Braun Ranch developers pursue Chaparral Aspen |

Braun Ranch developers pursue Chaparral Aspen

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Developers hope to begin work this year on Chaparral Aspen, a luxury home and equestrian development on the former Braun Ranch in Woody Creek.

Plans for subdivision of the scenic ranch are spelled out in a court settlement that was finalized a year ago. The details are subject to Pitkin County review, however, and representatives of the developers went before the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Board Wednesday for input on the eight affordable-housing units that are part of the project.

The board tabled action, pending submittal of a revised summary of the project’s particulars.

Woody Creek Ventures LLC, owner of the property, is pursuing the development. The new investors succeeded the St. Clair Co. of Newport Beach, Calif., which previously had the ranch under contract while it pursued a development application with Pitkin County.

St. Clair’s initial proposal, for 15 single-family homes of up to 15,000 square feet, caretaker units, a ranch manager’s house and two employee dwellings, was rejected by the Pitkin County commissioners in July 1999. A lawsuit resulted; the settlement approved by the county and St. Clair calls for 10 new single-family lots at the ranch, eight employee homes and three small cabins on a piece of the ranch that has been rezoned Rural and Remote.

The free-market lots are now on the market, listed for $3.9 million to $6.5 million. The highest priced lot is about 100 acres in size and already contains a 5,200-square-foot home, said Clark Lipscomb, project manager and vice president of the LLC.

The settlement allows two free-market homes of up to 15,000 square feet, two houses of up to 12,000 square feet and six homes of up to 10,000 square feet.

Lipscomb said the developers hope to begin construction of planned equestrian facilities on the ranch this spring and construct the three 1,000-square-foot cabins this summer.

Two of the cabins will be sold to buyers of the free-market lots; the third will be reserved for use by all of the free-market homeowners, he said.

The affordable housing will include one single-family home for the ranch manager, three other single-family residences and four two-bedroom duplex units. All of the units are expected to house ranch employees, Lipscomb said.

The 924-acre property is split between a 553-acre main parcel and the 371-acre Rural and Remote parcel on a high bench.

The lower lands will contain the affordable units, free-market lots and the equestrian facilities, according to Lipscomb. About 352 agricultural acres on the lower parcel will be protected with a conservation easement, he said.

The property, at one time part of the Vagneur Ranch, is located north of the intersection of Woody Creek Road and Lower River Road.

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