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Golf club ready to pitch plan

When the Roaring Fork golf club in Basalt goes before the town government for review of its plan to expand, it will find some good news and bad news in the town’s land-use master plan.The plan clearly envisions and even welcomes development on some of the land that the club’s owners covet. That’s the good news.The bad news is the development that’s envisioned isn’t necessarily a golf course with multimillion-dollar luxury cabins.The Roaring Fork Club currently has an 18-hole golf course, 48 luxury cabins and 22 employee housing units on its spread east of Basalt.After a recent alteration in ownership, the club is anxious to expand. The four original partners – Jim Light, Jim Chaffin, David Wilhelm and Thomas Danis – bought out the Dallas-based Olympus Real Estate Co., which Light described as an “institutional partner.”New blood at clubThe four partners also brought in new ownership blood: Clay Bennett,Dane Brooksher, Hal Davis, Bill Dillard and Keith Weber. Four of the new partners are owners of cabins at the club and the fifth is a club member.The partners hope to add nine holes of golf and 24 cabins, Light said. They also floated the idea of contributing five acres of land for development of up to 38 affordable housing units.That land could be used to relocate residents of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park, which the town wants removed from the flood way, Light noted.The club wants to acquire land from the Guido Meyer and Wy Kittle families for its expansion. Both families would keep small portions of their land and coordinate development applications with the club, Light said.Representatives of the club will outline their preliminary plan to the Basalt Town Council and Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 5 p.m. in Town Hall. Once an application is formally submitted, the review will begin. Town officials have been guarded in what they will say about the club’s plan until it is officially submitted.Master plan outlines issuesThe town’s master plan provides a glimpse of some of the issues that will factor in the review. That document, completed in the late 1990s, isn’t binding and is only a blueprint for land use.The plan envisions development on the southwest section of the Meyer Ranch, immediately south of Elk Run subdivision. It specifically touts that site as appropriate for “medium density residential” development, community facilities and open space.The plan states that a “key element” of the residential development should be affordable housing. The community facility designation could be a church or some other facility with broad appeal and use.”With the proposed combination of diverse residential and community type facilities this neighborhood has great potential to meet many of the town’s Master Plan goals and neighborhood typology recommendations,” the plan says.Light said the Roaring Fork Club wants to acquire about 165 acres of the 185-acre Meyer Ranch. The family would keep 20 acres, including the original ranch home and historic ranch buildings. The family is working on a plan to develop 11 home sites on their property.The club also plans to acquire 13 of 16 acres of the historic Kittle-Arbaney Ranch, adjacent to the Meyer property. The family wants to develop three home sites, according to Light.What about the luxury cabins?That proposal appears to dovetail at least partially with the town master plan. The proposed residential development is medium density and includes affordable housing. The nine additional holes for the golf course can be considered open space.The plan doesn’t include a community facility. And the big unknown is whether Basalt officials will consider the 24 new luxury cabins as compatible with the master plan.Part of the Meyer ranch is already in the town. It was annexed as the location for a town water tank. But the land already annexed is undeveloped due to steep slopes. The bulk of the property would have to be annexed.The master plan treats the Kittle Ranch like no man’s land. “This property currently lies within the town boundaries but is shown as outside and adjacent to the Urban Growth Boundary,” the plan says. “Consistent with other properties which are located outside this boundary, this site is not considered appropriate for urban scale development at this time.”But the plan also notes that higher density development may be appropriate on the Kittle property some time in the future.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com


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