Pitkin commissioners eye open space in Redstone
Pitkin County commissioners voted Wednesday to allow the county’s Open Space program to spend $1.8 million to buy 70 acres of property in Redstone.
The two 35-acre parcels are adjacent to the Redstone Coke Ovens Open Space and include almost a mile along Coal Creek, said Dale Will, director of the Open Space program. The property could support Nordic skiing, currently has horse stables and previously had dog sled runs, he said.
“The Open Space Board feels it would make a nice addition to the county’s Open Space program,” Will said. “I personally find the property an excellent candidate for Open Space.”
Will said it will complement the other Open Space properties in the area, which some refer to as the “North Star of Redstone.” The North Star Nature Preserve, located just east of Aspen, is a popular Open Space property along the Roaring Fork River.
The purchase has been held up for the last couple months because of a covenant on one of the parcels that doesn’t explicitly allow public use, Will said. If the covenant cannot be worked out to include public use, the price for that parcel would decrease, he said.
However, a representative of the Schumacher family, which owns the parcels, assured commissioners Wednesday that a solution can be worked out.
The property is 50 percent irrigated meadows and 50 percent native forest, and includes “significant” water rights, according to a memo from Will to commissioners. The lower lot, which can be accessed from Highway 133, features a single family residence, five outbuildings and a horse corral that were previously used as a base by Avalanche Outfitters, the memo states.
“More recently, a group of Redstone residents have proposed relocating the old greenhouse from the Redstone Castle on the property,” according to the memo. “This greenhouse has been in west Glenwood since the fifties, and its owner has agreed to donate it back to Redstone if a suitable site and restoration funding are each secured.”
Commissioner Patti Clapper encouraged the acquisition.
“It’s a great amenity to Redstone,” she said. “It’s gorgeous and I think the public will really enjoy it.”
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