Golf club clears first hurdle with Basalt |

Golf club clears first hurdle with Basalt

Scott Condon

The Roaring Fork Club took its first step toward expansion Tuesday night, two and a half years after it submitted an application to the town of Basalt.The Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval for the conceptual application, formally known in the town process as sketch plan. The planning commission is an advisory board only; the Town Council will decide the ultimate fate of the proposal.Planning commission chairman Bill Maron said the private golf and fishing club’s proposal provides some “real benefits” to the town at some “cost.””All in all, this is a very good trade-off for us,” he said.The club wants to expand by adding 202 acres the Guido Meyer family and the Arbaney-Kittle families currently own. The developers would use that property to add 32 luxury cabins, 18 single-family-home lots, 36 affordable housing units, a spa, community event pavilion, an outdoor camp for kids and a practice golf course.Jim Light, Jim Chaffin and David Wilhelm developed the club in 1997. That first phase included an 18-hole golf course and 48 luxury cabins.Maron eluded to the benefits and costs of the project by noting that the club’s development came at the same time Basalt went through drastic changes, like the transformation of the Midland Bar into Bistro Basalt. Perhaps it was coincidental, Maron said, but Basalt went from a place that had “a scummy biker bar” to a place where “guys with loafers and golf shirts” walk through town in the middle of the day.The golf club’s expansion plan has been the subject of strident debate in some earlier meetings, but the public largely ignored it Tuesday night. Earlier debates centered on whether the project was compatible with the town’s 1999 master plan.Gary Wheeler, the dean of the planning commission, said he felt the application addressed the town’s needs better than any other project the board has reviewed during his lengthy tenure. He made a motion to recommend approval of the project.Planning commissioners Brian Davies, Bernie Grauer, Brian Dillard and Maron joined Wheeler in approval. Jen Cramer voted against the club expansion because she felt it didn’t comply with the master plan because it places too much density in an area outside the town’s urban growth boundary.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is