Recession isn’t slowing one midvalley developer |

Recession isn’t slowing one midvalley developer

CARBONDALE ” Midvalley developer Ace Lane isn’t letting a recession slow him down.

While Eagle County is reviewing one large project of Lane’s near El Jebel, Garfield County is approving another near Catherine Store, outside of Carbondale.

Lane and his firm, Bonsai Communities LLC, secured a recommendation for a second round of approval from the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission on May 26 for a project near Catherine Store.

The planning commission voted 4-0 to recommend a green light for a zoning change and preliminary plan approval for a project called TCI Lane Ranch. The project features 89 single-family homes and a 300-kilowatt photovoltaic solar farm that the developer says will be “the largest private solar array in the state of Colorado.” It will provide 100 percent of the power required for the 89 homes, according to Bonsai Communities’ website.

The application entered the review process early enough to be considered under Garfield County’s old land-use code, in place before January 2009. The code requires 10 percent of the project to be affordable housing, or nine units in this case. TCI Lane Ranch is proposing 14 deed-restricted affordable housing units, according to Dave Marrs, chief financial officer of Bonsai Communities.

The application will go to a hearing of the Garfield County commissioners within 60 days, Marrs said. Preliminary plan review is the second of three necessary approvals.

TCI Lane Ranch is located about a mile east of Catherine Store along old Highway 82. The property, currently used as a cattle ranch, is one of the last open areas remaining between Basalt and Carbondale. The area is dominated by low-density residential development similar in size to what Lane is proposing.

Another of Lane’s proposals is in the thick of Eagle County scrutiny. Lane wants to build 319 residences and nearly 97,000 square feet of commercial space in a project called The Tree Farm near El Jebel.

The Roaring Fork Regional Planning Commission, which advises the Eagle County commissioners on land-use issues in the Roaring Fork portion of the county, voted 4-1 this month to recommend approval. The project, unlike TCI Lane Ranch, faces stiff opposition from some midvalley residents.

Basalt officials also are lobbying Eagle County not to approve the project and instead make Lane apply for approval from the town. The Eagle County commissioners will hold their first hearing on The Tree Farm on June 30.

Lane’s projects are among the few developments being proposed this year because of the recession. His representatives said at public meetings that the projects would be phased, so the construction will gear up as the economy recovers.

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