Sunlight deal falls through |

Sunlight deal falls through

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Florida-based Sunlight Development LLC has terminated its contract to purchase Sunlight Mountain Resort near Glenwood Springs.

The purchase depended on approval of a 830-unit housing project and new base development at the local ski area by Garfield County commissioners.

In a letter to Garfield County Planning Director Fred Jarman on Dec. 30, Sunlight Development’s attorney, Larry Green, requested that a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 19 on the proposed development be postponed until May.

“The purpose of this postponement is to allow the current property owners to make an informed decision about how to proceed with the land use application,” Green wrote.

Commissioners on Monday approved moving the hearing date to May 18, when Sunlight General Manager Tom Jankovsky plans on moving forward with the development application.

“They (Sunlight Development LLC) can’t get the approvals they need to purchase the property, and they are encouraging us to move forward with the application,” Jankovsky said.

Jankovsky said the Glenwood-based ski area is not up for sale and that its current owners, Sunlight Mountain Inc., will take the lead on the development as planned even though the Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted against the proposed development in November.

“We believe we have a good application, and it will be a little stronger with us as the lead because we will be able to better address a lot of the issues that were brought up by Planning and Zoning,” Jankovsky said.

Jarman noted Monday that the county doesn’t have a postponement option for Planned Unit Development applications; developers either withdraw an application and come back when they are ready to move forward, or ask for a continuance on the basis that the PUD won’t change. If the submitted plan is changed, Jankovsky would have to go through the entire application process again.

While starting over is a possibility, Jankovsky is hoping to make the current PUD proposal work.

“We are going to try and make this application work,” Jankovsky said. “If it doesn’t, we’ll go back to the drawing board.”

Sunlight entered into the contract with Florida-based Exquisite Development in late 2006. Exquisite then formed Sunlight Development LLC.

While the amount of the proposed sale remained confidential, Sunlight’s asking price was $50 million.

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