New Cattle Creek plan wins praise
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Garfield County Planning Commission members reacted favorably to a sketch plan for a 979-unit housing development between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs during a meeting Wednesday night.
Rocky Shepard, a project manager for Related WestPac, said the commission’s reaction to the company’s plan for the 282-acre former Sanders Ranch property was “very positive.” He also said county staff did an excellent job “in presenting the facts of the project and the concerns we need to address.”
Planning Commissioners only reviewed Related WestPac’s sketch plan for its Cattle Creek Crossing development and did not take any vote on it.
The company said it wanted to present its plan to the planning commission on Wednesday to gain feedback for a planned unit development (PUD) and preliminary application for the 282-acre property that the company plans to submit to the county in the summer.
Phil Vaughan, chairman of the planning commission, said that while there are still fiscal impacts and other issues to be ironed out before Related WestPac submits its PUD and preliminary plan, he said he thought the company’s project details were “certainly an excellent view of this piece of property.”
Sean Martin, a planning commission member, said that he felt the development was almost akin to creating a town on the valley floor, but added Related WestPac’s proposal is a one of “the nicest, well thought-out plans I have seen.”
“All in all I think it is great. I am real anxious to see your final plan,” Martin said. “I think you are on the right track.”
Cheryl Chandler, another commission member, said she wanted to see senior housing as well as more housing for “our young professionals” in Related WestPac’s plan.
“The only way to get affordability is density,” Chandler said. “We can’t keep sprawling. We have to go taller. I really like this (plan). It has got community.”
Related WestPac’s sketch plan for the 282-acre property calls for 979 residences in 480 buildings. Ten percent of the housing units would be deed-restricted affordable housing, according to the company’s plan. Building of the development will occur on 180 acres, with 102 acres set aside as open space.
Housing units in the development would be one-third multi-family units, one-third single-family homes and one-third lofts, town homes, duplexes and river cottages. A neighborhood commercial development, which would be about 20,000 square feet, is also proposed.
Development of the property would occur in five phases over 10 years, said Jim Tinson, a land planner of Hart Howerton, which is the master planner for the development.
“We are starting on a premise that this is going to be a family-friendly community,” Tinson. “We want a wide population to come here. We want diversity. We want diversity in product (housing) type.”
Fred Jarman, Garfield County’s building and planning director, said the 282-acre former Sanders Ranch property is the last large undeveloped property separating Glenwood Springs and Carbondale.
Jarman said the county wants to see Related WestPac conduct a fiscal-impact study to determine the costs the proposed Cattle Creek Crossing development ” which he said would be the second biggest development in the county after Battlement Mesa ” might have on Garfield County and special districts in the area.
It would be preferable for that study to be done before Related WestPac would submit a PUD for the property, Jarman said.
Steve Danuff, who lives in Carbondale, said that “we all agree” highway access to the development is “terrible.”
“Generally, I feel the whole density of the project is too large,” said Danuff, adding the development would have too many people for the area’s infrastructure, water resources and wildlife.
But Doris Hunt, who owns a seven-acre property adjacent to the proposed development, said while she would want the property to remain a working ranch, it would be selfish for her to have it remain that way “when there are so many people in this valley who really need homes.”
“It would be so nice for them to live in a valley where they work,” Hunt said.
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