Stillwater project may be revived after principal shareholder’s death
The death of the principal shareholder of Valley Farms Inc. – the property owner of the site for the proposed Stillwater Ranch development south of Silt – may breathe new life into the project.The death of the principal shareholder of Valley Farms Inc. – the property owner of the site for the proposed Stillwater Ranch development south of Silt – may breathe new life into the project.Roger McFarland Dixon, of Dallas, president of Valley Farms Inc., died on Jan. 31, just days after Garfield County District Judge T. Peter Craven ordered that a legal dispute between Valley Farms and the Stillwater Ranch developers be litigated in court instead of arbitrated.Valley Farms had filed the lawsuit last fall after Stillwater Developers defaulted on a revised agreement made in March 2002. The parties reached their original agreement in February 1995 and Silt voters approved the project in a special election in 1997.In the lawsuit, Valley Farms cited numerous missed deadlines and a breach of contract. The complaint asked for the removal of Stillwater Ranch developers from the property.Dixon’s death means that the board of directors for Valley Farms will decide what will be the next move, according to Lee Leavenworth of Leavenworth & Karp Inc., of Glenwood Springs, which is representing the company.”They may be interested in restructuring the deal,” Leavenworth said. “The board will now own the stock and will make the decisions.”The Stillwater Ranch subdivision is slated for 1,200 single- and multifamily homes on 36 acres south of the Colorado River, with two 18-hole golf courses, a community center, swimming pool, hiking and equestrian trails, and some commercial development.John Watson, an attorney with the law firm of Moye, Giles LLP in Denver, which is representing Stillwater Development said he hopes the matter can be settled without litigation and that the developers still want to move forward with the project.”We will continue to try and get this issue resolved,” Watson said. “Our purpose has always been to resolve this matter outside of court. We still want to go forward with this development and continue the talks amongst the parties.”Heidi Rice is the Western Garfield County correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.Heidi Rice is the Western Garfield County correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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