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Week in Review

When a dump truck landed on Kirk Lindahl’s rental car Tuesday afternoon, he didn’t know what hit him.Lucky for him. If the Minnesota resident had seen the truck coming, it might have killed him. Lindahl had parked just off the street near the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts and was waiting in the car after dropping off his sisters-in-law at the Hot Springs Pool. On a whim, he decided to back in rather than pulling in hood-first, so he could enjoy the views of the mountains across the Colorado River.Somehow the unoccupied truck, a Glenwood Springs city vehicle with a load of dirt, began rolling down a city electrical substation parking lot and went over a retaining wall. It landed on its side, spilling the dirt and crushing the back of Lindahl’s vehicle and the hood of a second one.Chalk up one for back-in parking, in a town that has seen much opposition to back-in diagonal parking since it was introduced last summer downtown on Cooper Avenue. Where Lindahl parked, it’s not designated for back-in parking, but his decision served him well.”The whole back is collapsed in that car. … I’m glad I didn’t pull straight in because I’d be dead right now,” Lindahl said.

A midvalley property once destined to become a residential golf course development has taken on yet another life. Monday, the Garfield County commissioners revoked the Sanders Ranch planned unit development and rezoned the property high-density residential, keeping the door open for development of the property.Originally called Sanders Ranch when it was approved for development in 2001, the plan for the 280-acre former ranch about halfway between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale on Highway 82 has been through many iterations since. The most recent county-approved plan for the golf community, renamed Bair Chase, called for 62 single-family lots and 168 multifamily units surrounding an 18-hole golf course. This plan ended in foreclosure in April 2006. PlainsCapital Bank of Austin, Texas, which held the primary mortgage on the land, bought the property at a public trustee sale on April 12, 2006.WestPac and The Related Cos., which are developing the residential and commercial components of Base Village at the Snowmass ski area, bought Bair Chase from PlainsCapital Bank in December for $18.5 million.

After a year on the job, Garfield County libraries director Ann Moore has resigned. Library board president Cheryl Currier said Moore’s resignation took effect Monday. “We were in a personnel review process with Ann and she could not meet the board’s expectations so she decided to resign,” Currier said. “We wish her every best opportunity” in finding another position.Although she would not comment on the specifics of Moore’s performance, she said there was concern over the way Moore dispersed a collection of material relating to local history from the New Castle library. While some of the material, including books and photographs, went to local libraries, some has disappeared. “Maybe Ann didn’t understand the importance (of the collection) to the community to keep it all together” when she cleared it out of the basement to make room for an office. The decision “should have had more board input,” Currier said. Most of the collection has since been located.Currier said the board will not hire an interim director, rather it will distribute Moore’s duties among the administrative staff.



Cindy and Bradley Skinner may consider moving from their East 12th Street home if a large subdivision and a potential oil and gas well pad come into the neighborhood.The Skinners are part of a group of neighbors who are getting together for a neighborhood meeting to talk about the proposed Rifle Heights subdivision and what the impacts might be Tuesday night.Of utmost concern right now is that a four-acre parcel of the subdivision, located between 12th and 16th streets and Whiteriver and Anvil View avenues, could potentially be the site of an oil and gas well pad. The subdivision is not currently within city limits but is intending to seek annexation.”It would block the view and I don’t know what the health issues would be,” said Cindy Skinner. “I’ve been here 23 years – before McDonald’s was even in Rifle. I don’t know if we could have any effect about the (oil and gas development), but I’m not even thrilled about the homes going in there.”The Rifle Heights subdivision is proposed for 95 lots on the 30-acre piece of property.

A 500-acre residential development on two historic ranches on Four Mile Road cleared a first hurdle Wednesday. The Garfield County Planning and Zoning Commission agreed to amend the county’s comprehensive land use plan to increase density on the 600-acre development on the Bershenyi and Martino ranches. It also approved a rezoning of the property from agricultural/ rural/residential to a planned unit development.The commission’s approvals are in effect recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, which will ultimately approve or deny the project.Also as a condition of approval for the PUD, the developer will donate 960 acres of land above the project area, separated by Bureau of Land Management land, for a public park.County planning director Fred Jarman has recommended that county commissioners “accept this parcel of land as the landmark step in creating a county parks and recreation district that would own and manage this parcel for the benefit of county residents.”Phil Vaughan, chairman of the county Planning Commission, said accepting the park would require formation of a parks and recreation department, “which would add another level of government.”In its recommendations to the county commissioners, the Planning Commission specifically deleted the county from a list of suggested entities that might become recipient of the parkland.Jarman said he understands why some people think the county shouldn’t have a parks and recreation department. Two-thirds of the county already consists of public lands, including national forests and Bureau of Land Management property.”The county’s not short of any space to go play on,” he said.However, he noted that the county will be responsible for maintenance of a trail being planned to go through South Canyon. Between that project and the Elk Meadows offer, he thinks the county might benefit from creation of a parks district.


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