Ranch could be site of 94-home subdivision
A scenic Missouri Heights ranch that has historical buildings on its property is for sale, and a new owner could build as many as 94 homes on the spread.The 565-acre Hunt Ranch has a price tag of $8.75 million. It offers views of Mount Sopris and Capitol Peak, and has superior water rights, according to an advertisement in The Aspen Times.While a 94-home subdivision may seem like a lot in the somewhat secluded area above El Jebel – Marble, by way of comparison, has about 80 year-round residents – it is allowed under the Garfield County master plan, said Edward Sanditen of Carol Dopkin Real Estate. He is handling the ranch’s sale.He noted that the potential density of 94 homes – each would be on about six acres – is similar to that of neighboring subdivisions such as King’s Row and Panorama Ranch.”It’s pretty much the standard density for that area,” Sanditen said. “What we’re talking about is doing sort of a cluster-type development and then keeping a lot of the open space, all the agricultural meadows and things like that.”Before the development could be built, a subdivision application plan would have to be approved by Garfield County. Commissioner Larry McCown said a potential developer would have to take care of a number of mitigating circumstances, including having proper fire and water plans.Asked if he thought 94 homes constituted sprawl, he said “everybody’s definition of sprawl would be different. To the ranchers that used to live up there, Missouri Heights would be sprawl.”There are two buildings on the property that were used by homesteaders; they date back to the early 1900s.”I don’t know if they’re historically designated or what their historical value is. They’ve probably been changed over the years,” Sanditen said. “We’re thinking probably someone who develops it would want to preserve them, maybe even restore them.”Right now the buildings are in good shape and are rented out. Whether the current renters would be forced to move out would be up to the new owner, Sanditen said.”They may want to continue renting them [or] they may want to restore the buildings and rent them,” he said.Because the new homes would be on tracts larger than five acres, there would be no square-footage limit – “other than common sense and your wallet. Whoever buys it may want to create covenants so that there would be restrictions, but that’s strictly up to the developer,” Sanditen said.If the new owner decides to carve the ranch into 35-acre tracts, which is allowed under state law, they wouldn’t have to go through county review at all. In that scenario, about 15 homes could be built.He said four or five developers have shown an interest in the ranch. Another handful of people also have contacted Sanditen and are interested in maintaining it as a private ranch, he said.It is being sold because the family that owns it wants to get out of the ranching business.”It’s still available on the market. No one has put down the money yet,” Sanditen said.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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