Roaring Fork Club burns time, money to get to starting gate
The partners in the Roaring Fork Club have spent two years and $800,000 on their expansion plan – and that’s just to get to the starting gate in Basalt’s review process.David Wilhelm, a partner in the private golf and fishing club in Basalt, said his team submitted an application to the town government in May 2004. Club officials and town staff have held a multitude of meetings since. The Basalt Town Council and planning commission have also held a handful of meetings for preliminary talks.Wilhelm and his partners have burned money on consultants and planning, altering their proposal twice based on what they heard from town officials. The current plans include 36 affordable housing units, 32 luxury cabins and 15 lots for single-family homes.The latest gathering on the project was Tuesday night. Wilhelm urged the council and commission members to give some general sense of whether it was worth the club’s effort to continue pursuing the proposal. He said the club needs an answer on the general direction – one way or the other.”We can’t keep on spending this type of money without knowing,” he said.To help coax an answer, the club rallied its allies. It submitted letters from 74 supporters of the plan into the public record. Allies also packed the council chambers Tuesday night.Wilhelm got an answer – sort of. Several officials from both boards indicated they felt the proposal was worth considering and discussing. So after two years of preliminary talks, the application was finally deemed ready for the first round of formal planning commission review.That board will eventually take an advisory vote and forward it to the council. The review could easily drag through the summer.Uncertainty remains at the council level. Councilman Mark Kittle has removed himself from participating in the decision because his family has land involved in the golf club’s expansion. The club’s proposal needs the approval of four of the six other council members. It dies in the case of a 3-3 vote.Councilman Chris Seldin stressed during Tuesday night’s discussion that he was giving no indication of whether he would vote “yes,” “no” or “maybe.” Council members Amy Capron and Gary Tennenbaum also declined to give Wilhelm and company encouragement or discouragement.Council members Glenn Rappaport and Laurie Dows, along with Mayor Leroy Duroux, made no promises but indicated they felt the proposal was worthy of discussion.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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