Developer says thanks but no thanks to town of Basalt
September 1, 2009
EL JEBEL – It’s Eagle County or bust for developer Ace Lane.
Lane’s midvalley development project, the Tree Farm, is scheduled to go back to the Eagle County commissioners for review and a possible vote Tuesday. A letter from Lane’s development team to a county planner said if the project is denied, he will continue to work with Eagle County on a revised plan rather than submit an application to the town of Basalt.
The letter, received by the county Aug. 21, is the latest chess move between the developer and the Basalt town government. Town officials have urged Eagle County to deny the project because it is an urban-style development. They want Lane to apply to the town so they can adequately review and require mitigation for impacts on the town like increased traffic and demand for police.
Town officials said in earlier public hearings that their growth management system should apply to Lane’s project. The council passed regulations earlier this year to allow annual approvals for 32 residential units per year to try to pace growth. There were no limits before. Employee housing units are exempt from the growth control process.
If the town has any leverage in the issue, Lane is trying to remove it.
“The applicant and project team wish to formally declare that we will not seek annexation to the Town of Basalt even if our application is not approved by the Eagle County Board of County Commissioners,” says the letter from Lane’s firm to county planner Scot Hunn.
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“If the current application is denied, the applicant and team will continue to work with Eagle County in the development of a revised application that best meets the documented needs of the County and local community,” the letter adds.
Lane said he wants to maintain an established working relationship with Eagle County. Switching to the town for review would be “highly disruptive to the collective long-term efforts of the County and this team,” the letter says.
The Eagle County commissioners will hold their meeting on the Tree Farm at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the El Jebel Community Center.