Cattle Creek: new name, new plan |

Cattle Creek: new name, new plan

The owner of a downvalley development proposal that was universally despised has reworked his plan so drastically that even the project’s name has changed, according to his land-use planner.

Cattle Creek Crossing is about to take center stage again, but this time it will be known simply as Sander’s Ranch.

Two things remain the same about the resurrected project: George Hanlon Jr. is still the proponent; and the site remains between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, on the south side of Highway 82 across from Cattle Creek Road.

Virtually everything else is different. Hanlon hired Aspen-based planner Stan Clauson to replace Jay Harkins, a Denver planner who some people in the Roaring Fork Valley found abrasive.

Clauson said the project was changed to Sander’s Ranch to reflect the name by which the property was known for years. He also acknowledged distancing the new plan from Cattle Creek Crossing.

“It was a proposal that had its issues,” Clauson said diplomatically.

There were enough issues that it didn’t make it through the Garfield County review process before Hanlon cut his losses and pulled the application. Hanlon headed Sopris Development Group LLC, which applied for 708,192 square feet of commercial space and 502 residences on the 280-acre ranch.

The proposal sparked opposition from the Roaring Crystal Alliance group and the governments of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. The Garfield County Planning Commission recommended denial, so Hanlon withdrew his application before it got to the county commissioners for a final decision.

However, he was undeterred by the opposition. Hanlon led a group that purchased Sander’s Ranch for $6.87 million last August, several months after his first plan was panned.

Clauson said this week that the new proposal will be submitted “within two weeks.” The numbers have been reworked with the help of “focus groups” composed of local residents, he said.

Clauson declined to disclose if the number of residences or the commercial square footage has changed drastically or whether the project was just reconfigured.

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