Pitkin County commissioners pan Roaring Fork Club proposal
October 22, 2009
ASPEN – The latest plan to expand the Roaring Fork Club in Basalt garnered a harsh critique from Pitkin County commissioners Tuesday.
Commissioners have no review authority over the application, which has been submitted to the town of Basalt, but they can make referral comments for the Town Council’s consideration.
Developers previously received an initial, or “sketch plan” approval for eight additional cabins and 12 worker housing units, along with a spa/fitness facility. A revised proposal calls for 12 cabins of up to 5,000 square feet each, including above- and below-grade space, and 16 multi-family housing units. The 10,000-square-foot spa and a 23,255-square-foot, relocated golf maintenance facility are also part of the plan. A previously proposed kids’ camp facility has been dropped.
The original cabins at the golf and fishing club are 2,400 square feet and commissioners weren’t pleased with the larger size of the proposed new ones.
“I think this needs to be scaled back considerably,” said Commissioner Michael Owsley.
“I don’t see any great public benefits here,” said Commissioner Jack Hatfield.
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The draft referral comments submitted for the commissioners’ review calls for the cabins to be capped at 3,500 square feet.
Commissioners also voiced concern about the additional traffic that would be generated by expansion of the club and suggested the spa alone could employ 16 people, using up the proposed employee housing.
Commissioner Rachel Richards questioned the “livability” of the employee units in a 10,450-quare-foot building. That works out to less than 700 square feet per unit if the building is divided up equally, she noted.
The county’s comments also call for the club to step up its wintertime groomed trails for nordic skiing in accordance with the county’s Nordic Trails Plan and question the safety of a proposed trail connection from the club to the paved Basalt-Old Snowmass Trail.
Commissioners directed Ellen Sassano, county senior long-range planner, to draft stronger language to convey their sentiments.
In Basalt, the new plan will go forward as a sketch plan amendment, said town planner Brian McNellis, but a point of discussion will be whether the proposal has changed enough that it must start the sketch plan review process from scratch.