homes standing far above the ridgeline along Brush Creek Road.John Kelly, Droste’s legal representative, urged holding all mapmakers to the same standard. Kelly said the process has been “going in circles,” and that his client is ready to comply with all county regulations: “We’re very close on those.”Final approval on the subdivision would have to come from the Board of County Commissioners.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is email@example.com.