Top stories of 2007: Garfield County real estate shows no sign of slowing down

Dennis Webb Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent File Photo

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Garfield County continues to experience a housing development boom to match its energy boom, as 2007 showed.

Driven in part by that energy boom, as well as by demand from sectors such as retirees and second home owners, the county bucked a downward national housing market trend. Total sales value in 2007 is expected to exceed the more than $1 billion in real estate transactions in the county in 2006.Activity may only continue to increase next year as inventory keeps growing. Construction activity has been considerable in places such as New Castle, Rifle and Silt. In Rifle, construction is expected to begin in a year or two on the Rimrock at Rifle subdivision, which is the largest proposed housing development the city has seen. The annexation and master plan have been approved for the project, which calls for 1,200 to 1,400 units.

Meanwhile, Garfield County commissioners have approved a 577-home project at Spring Valley Ranch above Glenwood Springs. The 6,000-acre project would be one of the largest in the county. Other major projects also are on the drawing board. The new owners of the former Bair Chase property between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale are tentatively planning to seek approval to build nearly 1,000 housing units. And the Florida company that is under contract to buy Sunlight Mountain Resort has applied to the county for approval to build 800 residences and lodging units there.

However, county commissioners this year also rejected a proposal to build 200 homes at the Reserve at Elk Meadows, up Four Mile Road near Glenwood Springs. Commissioners worried about the project’s density and traffic impacts.They also cited density concerns in turning down the proposed 104-home Rapids on the Colorado subdivision west of New Castle.

Also a big concern this year across the county has been a lack of affordable housing. Affordable housing advocates held meetings with elected officials to discuss the problem, and have voiced general support for the proposed development on the former Bair Chase property.

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