Eagle County commissioners will resume review of Tree Farm proposal in El Jebel | AspenTimes.com

Eagle County commissioners will resume review of Tree Farm proposal in El Jebel

This site plan for the Tree Farm project shows how development would be focused between Highway 82 and an existing water ski lake in El Jebel. About 86 percent of the residences would be within 1/4 mile of the Willits bus stop.
Woody Ventures/courtesy image |

After a false start earlier this year, the review of the Tree Farm development proposal in the midvalley will get underway Tuesday.

The Eagle County commissioners have scheduled a site tour at 3:45 p.m. followed by a public hearing at the Eagle County office building in El Jebel at 5 p.m.

The review was tabled at the request of the applicant in February because of turnover in the county engineer’s office, according to a representative of the development team. Since engineering is a big part of the review, the development team delayed the review until a new engineer was in place and able to review the project.

The application is being handled by a different Eagle County planner after changes in that department as well. The planning office said a big reason that review was tabled was to gather information from the Colorado Department of Transportation.

The Tree Farm is a proposal by landowner Ace Lane and his company, Woody Ventures LLC, on 43 acres across Highway 82 from Whole Foods Market. The Tree Farm planned-unit development proposes 340 residences and nearly 135,000 square feet of commercial space. About 22 acres would be active and passive open space.

In prior meetings, affordable-housing advocates have voiced support for the project, while a larger number of critics have contended a project that size will overwhelm the midvalley and reduce the quality of life.

The project would include 43 units of deed-restricted affordable housing. Buyers would face income and asset caps, and rents would be controlled. The affordable housing would be apartments constructed in the first phase of the project.

The maximum allowable residential net square footage would be about 380,000 square feet.

The 135,000 square feet of commercial square footage would include a 60,000-square-foot hotel. The largest, single-use retail area would be capped at 30,000 square feet to alleviate concerns about a “big box” store.

Further details about the plan can be found online at http://www.eaglecounty.us/Planning/Active_Land_Use_Applications/. A 70-page planning staff report was added to the file Monday afternoon. The staff is recommending approval of the project, with conditions.

This is the second step in the review process, called preliminary plan. If the commissioners approve the project at this stage, Lane will be able to proceed with the project after meeting technical requirements in final review.

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