Ranchers near Carbondale planning to create five housing lots
Post Independent staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
A longtime ranching family with land next door to Carbondale got Garfield County’s permission this week to carve five lots out of the 180-acre ranch for home sites.
The Nieslanik family, which has ranched in the White Hill mesa area just east of Carbondale since the 1960s, is planning to set up four of the lots in a wooded area adjacent to a cow pasture at the northeastern edge of their property.
A fifth lot is to be carved out of pasture land at the western edge of the ranch, overlooking the Crystal River Valley below.
The lots are to be about two or three acres in size, and are intended for use by the sons and daughters of the head of the family, rancher John Nieslanik, according to his son, Mark.
“This is for our family,” he told the Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 20.
The ranch is overlaid by a 167-acre conservation easement, which has been in place since 2006 and is administered by the Aspen Valley Land Trust, according to the application submitted by the family to Garfield County.
The development lots are outside the easement area, thereby “preserving the intent of the easement” by leaving it intact for farming and ranching uses, according to the application.
“It may be a while before they build,” said the family’s land use consultant, Doug Pratte, explaining that the family hoped to be able to put off paying impact fees to the local school district and fire district until they actually build the homes.
The commissioners agreed with that condition and unanimously approved the development plan as submitted.
Mark Nieslanik, following the hearing, was asked whether the creation of this subdivision might open up a potential access point for the adjacent Aspen Crystal River Estates subdivision, which was approved by the county decades ago but has never been developed because of a lack of access.
“There’s no way,” said Nieslanik simply.
According to a 2008 story in the Post Independent, both the Aspen Crystal River Estates and the neighboring Te Ke Ki subdivision, which were approved in the 1960s, are mostly owned by an entity known as The Carbondale Corp., which has stated the intention of leaving the lands in agricultural uses.
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