Judge throws out golf club’s lawsuit over Burlingame | AspenTimes.com

Judge throws out golf club’s lawsuit over Burlingame

The Maroon Creek Club has been handed its second defeat in the exclusive club’s bid to stop work on the Burlingame seasonal housing project.

Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Ossola last week granted the city’s motion to throw the club’s lawsuit out of court, because the club had signed an agreement specifically allowing for the kind of development that is now being built at Burlingame.

“Thank God for that agreement,” said City Attorney John Worcester on Friday, noting that the agreement was between the club and the estate of Walter Paepcke, previous owner of the Burlingame Ranch.

This is the second time a judge has rejected an attempt by the golf club and subdivision to block the project, which will add 200 seasonal beds to the Aspen area’s stock of affordable housing. The project is intended to provide housing for Aspen Music Festival and School students in the summers, and area workers in general for the rest of the year.

The $10 million project is being built on land bought by the city in 1996 and recently sold to the Music Associates of Aspen. The city also is helping to finance construction of the project.

The Maroon Creek Club sued to stop the project, which is located next door to the golf course and club grounds along Highway 82, claiming the city was “arbitrary and capricious” in its approvals of the project. But the judge ruled that the club gave up its right to protest the project when it signed a 1993 agreement with the Walter Paepcke Life Insurance Trust, saying the club would not protest development plans that involved multiple uses of the New Stage Road route to Highway 82.

Earlier this year, a judge rejected the club’s request for a temporary restraining order that would have stopped work on the housing project before it began.

Worcester, who released news of the judge’s decision late Friday, said he was not sure whether the club will appeal the decision, although the club has appealed the preliminary injunction ruling.

In addition, the club has another suit pending before Judge J.E. DeVilbiss, claiming the MAA project should not be granted use of New Stage Road because its traffic would interfere with the club’s operations.

Traffic from the Burlingame seasonal housing as well as Burlingame Village, a much larger affordable housing project planned for a different part of the ranch, is to be routed along New Stage Road through the club’s property and out to an intersection at Highway 82.

The club has proposed the reopening of the nearby Old Stage Road, which was closed when New Stage Road was built and deeded to the city as part of the club’s development approvals. But the Colorado Department of Transportation has flatly rejected that idea.

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