16 single-family units, 19 townhomes proposed for land near CMC Spring Valley
A local developer is proposing to use existing infrastructure left behind from an old residential project abandoned in the early 1980s to build a new subdivision near Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley.
Glenwood Springs-based Eagle Ridge Homes, LLC wants to build 16 single-family units and 19 townhomes northwest of Auburn Ridge Lane and County Road 114. The units divide about 7.32 acres into 11 residential blocks.
The entity also intends to include on the parcel four affordable housing units. The units are to sell based on area median income, Eagle Ridge representative Byron Vinger said.
“We’re trying to bring affordable housing to the south side of Glenwood.”
Garfield County commissioners on Monday unanimously passed Eagle Ridge’s preliminary plan, which was met by a small contingent of neighboring homeowners — and their housing agent — offering public comments.
The proposed residential project falls within the Elk Springs/Los Amigos Planned Unit Development, and the Elk Springs Housing Association is fulfilling Eagle Ridge’s irrigation needs in this area. The existing neighborhood itself is officially recognized as a nonprofit organization and even keeps its own website.
Elk Springs HOA President Brandon Watson said neighbors to the proposed subdivision are concerned over potential fire hazards, screening for houses and recreational vehicles, pet ownership and more.
“Reducing the number of dogs is probably always good for us,” he said. “One thing to note is CMC vet clinic and care facility is adjacent to this area, and at events now at CMC, they’re asking people to not bring dogs because it upsets the animals that are already present at CMC in the care facility.”
The local HOA, which Vinger pointed out doesn’t currently enforce, also wants Eagle Ridge to restrict its future residents from using fire pits.
Greg Boecker lives in the area and also sits on the Elk Springs HOA. He expressed concerns over potential issues arising over the already 20-30 existing homes being affected by headlights, and that a condition of the development should be to plant more trees to help block them.
“We asked for screening; the applicant’s response was that the HOA has already planted 30 or 40 trees, so they don’t have to worry about it,” Boecker said. “I didn’t find it the best response possible.
“Perhaps five evergreen trees would go a long way to mitigate the headlights that are going to be shining up the hill towards our existing homes.”
Vinger responded by saying that Eagle Ridge has already complied with several requests — both by the county and the HOA.
“I want to be clear that we have been, I think, very agreeable to all of the issues that were brought up, from shiny metal roofs, to firepits, to lighting, to trash containers,” he said. “We offered and made sure we did it similar to their manner.
“We just do not see a reason to be asked to provide additional screening for headlights.”
Terms drawn up by Garfield County also require Eagle Ridge to fulfill a number of environmental, grading, draining and geological requirements. Improvements to Auburn Ridge Lane must be also fulfilled before Eagle Ridge can start construction, Garfield County planner Philip Berry said.
The Colorado Geological Survey recommended that site-specific geologic analysis be performed at the time of the building permit to determine appropriate foundation mitigation for site-specific hazards and voids.
“Colorado Geologic Survey noted that a 24-foot sinkhole had opened at the CMC soccer fields nearby,” Berry said. “There were some soil reports that indicated collapsible soils may exist on this side and corrosive soils may exist.”
In a letter sent from CGS engineer Amy Crandall to Berry, she stated that the proposed subdivision is specifically “underlain by sheetwash, deposits, basalts and the Eagle Valley Evaporite” and that “collapse deposits are also mapped in the vicinity.
“Sinkholes, subsidence and ground deformation due to the collapse of solution cavities and voids are serious concerns in this area,” Crandall wrote.
The site itself has been vacant since about 1982, and was abandoned due to economic reasons. In 2008, however, the county approved a new permit for a 48-unit development in the same area, but this proposed project also fizzled out.
Vinger said his partner, Mike Patch, and himself acquired the land prior to this approval expiring and eventually decided to reduce the scale to 35 units. For these new units the roads will be 12-feet wide, with the exception of one that’s 24-feet-wide.
They also intend to place the townhomes on the east side of the acreage and single-family homes toward the west.
“We felt that fit in really well with the Auburn Ridge Apartments,” Vinger said. “Our component of the townhomes sits next to that. Then the 16 single-family units we’re proposing sit next to the Elk Springs HOA mail distribution facility.”
Commissioner Tom Jankovsky suggested that Eagle Ridge add more covenants to the terms of their proposal to better appease Elk Springs’ HOA. But it was ultimately decided there’s already enough covenants in place.
“I feel comfortable with the covenants addressing all of these things,” he said. “I appreciate the fact that you have four affordable units. We usually get applicants that come in here screaming and kicking about affordable housing.
“You guys provided that, so I salute you.”
The commission, however, did encourage Eagle Ridge to make a good gesture toward the HOA by addressing open burning.
“Let’s be good neighbors,” Commission Chair John Martin said. “Work with everybody.”
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