Former Basalt Town Manager Scanlon working for Tree Farm development team |

Former Basalt Town Manager Scanlon working for Tree Farm development team

Mike Scanlon
Aspen Times file photo

Former Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon lobbied Eagle County officials last year to reject the Tree Farm project in El Jebel unless major changes were made.

Now he’s working with the development team to try to convince the county to approve the project. Scanlon quit working for Basalt in August in a dispute with some members of the town council. He was hired as a consultant on the Tree Farm project by Ace Lane and his Woody Ventures LLC.

Scanlon said the revised project addresses the key concerns he had as Basalt town manager.

One of his major complaints about the project had been that it allowed a single-use retail space of up to 55,000 square feet. He argued that size of space could be used to entice City Market to relocate from across the highway in Basalt, thus draining the town of sales tax revenues.

The revised application for the Tree Farm caps the single-use retail space at 30,000 square feet. That removes the potential to lure larger grocer, he said.

As Basalt’s manager, Scanlon also argued that the Tree Farm development would result in greater demands for law enforcement. The Basalt Police Department would likely answer calls even though the Tree Farm is out of its jurisdiction, he claimed.

The revised application (see related story) includes an agreement for the Tree Farm to pay for extra law enforcement from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office (see main story).

The Tree Farm includes a proposal for a 100-room hotel. In his prior role, Scanlon was working to achieve development of some type in downtown Basalt, possibly including a hotel.

It is unknown if or how construction of a hotel at the Tree Farm would affect prospects for a new hotel in downtown Basalt. The town remains entrenched in a civil war over the use of the Pan and Fork property, where some are touting a hotel.

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