Backcountry cabin approval near |

Backcountry cabin approval near

After over two years in the process, Pitkin County is on the verge of approving an application to build a 2,000-square-foot house in a Rural and Remote zone district on the back of Aspen Mountain.

The house is to be built for a South American billionaire on the Enough Claim, a 70-acre parcel just inside the Rural and Remote zone. The application, by Castle Creek Investors, was tabled Wednesday by county commissioners until Tuesday, Dec. 21, for lack of agreement on three items. Both county officials and the applicant’s representatives seemed confident the differences could be resolved by then.

The applicant and the county both claim ownership of roads which pass through CCI property in Little Annie Basin. Both representatives for the developer and County Attorney John Ely said they hope to draft mutually agreeable language by next Tuesday.

Also, planner Tim Malloy, representing the applicant, questioned the setback specifications, which determine the location of the building envelope on the property. And third, the commissioners agreed to attach a construction management plan to the project, specifying times when construction traffic may use the road, for the benefit of other residents of the area.

John Miller, president of CCI, first proposed aggregating transferable development rights on a Rural and Remote location in 1998. The commissioners required CCI to present a master plan for all of its holdings on the mountain before they would consider the application.

CCI’s master plan called for the sterilization of some 400 acres by severing TDRs and by clustering a small group of cabins.

Until this application, TDRs had been limited to use in urban and suburban areas of the county. Aggregation of TDRs on a Rural and Remote parcel is allowed by the county’s code, but only under special review, with TDRs adding area to the allowable 1,000-square-foot floor area.

TDRs were established to protect backcountry parcels by allowing rural landowners to sever the development rights from their Rural and Remote lands and sell them for use elsewhere, sterilizing the donor parcels and reducing development in the backcountry.

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