Eagle County resumes Tree Farm proposal in El Jebel on Monday

Staff report

The Tree Farm proposal will be back before Eagle County commissioners today, two weeks after the board members told the developer they want to see more affordable housing.

The commissioners are holding the meeting today rather than Tuesday to avoid a conflict with the Basalt Town Council meeting. The commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. in the Eagle County office building and community center, adjacent to Crown Mountain Park.

The hearing is set to include overview of the project’s market study, its fiscal impact, sustainability strategies and plans for water and wastewater service.

“A continuation of the discussion on the development’s housing plan, which began on April 11, is also anticipated,” said a notice from the county. “The hearing will include ample time for public comment.”

The Tree Farm is a proposal for 340 residences and nearly 135,000 square feet of commercial space on 43 acres in the El Jebel area.

The property is across Highway 82 from Whole Foods Market. It is owned by Ace Lane and his firm, Woody Ventures LLC.

The proposal includes 43 units of deed-restricted affordable housing. All three commissioners indicated at the April 11 meeting they want that number increased. A representative of the development team said last week they are exploring ways to add affordable housing to the plan.

It is uncertain if the commissioners will vote on the project Monday. They have tentatively set May 8 for a fourth meeting.

Meanwhile, Basalt Town Council plans to hold a work session Tuesday to discuss how the board wants to proceed on the former Pan and Fork property. Voters rejected a proposal in November to raise property taxes to buy 2.3 acres from the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. for $2.9 million.

Councilman Bernie Grauer suggested last month that the board explore buying the property with existing funds, then determining the property mix of park and development.

Councilman Auden Schendler recently countered that he wants to hold off on acquisition and let the landowner or a developer approach the town with a development application.

The council will meet with its staff in a work session at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall to determine a course of action.