Golf partners pass on ranch
BASALT Basalt growth foes won’t have the Roaring Fork Club to kick around any more.The partners in the club have abandoned their option to buy about 185 acres of the Guido Meyer ranch for expansion of the golf community, project manager Jeff Jones said Thursday. He estimated the partners spent about $1 million and 2 1/2 years seeking approval from the town of Basalt before pulling the plug.”The Meyer family and the Roaring Fork Club agreed they spent too much time and money,” Jones said.There are no sour grapes, Jones said. The investment of time and money with no results is always a risk in the development business.The club’s expansion got snared in Basalt’s ongoing land-use battle over growth. The council majority is sticking to a tight growth boundary – an area it deems suitable for development. The Meyer ranch is between the eastern edge of Elk Run subdivision and Holland Hills – just outside the boundary.The club’s partners – led by Jim Light, Jim Chaffin and David Wilhelm – withdrew their application last year when it became evident it wouldn’t get approved.The partners and the club’s proponents felt the town should expand its growth boundary to accommodate the project because it offered numerous community benefits. The plan included 36 affordable housing units, with 24 that could be used as replacement housing for residents of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park.The town is seeking ways to relocate about 100 families from two trailer parks in the heart of Basalt because of flood risks. The club’s plan offered a chance to start on that relocation.The Roaring Fork Club’s proposal also included 32 luxury cabins, 18 single-family homes and other amenities. Supporters said the expansion would add to the town’s economic vitality by bringing more people to shop in stores and eat in restaurants.Opponents wanted to uphold the growth boundary to maintain open space on the edge of town. They said the project didn’t offer enough to warrant expanding the growth boundary.Jones said the club partners had three years to obtain their approvals and exercise their option on the Meyer land. The deal was for a lease with an option to buy.It became apparent early this year that Basalt’s update of its land-use master plan and a potential review of a new application by the club wouldn’t occur fast enough to accommodate a deal, Jones said. The club partners and the Meyer family mutually agreed to void the agreement. “It was a really hard decision for the partners here and the Meyers,” he said.The Roaring Fork Club still has an option to lease 15 acres of the Arbaney-Kittle property, which is adjacent to the Meyer ranch and was also part of the expansion plan.Jones said he couldn’t discuss what the partners might attempt to do there. They want to see how the town’s update of its land-use plan progresses before setting a course of action.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is email@example.com.
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