News in Brief
Councilman to represent city at Food & WineASPEN It will be a weekend of food and wine for City Councilman J.E. DeVilbiss.Well, at least the food aspect of the Aspen Food & Wine Magazine Classic. The city appointed DeVilbiss mayor pro tem on Monday night and as such, he will represent Aspen under the tent.After being sworn into office, Mayor Mick Ireland nominated DeVilbiss as the second in command on the council; the appointment won unanimous approval.J.E. has served this community for 30 years ably, so that means Food & Wine for you, Ireland joked with his colleague.Ireland created a flap last week when he announced that he would not accept a free pass to the event from the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. Besides the fact that Ireland will in Washington, D.C., testifying on roadless areas, as well as participating in a bike race during the event, Aspens new mayor said it would be inappropriate to accept the $1,000 pass for personal use. Although he agreed to attend a portion of the event to deliver an official welcome from the city, Ireland doesnt want to create the appearance of a conflict or bias by accepting such a gift. Some argue that its the mayors role to participate in events to show community support. That will be a job for DeVilbiss, who said hes more interested in the food and than the wine.Garco rejects housing developmentGARFIELD COUNTY The Garfield County commissioners on Monday denied a developers plan to build 200 homes on two area ranches south of Glenwood Springs. Commissioners Trsi Houpt and John Martin said the plan for the Reserve at Elk Meadows on Four Mile Creek was too dense for the rural area.Its a great development but not in this particular setting, Martin said.Commissioner Larry McCown, who cast the only dissenting vote, warned that by denying such developments, and with the countys shortage of housing, residents will face higher home prices and property taxes in the long run: I see us becoming a Pitkin County, he said.Not even an added sweetener of a dedicated mountain park could sway the commissioners. All three agreed the county could not accept such a park because it would pose a financial burden.Developer Elk Meadows Properties LLC is proposing lots ranging in size from 12,600 square feet to more than 30,000 square feet, with house sizes ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet. Prices are expected to begin at $600,000 and go as high as $1.1 million.Elk Meadows Properties also closed on the purchase of the two ranches from the Bershenyi family on May 31, said Glenwood Springs attorney Larry Green, who represents the developer.A handful of people opposed to the subdivision showed up to protest. In a planning and zoning commission meeting in April, about 30 people spoke out strongly against the project citing concerns with increased traffic on the already strapped Four Mile Road, visibility of homes from Highway 82 and a density too high for its rural setting. Despite the opposition, the P&Z recommended the county commissioners approve the developers application to form a planned unit development zone on the property. A PUD allows a developer some latitude in housing density, as well as street configuration and building setbacks.Since the April planning and zoning meeting, the developers revised the number of lots from 189 to 200 to include 20 units of affordable duplexes. They also agreed not to build a trail along Four Mile Creek at the request of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which said users of the trail would disrupt a deer migration path along the creek. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
Boulder man drowns on rafting tripDENVER (AP) Authorities identified the man who drowned Saturday after falling out of a raft on Clear Creek as Jed G. McKnight, 36, of Boulder, the Clear Creek County coroners office said.He had been with a group of friends on a commercial whitewater rafting trip with All American Adventures of Idaho Springs.Guides said McKnight was wearing a life jacket and a helmet when he went overboard in 35- to 40-degree water. The accident occurred near Colorado 119 and U.S. 6 in an area known as Deep Hell Rapids due to the especially treacherous water and sharp rocks.No other injuries were reported.All American Adventures issued a statement conveying thoughts and prayers to the victims family.
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The Roaring Fork Valley has, by-and-large, avoided the mountain pine beetle and spruce beetle infestations that have decimated parts of the state. However, a 2019 aerial survey showed the Roaring Fork watershed has an outbreak of Douglas-fir and western balsam beetles.