Clarification would be nice |

Clarification would be nice

Dennis WebbPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS The developers of the former Bair Chase property plan to ask Garfield County commissioners whether theyre sure the proper legal process was followed earlier this year in rezoning the land.If theyre not, developers are willing to go through the rezoning process again, said Rocky Shepard, the Related WestPac representative overseeing what is now being called Cattle Creek Crossing.We just want to make sure that everything was done properly. If not, let them do it properly, Shepard said.Shepard said developers are planning to present their written request to county commissioners on Monday, but he doubts the matter will be discussed the same day.The county has faced a threat of possible legal action over the rezoning of the 282-acre property in April to high-density residential. Glenwood Springs attorney Calvin Lee has contended that the county didnt provide proper legal notice of the April meeting to neighboring landowners or the general public.On Nov. 13, commissioners stood by their decision, saying notification was proper.Shepard said developers agree with the county on the issue, but just want to make sure the county believes the proper process was followed. Otherwise, he said, it makes more sense to correct things now than for problems to arise later.A legal challenge seems like just not a smart way to handle the whole thing. If theres cause or whatever to redo it, its just easier to redo it, Shepard said.Related WestPac has yet to submit a proposal to the county, but is tentatively planning a development that would total nearly 1,000 homes. Lee believes that is too many homes for the property, located across from the Cattle Creek Road turnoff of Highway 82 between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. Sanders Ranch, a previous proposal for the property, had called for 500 homes, 700,000 square feet of commercial development and a golf course. More recently, as Bair Chase, the development was to have been a golf course community consisting of 230 homes. The property ended up being bought by the lending bank in foreclosure before being purchased by Related WestPac.Lee contends that prior notification of the April meeting pertained only to planned actions that commissioners might take because an existing planned unit development approval for the 282-acre property was lapsing. He said the notification didnt indicate commissioners might change the underlying zoning.County officials and Related WestPac contend that in considering revoking the PUD, it was implied that the county might rezone the property. Also, they note, the zoning that the county chose was in keeping with what the countys comprehensive plan recommended for the property.Shepard said the zoning theoretically would allow more than 1,600 homes to be built on the property, although more practically the maximum amount might be around 1,200, once roads and acreage protected by a conservation easement are subtracted from the lands total acreage.Shepard said he feels confident that commissioners probably would rezone the land to the same density if they agreed to reconsider it. But he also thinks the whole issue is almost moot because Related WestPac is planning to submit a planned unit development, which in itself would result in a change in zoning.But he said the property has had other questionable things associated with past developers, such as unpaid debts to contractors that Related WestPac agreed to make good on. He said he didnt want another question hanging over the property.He said if the zoning were reconsidered, it wouldnt delay developers plans. They dont expect to submit a nonbinding sketch plan for their project until around the end of the year, and the PUD probably wont be submitted until a year from now, Shepard said.Contact Dennis Webb:

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