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April 7, 2014
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County wants hearing on Cattle Creek request

Garfield County commissioners want to give the public a more formal chance to weigh in before letting the developers of the already-approved River Edge residential subdivision out of an agreement to help pay for improvements to the Cattle Creek Road intersection at Highway 82.

Representatives from Carbondale Investments LLC were before the commissioners Monday with a request to be relieved of an obligation in a 2012 agreement with the county to share the cost of engineering and constructing about $2 million in intersection improvements.

What’s now an unimproved driveway directly across Highway 82 from the dual intersection of County Road 113 (Cattle Creek) and CR 110 was originally to serve as the main entrance to the 366-home development when it was approved by the county in 2011.

After complications arose with plans to cross the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority rail corridor at that location, however, the developer last year obtained approvals from the Colorado Department of Transportation to move the main entrance about half a mile to the north, away from the Cattle Creek turnoff.

That plan is the subject of a pending amendment to the 2011 development approvals that will be the subject of a separate hearing before the county commissioners.

In the meantime, the commissioners on Monday scheduled a formal public hearing for May 19 to revisit the developer’s obligation to help with the Cattle Creek road work.

“That will be right in, right out only?” Commissioner John Martin asked regarding the proposed new access point, suggesting that may need to be a requirement of both CDOT and the county as they look to limit safety concerns in the area with the new development.

In any case, traffic safety in that stretch is a big enough concern that Martin and fellow Commissioner Mike Samson said they would prefer a noticed public hearing to consider the developer’s request to get out of paying for the Cattle Creek improvements.

“We’re back to square one again after 20 years,” Martin said of the revolving-door history of development proposals on the former Coryell Ranch site, including four different owners and two bankruptcies before the latest River Edge plan was approved.

Martin was the only one of the three commissioners to vote against the proposal in November of 2011, while Commissioners Samson and Tom Jankovsky, who was absent from the Monday meeting, favored it.

In the meantime, the commissioners clarified that they plan to move ahead with the Cattle Creek intersection improvements. That project is still in the engineering phase.

The River Edge developers have said they would pay their $60,000 share of the engineering work to date, and continue to be involved with that project as it relates to water system improvements for the development that would be located near the Cattle Creek intersection.

CRMS road request postponed

In another matter that had been scheduled before the commissioners on Monday, a request by Colorado Rocky Mountain School to vacate an old County Road 106 easement that runs through the school campus near Carbondale was rescheduled for May 5.

The school says the public easement presents a student safety concern and has proposed replacing what now serves as a foot path, but which is closed to motorized traffic, with a paved trail connection around the campus into Carbondale.

Satank-area residents have objected to the road closure through the CRMS campus, saying it provides the most direct link to town.

In the meantime, the commissioners clarified that they plan to move ahead with the Cattle Creek intersection improvements. That project is still in the engineering phase.


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The Post Independent Updated Apr 7, 2014 11:48PM Published Apr 11, 2014 11:48AM Copyright 2014 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.