Wilk planning to build a house on Smuggler | AspenTimes.com
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Wilk planning to build a house on Smuggler

Jeremy Heiman

Smuggler Mountain landowner Wilk Wilkinson told county commissioners Tuesday he will soon apply for a land-use application to build a house on his Smuggler Mountain land.

But Pitkin County officials have upheld the denial of an access permit that would allow Wilkinson to alter Smuggler Mountain Road, which passes through his property, to hook up a driveway.

Last year, the county denied Wilkinson access, excavation and fill permits for work on the road. Wilkinson appealed, resulting in lengthy discussions with commissioners. The official record of the appeal, including documents spanning a century, which Wilkinson submitted, is 1,585 pages long. Most of the documents relate to ownership of the road.

Assistant County Attorney Debbie Quinn has concluded that Smuggler Mountain Road is entirely a county road. Quinn said Tuesday that conclusion justifies denial of the permits Wilkinson asked for under the assumption that he owned the road.

Wilkinson did not agree, and threatened to sue the county if commissioners approve a resolution denying his appeal. The threat was ignored by the commissioners, but they agreed two matters require additional confirmation before they rule on the resolution. Those issues include whether the county’s ownership of the road is in the form of an easement or fee-simple ownership, and whether the right of way is 60 feet wide or 30 feet wide.

Wilkinson affirmed, when quizzed by County Commissioner Dorothea Farris, that he may apply for his land to be a receiving site for transferable development rights (TDRs). The move would allow him to build a house larger than the 15,000 square feet allowed by right.


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