Basalt golf club expansion no sure bet |

Basalt golf club expansion no sure bet

Scott Condon

Basalt’s Roaring Fork Club dropped a nine-hole golf course from its expansion proposal but inadvertently added some roughs and hazards.The private golf and fishing club’s plan to expand onto 200 acres between Elk Run subdivision and Holland Hills got a tepid reception Wednesday night at a joint meeting of the Basalt Town Council and planning commission.The reworked expansion plan increases the proposed number of luxury cabins from 24 to 32, the number of single-family home lots on the Guido Meyer ranch from 10 to 15, and affordable housing units from 34 to 36.The proposal also calls for 28,500 square feet of commercial support services, such as a 12,000-square-foot administration and receiving area and a 9,000-square-foot spa, as well as 32,000 square feet of parking, golf cart parking and storage. Some council members and planning commissioners pondered whether that level of development would be compatible with the town master plan’s goal of allowing only “rural” development in that area.”There’s a lot going on. I don’t know how we could refer to this as rural development,” said planning commission member Jen Seal Cramer.Roaring Fork Club managing partner Jim Light said his group amended the expansion plan to try to respond to feedback from town officials last fall. In those earlier meetings, some town officials questioned whether nine more holes of golf were really needed, Light noted.The club responded by altering the golf plan. Rather than a traditional nine holes, two to four par-three holes are proposed, along with greens, bunkers and other features to practice putting, chipping and such. A golfing and fly-fishing center is part of the plan, along with a kids’ camp.”In some respects, this feels a little more intense than it did before,” said Bill Maron, chairman of the planning commission.The new plan also feels “less cohesive” than the old plan, Maron said. “It seems like lots of little pieces here and here and here,” he said.Town Councilman Glenn Rappaport said the old plan seemed “more compatible” with the town’s master plan. Rappaport stopped short of calling the amended proposal incompatible, but he said it might not fit in as well.The project might not be rural-type growth and it might not be urban, Rappaport said. “It’s in that gray area for me,” he said. From the developers’ perspective, the new plan includes several community enhancements that should make it more attractive. “We feel that we had a very good proposal to begin with, but the amended plan has enhancements suggested by the town of Basalt and its citizens during the review process,” said a letter from the developers to the council.Those include an estimated $1.13 million in real estate transfer assessments over the next decade; the donation of an acre of new land for the town cemetery; and a donation of five acres for the 36-unit employee housing project.Light and his partners have agreed to supervise development of that housing. Funding still has to be worked out. The project was touted as replacement housing for the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park, 36 trailer homes town studies identified as “in harm’s way” of a potential major flood.Perhaps the biggest advantage going for the project is the potential economic boost for Basalt. The club is already widely regarded as an “economic driver” for Basalt.”Adding new cabins we hope will just add to that,” said Jeff Jones, project manager for the club. The first phase of the project included 48 cabins sprinkled among the 18 golf holes. Two-thirds of those are wholly owned and the remainder were sold in fractional ownership. The club also draws people to Basalt who are members but don’t own real estate.The club’s owners and members account for a lot of people who eat in Basalt’s restaurants and shop in its stores, Jones said.Although the reaction from most town officials was tepid, it was far from a rejection of the proposal. The board members decided they need additional joint meetings to hash out whether the project represents the type of growth that is appropriate for the site.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is