Grizzly future for Bair Chase |

Grizzly future for Bair Chase

Lynn Burton

While some have wondered whether Bair Chase has crawled into permanent hibernation, a big stick has emerged to poke at the bruin’s den.

The stick could be wielded by the Garfield County Commissioners. The developers have two months to file a preliminary plan, or the 285-acre property could revert back to its original agricultural zoning.

“The developers were given an extension on their PUD last year,” said Garfield County planner Mark Bean. “They have until March 9 to file a preliminary plan, or the commissioners can rescind the zoning.”

Bair Chase project manager Jim Wells did not return phone calls. Names and telephone extension numbers of Bair Chase employees or associates who haven’t been with the project since last August are still given on the company’s answering machine.

Bair Chase is the old Sanders Ranch, located on Highway 82 midway between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale at Cattle Creek.

The Garfield County Commissioners approved the Bair Chase planned unit development (PUD) in 2001. The current zoning allows 150 rental units, 33 home lots, and 56 cabins around an exclusive golf club.

Bean said the previous zoning was agricultural/rural residential density, which allows a golf course by right, and one homesite per two acres.

Developers originally filed a PUD application for 300,000 square feet of commercial space plus 561 residential units. Hundreds of residents turned out to oppose what was then Sanders Ranch, and the developer later withdrew the original application.

There has been little activity at Bair Chase since the developer brought in a modular office last year, and set up story poles along Highway 82 to demonstrate the proposed building heights.

Another sign of inactivity at Bair Chase is a $46,690 mechanic’s lien filed Nov. 6 against Sanders Ranch Holdings LLC by the Glenwood Springs engineering firm Schmueser Gordon Meyer, according to records at the Garfield County Courthouse.

A corresponding civil lawsuit says Sanders Ranch LLC did not pay Schmueser Gordon Meyer for engineering and survey work to support a development plan.

Schmueser Gordon Meyer representatives were not available for comment.

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