Review resumes Thursday of Tree Farm project in El Jebel |

Review resumes Thursday of Tree Farm project in El Jebel

One of the most controversial topics related to any large development will get examined today when the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission resumes its review of the Tree Farm project in the midvalley.

The planning commission will start with an overview of the traffic projections for the project, the internal circulation plan, parking design and transit orientation. There will be a discussion of the project’s potential impacts on the local roads and transit system.

The meeting will start at 4 p.m. in the Eagle County office building in El Jebel. The meeting will include a public hearing.

The Tree Farm is a proposal by landowner Ace Lane and his company, Woody Ventures LLC. The site is across Highway 82 from Whole Foods.

Lane proposed to build as many as 400 residences and 135,000 square feet of commercial space. He will leave 42 of the 71 acres as open space.

Lane contends that the project will provide affordable housing that will get workers closer to their jobs in the Roaring Fork Valley. All the residences will be within one-half mile of a public bus stop.

Critics counter that the project will dump more traffic onto the congested highway and secondary roads.

If time permits, the project’s affordable-housing proposal will be examined. Under normal circumstances, Lane would be required to provide as many as 100 units of affordable housing, or 25 percent of the total residential units. However, the county staff advised that Lane be given double credit because he will provide rental housing with caps on lease rates. That reduces his mitigation to 50 units.

In addition, Lane is proposing to build the rental affordable housing in the first phase of his project, so the county staff advised giving him an additional credit of five units. That reduces the mitigation to 45 units. Lane is proposing to build one extra unit at the Tree Farm in connection with a separate project.

The Tree Farm application and staff report are available for review online at Active_Land_Use_Applications. Comments on the file can be submitted to

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Aspen must house its workforce

I’m writing in strong favor of the affordable housing project that is under discussion with the county, and feel that Mick Ireland’s commentary Feb. 22 in the Daily News of hit the nail on the…

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