City of Rifle rezones land for estate development |

City of Rifle rezones land for estate development

Property in Rifle is in the preliminary stages of being turned into ranch-style estates.

Rifle City Council approved unanimously the rezoning of 28.76 acres at Pioneer Mesa to accommodate 17 single-family lots.

The city also approved a final plan request made by the applicant, Pioneer Mesa Land Co.

Rifle Planning Director Patrick Waller said the property was originally zoned as a low-density residential planned unit development.

Original plans were to build 112 residential lots, but March 16’s vote switches the low-density residential planned unit development to an estate zone.

“The estate zoning is meant to be larger lot subdivisions. It gives residents of the city the chance — as this is straight from our code — to raise horses.”

The roads will be private and maintained by the homeowners’ association. The city will be responsible for providing sewer and water needs in the area.

“It also does not require that they put in the sidewalk, but they do have to have pedestrian circulation,” Waller said. “The applicant has addressed that standard by allowing for a gravel path throughout the development.”

Waller pointed out two concerns with the proposed development.

Waller said there’s a retaining wall that was partially completed in the area in 2008 without the city’s permission.

“The applicant has responded by providing a letter outlining how they will evaluate the wall and demonstrate to the satisfaction of our public works department that this wall will function and was built as required,” Waller said.

Another concern is over revegetation, Waller said.

“The steep slope has had some runoff issues in the past,” he said. “And the applicant does plan on revegetating the existing steep slope above phase one.”

Rifle City Council and the Pioneer Mesa officials discussed how to mitigate any issues concerning the aforementioned retaining wall and any additional infrastructure in the area.

“I was very impressed how you answered or responded to all the staff’s concerns,” Council member Brian Condie said. “So kudos to you on that.”

Pioneer Mesa Co. representative John Kuerston said there are already prospective buyers.

“That is a very hot topic,” he said. “We actually have three offers already, without even being listed for sale.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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