Heavy-hitters take a swing for proposed Basalt golf club project | AspenTimes.com

Heavy-hitters take a swing for proposed Basalt golf club project

Maybe Basalt’s review of the Roaring Fork golf club expansion won’t be delayed after all.Nine prominent members of the community spoke in favor of the expansion last night and urged the council to avoid getting bogged down in more planning. The Roaring Fork Club expansion wasn’t on the council’s agenda, but the high-profile residents turned out at the “public comment” section of the meeting to go to bat for the project.Their pitch followed lobbying from the other end of the spectrum last week. On April 5, six or so members of the community appeared to pressure the council into slowing the review of the project.But last night the council heard nothing but support for the high-end golf club’s proposal.Former Basalt Mayor Rick Stevens said the town government undertook extensive land-use planning in the late 1990s. It’s time to apply all its various studies and plans, and let projects advance, he said. Stevens urged the board to “not be too swayed that this process needs to continue and continue and continue.”Contractor J.D. Black said the Roaring Fork Club has proven to be a great addition to the town and its initial development of 18 holes of golf and 48 luxury cabins a welcome asset. “They’ve been sensitive to the community,” he said.Black reasoned that it’s best to know who will be developing the open space between the existing golf course and the town’s core – and what they will be developing – rather than face the unknown.Architect Larry Yaw said the club has provided a “shot in the arm” for Basalt’s economy. The proposed project – which features low-density development and preservation of green space – is something that should be seized, he said.”I am an advocate, and I urge you to be as well,” Yaw concluded.Real estate agent John Swanson was succinct in his support: “Roaring Fork Club: good people, good neighbor. More planning: bad.”The lobbying leaves the Town Council in an interesting position. It was first hit hard by people who want the review of the golf club expansion slowed to let all town residents weigh in on a vision for the open land east of town. Now it’s been lobbied to move forward with the golf club review without more planning.Town Manager Bill Efting said after last night’s meeting that the staff and council still must figure out how to proceed. Nothing has been determined.He said he personally still wants to hear from Basalt residents who don’t necessarily participate in government hearings, or the people he labeled “the silent majority.”Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com

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