Hearing postponed on plan for Missouri Heights ranch | AspenTimes.com

Hearing postponed on plan for Missouri Heights ranch

EAGLE COUNTY – A proposal for guest lodging and a special-events venue at a Missouri Heights ranch will be placed on hold temporarily while the owners rework the application to try to placate neighbors.

The Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission was scheduled to review the Dragonfly Ranch application Thursday, but owners Alex and Laura Kim have asked for a delay until Sept. 6. The Kims’ land-use planner, Doug Pratte of The Land Studio, said they are working on “refinements” to the application after meeting with neighbors in mid-July.

The neighbors provided “pretty diverse input,” Pratte said. Many of the concerns centered around traffic and noise that would be generated by increased use of the property. The timing of special events was also a major concern, he said.

Some neighbors have written to the Planning Commission that the plan is incompatible with the rural neighborhood of Missouri Heights. The Kims’ goal is to make refinements to ease the neighbors’ concerns.

The challenge, Pratte said, is to “put together a business on an agricultural property in a residential development.”

The Kims want approval to host special events at their ranch, including “Farm to Fork” dinners that highlight foods raised and grown on the Western Slope. They want to host private events such as weddings, family reunions and corporate retreats by reservation. The original application is for no more than 52 events per year and no more than two per week. The maximum number of guests and service staff attending was placed at as many as 170.

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The application also seeks approval for eight guest rooms. Five guest rooms would adjoin the existing main residence; three others would be added later. Cooking and gardening classes would be offered to the lodging guests as well as residents and students in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Kims live on their 50-acre ranch on Vista Hi Drive, about 1.5 miles from the valley floor. They want to continue growing hay that is certified weed free in an irrigated pasture and operate their catering business.

“The Eagle County master plan states that the future economy will continue to rely on the success of its recreation and tourism industry,” the Kims’ application states. “Eagle County should embrace this entrepreneurial spirit by promoting new enterprises of high quality, diverse and sustainable economy with scenic beauty and vibrant natural healthy lifestyles.”

The Planning Commission will make an advisory recommendation to the Eagle County commissioners, who hold decision-making power on land-use applications. More information on future meetings will be released when it becomes available.

scondon@aspentimes.com