Basalt golf club increases plan for employee housing |

Basalt golf club increases plan for employee housing

In contrast to Aspen, Basalt isn’t debating whether or not to build employee housing these days, but whether to build more employee housing.

The developers of the Roaring Fork Club have, for a second time, proposed an increase in the amount of employee housing located at the luxury golf course on the eastern side of town.

The developers agreed a couple of years ago when the property was annexed into Basalt to provide 10 employee housing units. That number increased to 18 units when the Town Council approved the project.

Now the developers are back with a proposal to up the ante to 22 units, according to David Burden, development manager.

Burden – a consultant for club owners Jim Light, Jim Chaffin and David Wilhelm – said they saw the need for affordable housing in the midvalley. They want to reconfigure the employee housing site to make it work better with the golf course.

The old site, according to Burden, put the homes in the path of golf balls, particularly for duffers with a slice.

While studying the reconfiguration of the employee units, designers discovered they could add homes, said Burden.

The club’s approvals require construction of 18 units in duplexes. The new proposal calls for 22 units in three- and four-plexes. The units would feature a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

All duplexes in the old plan were envisioned as two-bedroom units.

Both plans call for all units to be rentals. Rent ranges will be deed restricted.

The plan goes before the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night. Ultimately it will be decided by the Town Council.

The town planning staff’s recommendation says the proposal is worth considering.

“Staff is encouraged by the high quality of initial design for the proposed units and the refinements of the site plan that have eliminated pavement and added diversity to the unit types and sizes,” Town Planner Glenn Hartmann wrote in a memo.

But among the issues still to be addressed, Hartmann noted, is who is eligible for the units.

Burden said the club owners want to offer one unit to the town for a government employee and one unit to the Roaring Fork Conservancy, a Basalt-based environmental organization funded in large part by a voluntary tax on real estate sales at the club.

It wants to give its employees first shot at the remaining 20 units. If all units aren’t rented, they would be offered to the town government, then the public at large.

Town planner Hartmann wrote that a priority system must be determined concurrently with review of the Roaring Fork Club’s new employee housing plan.

“Such use was anticipated to include essential town employees (police), school district employees (teachers) and perhaps employees of the Roaring Fork Conservancy,” Hartmann wrote.

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